ButyrEn is an enteric-coated, extended shelf-life formulation of the calcium and magnesium salts of butyric acid, designed specifically for delayed release in the gastrointestinal tract. Butyric acid is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by certain probiotic bacteria and appears to support mucosal integrity. Butyric acid may support the integrity of the colonic mucosa by acting as a primary fuel for the colonic epithelium (colonocytes). Butyric acid (butyrate when in salt form) is an important SCFA for this reason.
Colon health is directly related to the metabolic processes occurring in the gut, which itself is directly related to diet. In this way, it can be said that the food we eat, which will in part determine the health of the colon, is a way to communicate with our environment. But how does our food communicate with our environment? It does so because when we take food into our mouths, it begins a process of transformation as it moves through the stomach, then the intestines and the waste part goes out again into the environment. During this trip, the food becomes changed in structure or digested. The digested nutrients are free to be absorbed by the circulatory system and delivered to the necessary sites. Upon delivery of the nutrients, the cells receive a message and then the cells create a reaction, the type of reaction depending on the nutrient involved.
Butyrate is created when colonocytes act metabolically on undigested fiber in the colon. This fiber can be considered a prebiotic agent. Prebiotics escape enzymatic digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and enter the large intestines unchanged. Instead of being excreted in the stool, these substances are fermented by colonic flora to yield SCFAs such as butyrate. The SCFAs, in turn, will stimulate the bifidobacterium in the large intestine, which may yield health benefits such as boosting the intestinal immune response, producing vitamins and enzymes, producing organic acids that support normal intestinal pH, and supporting the structure and functional integrity of the epithelial lining in numerous ways.
The ability of colonocytes to utilize butyrate can contribute to a healthy condition of the colon or bowel. Butyrate is absorbed by the colonocytes in the proximal colon via passive diffusion and by active transport mechanisms. The mucosal metabolic fluxes of both butyrate and glutamine (a conditionally essential amino acid) have been shown to be connected to several aspects of intestinal health, including healthy intestinal immune response.