What is butyrate? Wikipedia says:
Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the mammalian colon (colonocytes). Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die. Short-chain fatty acids, which include butyrate, are produced by beneficial colonic bacteria (probiotics) that feed on, or ferment prebiotics, which are plant products that contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. These short-chain fatty acids benefit the colonocyte by increasing energy production,and cell proliferation and may protect against colon cancer.
A recent paper from Gut Microbiota For Health called: “A decrease of the butyrate-producing species Roseburia hominis and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii defines dysbiosis in patients with ulcerative colitis.” describes how patients suffering from Ulcerative Colitis are deficient in two species of commensal (helpful) bacteria that produce a compound called butyrate in the process of fermenting resistant fibres in the diet (this means fibres hard to digest, previously thought of as indigestible fibre).
Here is the abstract from the paper:
Objective Bacteria play an important role in the onset and perpetuation of intestinal inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Unlike in Crohn’s disease (CD), in which dysbiosis has been better characterised, in ulcerative colitis (UC), only small cohorts have been studied and showed conflicting data. Therefore, we evaluated in a large cohort if the microbial signature described in CD is also present in UC, and if we could characterise predominant dysbiosis in UC. To assess the functional impact of dysbiosis, we quantified the bacterial metabolites.
What this means in simple terms is that these findings suggest that people with UC and CD are missing some of the full spectrum of health gut flora, in particular, the butyrate-producing bacteria, and butyrate is a natural anti-inflammatory. So it is not leap of logic to see that with an absence of these bacteria, a person is susceptible or prone to developing an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Here is the conclusion:
Conclusions The composition of the fecal microbiota of UC patients differs from that of healthy individuals: we found a reduction in R hominis and F prausnitzii, both well-known butyrate-producing bacteria of the Firmicutes phylum. These results underscore the importance of dysbiosis in IBD but suggest that different bacterial species contribute to the pathogenesis of UC and CD.
How does this translate into useful treatment for UC and CD?
R hominis and F prausnitzii are commensal bacteria found in the gut of healthy people.
Can you buy these two bacteria in a health food shop? No.
Do Pharmaceutical companies produce these two bacteria? No.
Are they present in FMT implants from healthy, tested donors ? Yes.