Short chain fatty acids are essential to our gut health and our overall health... but what are they, where do they come from, and what do they do?
Simply put a short chain fatty acid is: a fatty acid chain with 6 or less carbon atoms.
They are created by the good bacteria in the gut from the dietary fibers we eat.
Essentially, the good bacteria are using fiber as fuel and in turn creating short chain fatty acid through a fermentation process. Our body then uses these short chain fatty acids for multiple different functions.
The most common short chain fatty acids are Acetate (C2), Propionate(C3), and Butyrate (C4).
Each different fatty acid has been shown to have a positive effect on things in our gut and our overall health.
One of their core functionalities of SCFAs is to provide energy for the cells inside of the colon. In other words, SCFAs are actually used to strengthen the protective mucus layer in the gut. This is veryyy important when it comes to preventing our colons from experiencing leaky gut. Leaky gut can lead to an entire slew of inflammatory issues in the body so, its essential that we keep our body flowing with a healthy amount of SCFA in order to keep our protective lining strong and in tact!
The power of these guys doesn't stop there!! SCFA have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, and play a crucial role in our immune system. This is what allows our body to fight against cancer causing molecules that would otherwise be reaching havoc in our bodies. How crazy is that!!
Another key functionality of short chain fatty acids involves how food is metabolized and stored. Recent studies have been shown that SCFAs actually help with the process of metabolization and are extremely important in preventing against obesity and disease.
This is just an extremely brief overview that is just scratching the surface of just how crazy important these guys are to our health.
As more and more science is being found to support the evidence towards the powerful effects of SCFAs, it is safe to say that these tiny molecules are extremely important to our overall health and wellbeing.
And since the production of these SFCAs is highly impacted by our diet, many scientist are believing that improving our plant food fiber intake can be the number one way of upping our gut health and getting more short chain fatty acids into our system.
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