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Posted By : Scott007 - 7/23/2017 7:51 AM
Some of you are familiar with my post about resistant starch. For the newcomers, I am a scientist that worked as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry for 23 years, and had also suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 12 years.

I have created this new post which I have entitled "Butyrate!". Butyrate is one of the main products from bacterial fermentation of resistant starch in the large colon. Last year I created a Google alert for "butyrate" and every so often I get an interesting hit.

So, I get this hit today from a site about pigs (you cannot make this stuff up!):

The first paragraph says: "According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2015, salmonellosis represented the second most reported zoonosis as a major cause of human bacterial gastro-enteritis, after campylobacteriosis. Non-typhoidal Salmonella species are estimated to cause 93.8 million cases of gastro-enteritis and 155,000 deaths worldwide each year, about 85% of which are estimated to be foodborne, establishing Salmonella as having a significant public health and economic impact on society. Pork products are among the top food-borne sources of Salmonella globally, which also has a negative impact on the agri-food and trade sectors, due to costly recalls of contaminated products."

So, I was quite surprised to see that the pork industry is actually looking at enteric coated "butyrate" tablets as a treatment to reduce salmonellosis in pigs.

Read further down and this is what they state: "Butyrate, a salt of a short-chain fatty acid, is such an example of a multi-faceted additive. It is to downregulate Specific Pathogenicity Island 1 (SPI1) genes inside Salmonella bacteria. This causes a remarkable attenuation of their capacity to invade intestinal epithelial cells and to colonise the intestinal tract in pigs. In addition, butyrate has been described to trigger the expression of antimicrobial Host Defense Peptides (HDP’s) in the intestinal tract of animals, thereby limiting the growth of several enteric bacterial genera, including Salmonella.

In addition, butyrate is well known to elicit many effects at the cellular or physiological level in the digestive tract as well. For example, it can be used as an energy source by epithelial cells lining the intestines, and it is known to modulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and enteric hormones and to strengthen cellular junctions between enterocytes, to name only a few responses."

Posted By : Scott007 - 7/24/2017 10:59 AM
There is a fairly new scientific journal (started 2010) that represents the future of medicine: "Beneficial Microbes":

Here is the abstract for an article entitled "Resistant starch, large bowel fermentation and a broader perspective of prebiotics and probiotics":

I read much about the Hazda tribe in Tanzania. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colorectal cancer, and autoimmune disorders are nearly nonexistent with these hunters and gatherers. What is their secret?

Posted By : constantpain - 9/10/2017 10:35 AM
Hello, I have been drinking the potato starch for 3 months now and Enbrel for 3 months as well. My insurance is Medicare and they wont pay for Ebrel so I get it for a year through there Safety Net foundation. I am feeling a bit better now than I did 3 months ago. I never had inflammation but have pain and disforming of the toes and fingers. I went on Amazon and they sell Butyrate pretty cheap. Would that qualify as potato starch. Before I started Enbrel I was and still on Sulfasalazine and plaquenil. I am supposed to f/u with Rheumatologist in a month to see how Enbrel is working and possibly to be taken off the Sulfa and Plaquenil. What I am worried is because I was approved for a year only of Enbrel, so hoping very much that the potato starch will work. Scott007 would taking Butyrate be beneficial? What do you think. I value your opinion. Thank you,Constant pain

Posted By : Scott007 - 9/10/2017 1:25 PM
Hi Constant pain,

Very good question! First, I was not even aware that butyrate was sold as a supplement. So, I went onto Amazon to see this product. I found "BodyBio Sodium Butyrate" and I assume that it is this one or something quite similar.

I would NOT recommend this product or any similar product. The butyrate needs to be released in the colon. The product sold on Amazon does not indicate that it is specially formulated for release in the colon (i.e., large intestine). Butyrate occurs naturally in butter (ca. 4%), but it never makes it to the colon. It is absorbed fairly quickly in the small intestine via a mechanism called "transcellular absorption". In the paper cited at the top of this thread, they have a special coating on the tablet which prevents dissolution until it reaches the colon.

Potato starch does not contain butyrate. The butyrate is the product of bacterial fermentation of the potato starch in the colon. So, the butyrate is generated precisely where it is needed most. There are 2 other "short chain fatty acids" generated in the fermentation of potato starch as well - acetic acid and propionic acid. Butyrate gets the most press, but the scientific literature has indicated a beneficial role for the acetate and propionate as well.

So, potato starch is the best option. Just make sure that you are taking enough. The colon is 3 meters long and contains about 100 trillion bacteria. If you do not take enough, the bacteria in the distal colon may not get fed if the bacteria in the first 2 meters consume everything. This is likely the reason why virtually all colon cancers occur in the distal colon. I take about 2/3 cup (ca. 140 grams) suspended in water every day. On some days when I feel ambitious, I take it twice (280 grams). Any excess just gets excreted in your feces.

It is great that you are feeling better now compared to 3 months ago. Enbrel by itself will improve your condition, but I suspect that the potato starch is also making a contribution. I personally feel that it is a crime that they are limiting your Enbrel prescription to one year. I was always fearful during my 12 years on Enbrel that they would one day tell me that it is no longer financially feasible. Fortunately, the potato starch has restored me back to perfect health. It took one year - so do not give up on the potato starch. I wish you well.

Posted By : pedidiva - 9/17/2017 9:11 AM
HI Scott

If one is following a ketogenic diet and produces beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB), is the BHB converted to butyrate?



Posted By : Scott007 - 9/17/2017 12:51 PM
Hi Pedi,

No, BHB is not converted to butyrate. In a ketogenic state, your body is starved of glucose. Under these conditions, the liver synthesizes BHB as a fuel for the brain, which vacuums up nearly all of it.

A good review of BHB can be found here:

A big problem with a ketogenic diet is the lack of resistant starch (RS). The colon needs butyrate as its primary fuel to function properly. It is so important that colonic cells actually have transporters for the butyrate that is generated from bacterial fermentation of RS in the colon:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, butyrate tablets (without being specially formulated to resist dissolution until reaching the colon) taken as a supplement do not provide much benefit to the colon. The colon needs a high concentration of butyrate and it needs to be delivered on the inside of the colon where the transporters are found.

Posted By : pedidiva - 9/18/2017 11:08 AM
Thanks, Scott. I will read the articles.

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