“Postbiotics”—a new frontier in gut health
Contributors to gut health can be divided into three categories: prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic. Prebiotics are fibers the human body cannot digest, for example, the “resistant starch” found in unripe bananas. Because these fibers are not digested by enzymes in the small intestine, they arrive intact in the colon, where they serve as food for the beneficial bacteria—the “gut flora”—known as probiotics. “Postbiotics” is a new term for the compounds produced by these beneficial colonic bacteria as a result of them breaking down the fibers via fermentation. One of these compounds is butyrate, a special kind of fat that occurs naturally in dairy fats, like butter and cheese, as well as in some fermented vegetables. While the butyrate present in foods is primarily metabolized in the stomach and small intestine, the butyrate in Tri-Butyrin Supreme™ withstands degradation in the upper GI tract and arrives in the colon, where its effects are targeted.
It is widely recognized that diets high in fiber support overall health and are especially beneficial for digestive/gut health. The fiber, itself, may be required for some of the noted health effects of fiber-rich diets, but postbiotic compounds—butyrate, in particular—may be crucial factors for healthy gut function. In fact, some of the positive aspects of fiber in the diet may actually be driven by the activity of butyrate, rather than the fiber itself.
Spotlight on butyrate
Butyrate has several interesting properties that make it potentially helpful for those living with suboptimal gut function. One such property is that it supports the physical structure of the colon by helping the cells that make up the intestinal lining adhere together properly. (You may have heard the term “leaky gut,” which refers to these cells being farther apart than normal, which may compromise the integrity of the gut.) The gut is one of the body’s first lines of defense against harmful compounds, so it is a primary player in the immune system. By supporting the gut lining, butyrate contributes to healthy immune function. Additionally, butyrate helps promote regularity, which may aid those with occasional constipation. This intriguing compound also supports a healthy inflammatory response in the gut and serves as the primary fuel source for colonic cells.*
Recommended Use: Take one softgel per day, or as directed by your health care practitioner.