What is Butyrate? High and low values | Lab results explained

Butyric Acid has been shown to enhance adaptive thermogenesis and fatty acid oxidation (burning of fat). It has also been shown to improve mitochondrial function, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce fat production. Butyrate may assist treating and preventing diet induced insulin resistance by promoting energy production and enhancing mitochondrial function.


This marker shows the percentage of n-Butyrate of the Total Short Chain Fatty Acids

Fiber eaten in the diet may be broken down or simply passes through the intestinal tract. Some fibers that are not absorbed in the body are fermented and create short chain fatty acids (SCFA). 

Butyrate is one of the short-chain fatty acids produced by the anaerobic bacteria that live in the intestines. It has several functions in the body:

– Provides up to 30% of the energy needed for the cells in the colon

– Prevents diarrhea

– Improves blood circulation in the colon

– Controls inflammation in the GI tract

– Helps the colon with barrier reinforcement and repair

– Provides an environment in the colon conducive to “good” bacteria to grow and reproduce, instead of “bad” bacteria (pathogens that cause disease)

– Reduces ammonia levels from the intestine

– Contributes to the reduction of colon cancer by inhibiting the formation of secondary bile acids and reducing DNA damage in the colon cells

– Protects the colon from developing ulcerative colitis


Low levels of N-butyrate are associated with:

– Low dietary fiber intake

– Low consumption of pre- and probiotic foods in the diet (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria probiotics help the process of creating more SCFA.

– Use of antibiotics for long periods of time

– Deficiency of beneficial bacteria in the gut

– Low stomach acid


This marker shows the percentage of n-Butyrate of the Total Short Chain Fatty Acids. If the total of SCFA is low, this percentage can be high even though the actual n-Butyrate concentration is still in the low range. Please look at the overall SCFA levels as that issue needs to be adressed. 

High levels of N-butyrate are associated with:

– Malabsorption

– Rapid transit time of food through the intestinal tract

– Small bowel bacterial overgrowth

– Impaired transport of n-butyrate into cells

– Bacterial fermentation of blood in the colon


Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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