The Role of Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) in Your Gut
Did you know there are types of fats that your body can actually make itself? Short-chain fatty acids fall into the latter category and according to experts, they have huge potential benefits for everyone’s favourite wellness topic: Gut Health.
What are Short-Chain Fatty Acids?
Wondering what a fatty acid is? The concept is pretty simple. Fatty acids are, in short, the building blocks of fats. When we eat food that contains fat, the digestive process breaks it down into these fatty acids, which help them get absorbed and used in the body. “Short-chain fatty acids are unique because we don’t directly get them from food. They are produced by the bacteria in our gut. This important process actually happens in the large intestine, and plays a large role in promoting our overall health.
The bacteria in your gut break down indigestible fibres and resistant starches through fermentation, and short-chain fatty acids are the byproduct of this natural process. The three main short-chain fatty acids also referred to as postbiotics, made in the gut are butyrate, acetate, and propionate. After they are produced, these fatty acids are absorbed by cells in the gut where they are either metabolized or sent into circulation to provide energy to liver cells. Once absorbed, these powerful compounds offer a range of health benefits.
How Short-Chain Fatty Acids Boost Gut Health
Prebiotics are the fibres that probiotics (good gut bacteria) and postbiotics are the byproducts of that. These postbiotics, also known as short-chain fatty acids, provide energy to the colon cells to help them function properly and also assist in the metabolization of important nutrients like carbs and other fats.
Because of their role in maintaining intestinal health, the benefits of short-chain fatty acids in your gut include everything from reducing inflammation in your intestines (which can help reduce the risk of a leaky gut) to regulating immune function.
Thanks to the gut-brain connection, short-chain fatty acids also help promote brain health and cognitive functioning. Fatty acids may influence neurological and behavioural processes and may also play a role in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. The basic premise underlying this idea is that a shortage of short-chain fatty acids leads to inflammation that could contribute to the development of chronic mental health disorders.
How Can We Increase the Amount of SCFAs in Our Bodies?
Since this form of fatty acid is a byproduct of the digestive of fibre-rich foods, one way to increase the amount in your gut is to eat more plant-based food. But the surest way to get in all that gut-boosting fibre is to increase the production of SCFAs it is highly recommended to switch to microbiome-based supplements.
The Good Vitamin Company offers high-quality microbiome-based supplements that are backed by science and carefully tested to keep your mitochondrial health in check. If you wish to order them and read more about our products, please visit our website.