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Butyrate for ammonia and/or leaky gut

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In reviewing my own 23andMe results this week, I found I have a CBS +/- mutation, making me at high risk for ammonia issues, heart disease, and depletion of BH4, which is essential to neurotransmitter synthesis. Yasko recommends Yucca to absorb ammonia but a FB user posted that Yucca is an estrogen enhancer, which is the last thing I need as I approach the big M. Someone else suggested Butyrate as an effective ammonia binder. I found the following info:


From Wiki

Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the mammalian colon (colonocytes). Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die.[1] Short-chain fatty acids, which include butyrate, are produced by beneficial colonic bacteria (probiotics) that feed on, or ferment prebiotics, which are plant products that contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. These short-chain fatty acids benefit the colonocyte by increasing energy production,and cell proliferation and may protect against colon cancer.[2]

Butyrate is a major metabolite in colonic lumen arising from bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber and has been shown to be a critical mediator of the colonic inflammatory response. Butyrate possesses both preventive and therapeutic potential to counteract inflammation-mediated ulcerative colitis (UC) and colorectal cancer. One mechanism underlying butyrate function in suppression of colonic inflammation is inhibition of the IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling pathways at least partially through acting as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. While transient IFN-γ signaling is generally associated with normal host immune response, chronic IFN-γ signaling is often associated with chronic inflammation. It has been shown that Butyrate inhibits activity of HDAC1 that is bound to the Fas gene promoter in T cells, resulting in hyperacetylation of the Fas promoter and up-regulation of Fas receptor on the T cell surface.[3]It is thus suggested that Butyrate enhances apoptosis of T cells in the colonic tissue and thereby eliminates the source of inflammation (IFN-γ production).[4]


From here: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/butyric-acid-ancient-controller-of.html

Butyrate increased energy expenditure by increasing body heat production and modestly increasing physical activity. It also massively increased the function of their mitochondria, the tiny power plants of the cell....

it turns out, butyrate has been around in the mammalian gut for so long that the lining of our large intestine has evolved to use it as its primary source of energy. It does more than just feed the bowel, however. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. So much so, that investigators are using oral butyrate supplements and butyrate enemas to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Investigators are also suggesting that inflammatory bowel disorders may be caused or exacerbated by a deficiency of butyrate in the first place.

Butyrate, and other short-chain fatty acids produced by gut bacteria**, has a remarkable effect on intestinal permeability. In tissue culture and live rats, short-chain fatty acids cause a large and rapid decrease in intestinal permeability. Butyrate, or dietary fiber, prevents the loss of intestinal premeability in rat models of ulcerative colitis. This shows that short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, play an important role in the maintenance of gut barrier integrity. Impaired gut barrier integrity is associated with many diseases, including fatty liver, heart failure and autoimmune diseases. Butyrate's role doesn't end in the gut. It's absorbed into the circulation, and may exert effects on the rest of the body as well. In human blood immune cells, butyrate is potently anti-inflammatory***.


And here: http://lauraslymerecovery.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/lyme-disease-nutrient-spotlight-butyrate/

More recent research suggests that Butyrate quells the storm of cytokines that causes inflammation in the brain leading to scarring and cell death. By doing so, it is thought that chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, ALS, and others may be slowed or even reversed. In fact, preliminary evidence suggests this is so when this nutrient is given in conjunction with others.


Butyrate also helps clean the liver, the gall bladder, and biliary tree in the liver. It also helps clean the bowel, helps control ammonia, and removes unwanted “renegade fats”…


and finally: http://www.ei-resource.org/articles/general-environmental-health-articles/the-detoxx-system:-detoxification-of-biotoxins-in-chronic-neurotoxic-syndromes/ (this is a good article for those struggling with detox and/or mold but a little technical)

The oral use of butyrate, a short 4-carbon chain fatty acid, is of striking benefit (Fusunyan et al 1998, Segain et al 1983, Yin et al 2001) in mobilizing renegade fats, lowering TNFalpha, sequestering ammonia, and clearing biotoxins.


So it's beyond me why it took 4+ years for this to come across my radar. But it seems promising. Anyone have any experience to share?


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Grassfed ghee is a great source of butyrate! I buy it here:




It's a lot cheaper than making your own from grassfed organic butter ($$$).


Another reason to eat fermented vegetables as well. It's easy:



You just have to get past the idea that all food has to be sterilized and kept in the refridgerator.


Just be careful if you have a histamine intolerance (perhaps linked to SIBO - small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) as fermented food contains a lot of histamines:





Edited by rowingmom
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Thanks! Also just read that butyrate is a high sulfur, so now I'm confused because CBS folks are supposed to avoid sulfurs.


So I'm also looking into l-carnitine. Can anyone share info on that?

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butyrate a different action of sulfur...what is your take.


Other research supporting these finding has shown that increasing reduced-sulphur compounds causes a reversibleinhibition of butyrate oxidation. Butyrate acid, a shot chain fatty acid, is also a product of colon fermentation, but unlike hydrogen sulphide, is vital in providing up to 70% of the energy metabolism required by the cells lining the large bowel (the small bowel uses different energy sources). Studies indicate that butyrate oxidation is impaired in the biopsies of cells lining the colon of ulcerative colitis patients.

There have been a number of clinical trials using topical short chain fatty acids, especially butyrate, in distal ulcerative colitis in order to overcome this deficiency of butyrate in the colon. The data in this area has shown some promise and supports the ideas of impaired short chain fatty acids metabolism by the presence of high levels of sulphur amino acids.




any thoughts on this...Citrulline...but says it's found in meat?


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