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Short Chain Fatty Acids: Little Known Fats That Protect Your Whole Body
Tap into the tiny secrets of vibrant health...
You probably haven’t heard much about short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), but they’re as important to your health as their better known cousins, omega-3 fatty acids.
SCFAs play a key role keeping your body healthy, balancing your immune system, and fighting off disease. In fact, you can’t be truly healthy without them!
Luckily, you have access to a nearly unlimited supply of SCFAs, thanks to the trillions of beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome.
There’s a catch to that unlimited supply, however...you need the perfect combination of both good bacteria (probiotics), and food for the good bacteria (prebiotics), to get enough SCFAs.
What SCFAs Do For You
Short-chain fatty acids are major players in some of your most important bodily functions. They...
- keep your immune system balanced so it doesn’t overreact (like in autoimmune diseases and allergies) or underreact (so you get and stay sick all the time).
- keep inflammation in check, help regulate your metabolism, fight pathogens, and even seem to keep tumors from forming. (read more on that)
- reduce cholesterol levels and excess cholesterol production in your liver, which can lower your risk for developing hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), a major driver of deadly heart disease (read more)
- improve blood sugar balance, boost insulin sensitivity and increase metabolism, which helps protect against diabetes and obesity (read more)
On the local level (meaning right inside your gut), SCFAs work even more magic. They supply the vast majority of energy to cells that line your colon, and play an enormous part in keeping your gut healthy and strong.
SCFAs also help regulate gut barrier function, helping to keep pathogens and toxins from escaping, while allowing essential nutrients to get where they need to go. (read more on that here).
And because SCFAs reduce inflammation, they can decrease symptoms in inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. (read the research)
Your Body Without SCFAs
Without SCFAs, you’ll be especially vulnerable to some of the most dreaded diseases, such as...
- Colon cancer (research)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (research)
- Diabetes (research)
- Obesity (research)
- Heart disease (research)
- Alzheimer’s disease (research)
BUT! A body with plenty of SCFAs can lower the risk of these diseases and enjoy an abundant, vibrant, healthier life.
Meet the Big Three
There are many different types of SCFAs, but your body mainly uses these three:
All three of these essential SCFAs provide several common health benefits, like anti-inflammatory powers, but they each also have individual powers...
- Acetate is the most plentiful SCFA found in the colon, and it’s crucial for colon health. It’s also used to produce additional butyrate when needed.
- Butyrate helps manage the creation of special immune system cells (T-cells) that help your body tell the difference between itself and invaders, an important factor in autoimmune disorders. It also helps shore up the gut barrier to prevent leaky gut.
- Propionate helps your liver produce glucose when needed to help keep your blood sugar steady.
Your body needs plenty of these SCFAs to keep you healthy. And when you don’t have enough, you’ll notice it in your gut first.
How to Increase Your SCFAs
There is such a thing as SCFA supplements, but they may not work the way you want them to. That's because SCFAs do their best work in the colon, and SCFA supplements mostly get absorbed before they even get to the colon.
The best way to increase your SCFAs is to take a daily prebiotic and probiotic. Why is that the best way?
Because SCFAs are created when certain probiotics in your gut transform (ferment) the prebiotic fiber that exists there. From there, the amount and type of SCFAs that get produced depends on a few different factors, including:
- Whether your gut microbiome is in healthy balance, meaning good (probiotic) bacteria outnumber bad (pathogenic) bacteria
- Which good bacteria (probiotics) are present in your microbiome
- How many SCFA-producing bacteria there are
- What specific prebiotic you take to selectively feed the good bacteria
So, for example, if you have dysbiosis (a condition bad bacteria outnumber probiotics in your microbiome), your body won’t produce enough SCFAs. To keep SCFA production going at a healthy pace, you need to make sure that the probiotic population in your gut thrives by taking a daily spore probiotic.
If your microbiome is in good balance (because you've been taking a daiy spore probiotic), but it doesn’t get the right prebiotic fiber, your body can’t produce the variety of SCFAs it needs. You want to make sure that the SCFA-producing probiotics in your body get their favorite “foods” (prebiotics) to be balanced and to produce a healthy amount of SCFAs.
Fuel Your SCFA Factory
Your body needs two things to create plenty of essential short-chain fatty acids: a healthy, balanced gut microbiome and plenty of the right prebiotic fiber.
Just Thrive Probiotic is a spore probiotic formulation that works to recondition and rebalance your gut microbiome. The four clinically proven strains of spore probiotics in Just Thrive Probiotic quickly help to fight off pathogens and bad bacteria, setting the stage for a wide variety of SCFA-producing beneficial bacteria to flourish.
Adding to your daily dose of spore probiotics is a second foundational supplement called Just Thrive Precision PREbiotic. It contains an exclusive blend of oligosaccharides that specifically feeds the SCFA-producing bacteria in your gut.