Did you know the primary fuel for the gut cells lining your intestines is a short chain fatty acid called Butyrate?
Butyrate is also called Butyric acid and without it, your gut lining goes from a selective sieve to a leaky colander.
It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory both locally in the gut and systemically.
So where do we get our butyrate from?
Well, it’s the beautiful symbiotic relationship built over millions of years with 100 trillion dudes hanging in our gut.
We feed then prebiotics and they make butyrate.
Butyrate fuels the gut lining cells, so they make mucin, which forms the mucous lining of our guts.
This protects our gut cells from the outside world and incoming bad bacteria, toxins and partially digested foods.
No good bugs = no butyrate = unhealthy gut cell lining = poor mucous = leaky gut.
And leaky gut means inflammation and pain through the body.
In the extreme, it’s fibromyalgia, in the lower end spectrum they have regional symptoms which look like “normal” neuromechanical issues and then fail to respond in the way you expect.
A bit better but still achy and stiff.
The best source of butyrate in foods?
Grass fed, delicious fatty butter.
Best butter out there?
This delicious beast, unpasteurised grass fed, available from some Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
Failing that, Kerrygold is grass fed but not unpasteurised.
Best way to ruin your gut micro-environment & upset your gut microbiome?
Well, you are spoilt for choice here but anti-biotics are superb at killing bacteria but it’s indiscriminate.
Proton pump inhibitors are pretty awesome too (that’s why I hate seeing babies on PPI’s, it sets them up for long term immune health issues).
Chemotherapy – it’s not just the chemo that makes them tired per se, it kills off a lot of B vitamin making friends in your colon.
But any diet that is very restrictive in the LONG TERM.
Did you get that?
I’ll say it again because food/diet is like a new religion, it’s getting seriously tribal out there & we are losing nuance in the “debates”.
There is no one diet fits all for health, understand?
ANY DIET THAT RESTRICTS FOODS IN THE LONG TERM (without good bespoke metabolic reason) IS LIKELY TO UPSET YOUR GUT MICRO-ENIRONMENT.
You end up selectively feeding some bacteria and not others which means a reduction in diversity.
Doing any diet/lifestyle which is restrictive long term is hard because we are mostly creatures of habit.
So once you make the effort to change it, you then run on habits.
Which means you eat the same thing again and again and again, it’s very easily done.
And if you are already very restricted because your new “religion” says food XYZ is bad, then you are drawing from a small pool and it’s only going to get smaller.
Action to take today:
Diversity is key, aim for 30 plant foods a week of different types and varieties.
Grab some grass fed butter (as long as you’re OK with dairy).
Boil some white rice and white potatoes, let those suckers cool the flip down, then eat them – resistant starch, you can’t digest it but your bacteria can.
If you patients gut is really inflamed try a butyrate supplement, they can work wonder for IBS, IBD (Crohn’s/ulcerative colitis).
And as always don’t waste those valuable adjustments,