Review article: the role of butyrate on colonic function
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 104–119, January 2008
How to Cite
HAMER, H. M., JONKERS, D., VENEMA, K., VANHOUTVIN, S., TROOST, F. J. and BRUMMER, R.-J. (2008), Review article: the role of butyrate on colonic function. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 27: 104–119. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2007.03562.x
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
- Publication data Submitted 11 July 2007 First decision 21 July 2007 Resubmitted 5 October 2007 Second decision 12 October 2007 Accepted 22 October 2007
Background Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, is a main end-product of intestinal microbial fermentation of mainly dietary fibre. Butyrate is an important energy source for intestinal epithelial cells and plays a role in the maintenance of colonic homeostasis.
Aim To provide an overview on the present knowledge of the bioactivity of butyrate, emphasizing effects and possible mechanisms of action in relation to human colonic function.
Methods A PubMed search was performed to select relevant publications using the search terms: ‘butyrate, short-chain fatty acid, fibre, colon, inflammation, carcinogenesis, barrier, oxidative stress, permeability and satiety’.
Results Butyrate exerts potent effects on a variety of colonic mucosal functions such as inhibition of inflammation and carcinogenesis, reinforcing various components of the colonic defence barrier and decreasing oxidative stress. In addition, butyrate may promote satiety. Two important mechanisms include the inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B activation and histone deacetylation. However, the observed effects of butyrate largely depend on concentrations and models used and human data are still limited.
Conclusion Although most studies point towards beneficial effects of butyrate, more human in vivo studies are needed to contribute to our current understanding of butyrate-mediated effects on colonic function in health and disease.