Category Archives: SCD

Vodka On My Counter

Vodka for homemade vanilla

I keep a vodka bottle on the counter, right next to the wooden spoon and spatula holder.  Sip a little.  Stir a little.  Sip a little. Stir…

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

All you’ll need:  Vanilla Beans and Vodka.

Buy vanilla beans when you see them.  You can research all the fancy kinds of beans if you want and really belabor the process, I suppose.  I just spotted some once and snagged them up as an impetus to make myself get the job done.  My package contained about 6 beans (1 ounce) for about $6.  You need 6 beans for 1 cup of vanilla.  Twelve for two cups.  And so on.  You can find vanilla beans for less than this.  Just keep your eye out and snatch them up when you see them reasonably priced.  A fair price seems to be about $4-6 dollars an ounce.

Buy a bottle of vodka.  Vodka is usually used because it apparently has no flavor of its own to tamper with the vanilla flavor.  You can be fancy if you want, but I read that most of us won’t know the difference between vanilla made in cheap vodka or vanilla made in expensive vodka.  Look for potato or corn vodka if you react to low levels of gluten, although the distillation process should remove all traces of protein (Gluten-Free Vodka List).  And remember, it takes 6 beans (1 ounce) for 1 cup, 12 beans (2 ounces) for two cups, and so on.  So my bottle of vodka is about 3 cups (750 mL), and to make vanilla extract according to law, I would need about 18 beans (3 ounces).

Place beans in bottle of vodka.  On a cutting board, slit the beans lengthwise with a knife if you want.  Scrape up the insides if you want.  Chop them up into little pieces if you want.  Some people do not do anything except just drop them in!  Mine got slit in half and dropped in the bottle.  No chopping.  No scraping.  Do make sure your beans are completely submerged in alcohol to prevent mold; we don’t want “pure moldy bean vanilla.”  (Alternatively, you may transfer some vodka to a glass jar and make vanilla in a glass jar if you don’t have enough beans to do the whole bottle of vodka.)

Close bottle and shake well.  Store in a kitchen cupboard for about 6-8 weeks, shaking occasionally to mix up the flavors.  The longer it sits, the richer the flavor.  Some say up to 6 months.  I smelled mine every week or so.  It just smells so good!  I use it just like normal vanilla.  You can decant it if you want and put it in a cute bottle or something.  Right now, I have so much, I can just pour off the top without difficulty.  And leave it in the vodka bottle sitting on the counter within easy reach.

Cost:  McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract costs about two dollars an ounce.  My vanilla cost about a one dollar per ounce.

(Thank you to my second sister for being the force behind my bottle of vanilla.)

making vanillaClosing

I’ve kept the instructions basic.  If you are a die-hard perfectionist, you really should look up elsewhere all the finer details.  But my vanilla smells and tastes great!  (Sip a little.  Stir a little.)

Just a bit of encouragement to eat real food.  My husband knocked off 30 pounds AND his daily reflux (GERD) medicine.  My child eliminated dependence on Miralax.  All of my children got off of 2-3 prescription allergy medicines apiece.  Yes.  We did have to take out a lot of allergenic food initially, but now we have experimented a bit and see we can allow them to have treat meals or snacks without setbacks.  I am so proud of my family for sticking with me through this!  What we learned will have implications for them the rest of their lives.  What they learned at ages 10, 8, and 5, I had to learn in my fourth decade of life.

YOU, TOO, CAN DO THIS!  I wish you would.  (I’m talking real food here.  The vanilla is just a bonus idea.)

Identify the barriers and be a conqueror.

~~Terri

Meat Pizza

Every last bit gobbled up by every single adult and kid in the house!  The “crust” is ground beef topped with the most honest versions that I can find of all my favorites.  I do okay except for the hot banana peppers which I just cannot find without yellow food dye, despite an internet search.  I use salami for pepperoni and just look for the salami with the least ingredients.

wpid-IMAG1906.jpgMeat Pizza

Crust:

2 pounds ground beef
Your choice of herbs to mix into the ground beef crust: parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic

Your choice of toppings.  Toppings I use include:
Tomato sauce (season as desired)
Chopped onion
Chopped bell pepper
Chopped mushrooms
Chopped ham ( we use prosciutto that has no preservatives)
Chopped bacon
Sliced salami
Sliced black olives
Chopped green olives
Hot banana peppers
Chopped fresh spinach
Cheese (shred your own so you don’t get all the starch and other junk they add to shredded cheese to keep it from sticking to itself)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crust:  Mix ground beef with your choice of herbs; I used about 1 tsp of each listed, although I used one large pressed garlic clove rather than garlic powder. Mix well with hands.  In a jelly roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet, spread out the ground beef mixture until it almost comes to the edge of the pan, more or less depending on how thick you want your meat crust.  We have made crusts that are really thin and some not so thin.

Preparation:  Top your “crust” as desired, starting with the tomato sauce.  If I do add cheese for the kids, I don’t add it until about half-way done with the baking process–that way it doesn’t overbrown.

Bake:   Bake for about 30 minutes. About midway through the baking process or more, drain the juices off and then put back in the oven to finish baking.  Add on the cheese now if you want.wpid-IMAG1908.jpg

Family “gustar” report:  5/5 household members eat it all up.  It’s probably one of my favorites, too.  Pizza is my favorite food.  I miss it.

Closing:  All is well here in our family, and I hope there in yours, too.  Persist in choosing unadulterated food and food sources as much as you affordably and sanely can.  Persist in identifying food’s role in your life, your health, and your psychology.  For most of us, its role and effects are far greater than we ever realized.  ~~Terri

Review from an Amazon Sucker: Paleo Wraps

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..We tried Paleo Wraps.

Gonna’ see if I can get this brain braining again, (Thanks, Rachel at www.doilooksick.com for that nice colorful phrase.)  beginning with an unbiased, uncompensated, simple review of a new product we tried this morning. I stumbled across “Paleo Wraps” as I was purchasing coconut milk from Amazon the other day.  Amazon sucker I am.  That’s the phrase they use to reel you in, “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…”

What Are Paleo Wraps (Coconut Wraps)?

I wish they would have chosen another name.  Hypoallergenic Wraps.  One-Ingredient Wraps.  Simple Wraps.  “Don’t You Miss Wraps” Wraps.  “Look, I Have A Wrap, Too” Wraps.  “My Wrap’s Healthier Than Your Wrap” Wraps.

They are simply thin, papery wraps made out of coconut, coconut water, and coconut oil.  That’s it.  So they’re vegan.  They’re Paleo.  They’re real food for whoever eats real food.  All organic.  All GMO-free.

They measure about 8 inches by 8 inches, and they are thin.  Even thinner than a French crepe and not as pliable–but still pliable enough.  Maybe almost a little leathery?  They have a mild coconut flavor and a mild sweetness.  With the contents of our wrap, I liked it.

They have a total carbohydrate count of 6 grams, and a net carbohydrate count of 4 grams.  Seventy calories per wrap.  Five total fat grams with 4 grams of that being saturated.  One gram of protein.

Only seven wraps come in one package.  They cost $9.99 on Amazon.  Pretty pricey for that thin little wrap.  Luckily, they don’t spoil and can be kept for 9 months at room temperature.

How Did They Perform?

We used the wraps this morning for bacon and spinach wraps.  I was a bit disappointed to see that several of the wraps Gluten free wraphad broken across the top and began to fret that they wouldn’t roll but would instead crumble and break.  My fear was unfounded.  Despite their thinness, they rolled very nicely.  After loading in three slices of bacon, about 1/4 cup of raw spinach, some mayo, and some sliced cherry tomatoes, I rolled the wrap, making sure to start with the broken end.  The wrap rolled just fine and did not fall apart at all in the hands of my children.  They gave me smiles and a huge thumbs up.  Breakfast can be a challenging part of the day, and this made it simple and fun.

On the first wrap, because of my fear of “crumbling”, I nuked the wrap for 10 seconds.  The next wrap, I decided to not “nuke” it.  Heating the wrap made no difference whatsoever in the utility of the wrap, although I read you can fry them up and make them crisp for something like an egg roll.  Or top them and throw them in the oven to broil.  Or throw in a toaster oven.

My take on my wrap with bacon, spinach, and mustard:  “Gee.  It is nice to be eating with my hands again.  I feel so American when I eat with my hands.  Wow.  Nothing is falling out with each bite.  This is good.  Mmmm.  The texture of the wrap provides some resistance so my teeth know that something is there.  I like that.  And it’s not really chewy or soft or gooey or crunchy.  It’s just a nice bite through the wrap and I’m on my way.  There is a hint of sweetness that’s not so bad with my bacon and spinach.”  I ate through two of them, and then I stopped.  As with any bread product, I could have handled the whole pack.

Trying out Paleo WrapsWill I Buy These Again?

Yes.  I can see us using them about 2-4 times a year.  The kids really liked having a wrap.  If they cost less, I would use them much more frequently, I believe.  It would be nice to have them be no more than one dollar per wrap.  Also, if they were available on the store shelf rather than through mail-order.  I am a bit wary about ordering them again on-line because the top 1/8th of each of them was broken straight across.  Luckily, not down the middle or something!  That would have been grounds  for a return.  But I never return anything.  If it makes it into the walls of my house, it has a new home.  These would be great for school lunches.  These are not good for me because I want to eat them all.  Luckily, my husband was skipping breakfast or we would not have had enough to go around at about two per person.

Have you ever tried these?   How do you do with coconut products?  How do your kids do with coconut products?  Do you ever leave Amazon with more than your shopping list?

First Trimester Yucks

We have had a little surprise in our house that has brought me to my knees.  Probably I should say it has brought me to my couch.  For a couple of months.  Finding humor in the midst of discomfort brings some relief.

How long will this first trimester last?  One year.  Let me explain the math.  Anything that is miserable has to be multiplied by a factor of 4.  A trimester equals three months.  Three months multiplied by 4 is 12 long months.

Irritated one morning–before I even thought:  “WHY is this bathrobe making be look so frumpy?  It makes me look three months pregnant or something! “ Guess that would be because I was ONE month pregnant!  Size must get multiplied by a factor of three.  Later it will be 5 or 6.

I’m late.  Maybe I should check a test.  Nah.  Just my hormones.  Why waste money on a test that always comes back negative?  (Wait.  Wait.  Stop.  Where is that box with the “code”?  Is this kind of test positive with a plus sign–or positive with one line–or positive with two lines?  Oh, can’t they standardize these stupid sticks?)  Stupidity must get multiplied by a factor of 10-100.  MY stupidity, that is.

Gastric motility (how quickly the stomach empties its contents) slows down in pregnancy.  How much?  Just eat a cucumber.  One hour.  Two hours.  Three hours.  Four hours.  Five hours.  About 6 hours to empty the stomach by my calculations.  Typical stomachs dump their food out in about an hour.  Multiply by a factor of 6 for gastric emptying.  Probably best to skip the fermented cod liver oil for awhile.

I have no idea what my kids are doing around the house.  The other day one came up from the basement repeating, “One time, at band camp…”  What’s that supposed to mean?

Sleep definitely gets multiplied by a factor of about 2 to 2.5.  Up.  Take a shower.  Lay back down.  Put on clothes.  Lay back down.  Drag out Lara bars.  Lay back down.  Don’t get back up…

What’s unschooling?  I will definitely be looking into that philosophy.  They don’t need multiplication anyway.

Your deodorant is like a shotgun up my nose, please don’t hug me.  Your shampoo I can smell, and it is death by odor.  Please don’t snuggle me.  You stink.  Oh, by all means cook for me, but can you grill outside in the Alberta Clipper so the smell doesn’t linger in the house?   No.  I can’t go to church today.  Too much perfume.  Please.  Even the dishwasher smells bad.

You.  Man.  Go away.  Don’t you come near me.  I’ve heard you can get pregnant twice.  You can see I learned as much about sex education as I learned about saturated fat and gluten in medical school.  Yes, I really need my money back.

I wonder if working out would make me feel better.  Pedal.  Pedal.  Two revolutions.  Can’t do this.  Maybe the incline treadmill.  Nope.  Not that either.  I’m going to go stretch on this yoga mat (while I sleep).

I have done this five times in my life.  If you multiply (multiplication–again) three months by 5 months, that’s 15 months of my life feeling sick and doggy.  Women are clearly the stronger sex.  And sometimes, some of those first three months amount to only an angel in heaven.  But two days ago we had a heartbeat at 12 weeks, so we are statistically a lot closer to a beautiful blessing that I will have joy for once I quit feeling so badly.

photo (1)P.S.:   I wondered as I started this nutritional intervention path two years ago if it would have made any difference in pregnancy symptoms and issues.  I NEVER intended to personally check it out.  Ah, well.  Life is good if you change your expectations sometimes.  (Those Lifesavers I did not eat.  Strangely, their smell calmed my stomach.  I did eat them all the other pregnancies, and eating them never helped.  Smelling them did.  Yep.)   ~~Terri

Butyrate Series, Part 7

Introduction:

We have made it to butyrate supplements.

Diet-wise, I follow the GAPS diet with modifications resembling a Paleo Diet/Autoimmune Paleo Diet –with some low carb stints thrown in to try to achieve my health goals.  I don’t have any lofty goals of looking like a runway model or movie star.  I’m still a little young to be much scared about cancer.  I don’t hang out with a fitness crowd to bring out my competitive inner edge.  My labs and ideal body weight have always checked out ideal.

I started the GAPS diet for exceptionally severe, idiopathic constipation and tweaked it here and there based on my research.  The symptoms I have changed include headaches, chronic allergy symptoms, fatigue, dry eyes, strange premature hot flashes, and I could go on.  My gut improved, but I still thought it could work better.  Several months ago, I started following some leads on nerve regeneration in the gut, and they lead me to butyrate.  I decided I would try an oral butyrate supplement, despite the researchers all saying a delayed release product was probably necessary.  If, by some chance, oral butyrate helped me, I would then focus on tweaking my diet some more to obtain butyrate naturally through food.  I was amazed when oral butyrate worked for me, particularly as I didn’t even choose a sustained release formulation.  If I stopped butyrate, my symptoms returned.  When I resumed it, my symptoms resolved.  So I’ve been working to try to increase forms of fiber and resistant starch that I tolerate–I’ve defined these in previous butyrate posts.

Ways I see to increase butyrate:

1. Eat foods with butyrate (butyrate-containing foods), like high fat dairy products such as butter. (Part 4)
2. Eat foods that your bacteria can make butyrate from (butyrate-producing foods), like fiber and
resistant starch.

3. Take butyrate supplements.
4. Take butyrate producing probiotics and prebiotics.

A bit about butyrate production.

Aside from the pharmaceutical industry, butyric acid is also used in the manufacture of plastics, varnishes, disinfectants, perfumes, and cosmetics. (Butyric acid and butyrate are interchangeable terms for our conversation.)  The American Food and Drug Administration has even approved it as an additive to food, beverages, and flavorings in the form of tributyrin. (1)  You’ll see more on tributyrin below.  (Humorous:  I also found it is used in fish bait: Carp Fishing Pellets.  Nice.)

The organic structure of butyrate is simple. It is just four connected carbons saturated with hydrogens with a carboxylic acid on the end of the chain. The manufacture of butyric acid is mainly from chemical synthesis using crude oil extracts. Crude oil extracts provide cheap, readily available ingredients. Butyrate can be extracted from butter, but the process is reportedly more difficult and expensive. Another way to obtain butyrate is through bacterial fermentation (the way we naturally get it from resistant starch and fiber in our colons). Bacteria are given the appropriate matter, and they ferment it to make butyrate. The fermentation method interests manufacturers because of the growing interest in “natural” sources for foodstuff. (1)  Butyric acid itself is a bit corrosive, and in supplements it will be found as a salt form.

My concerns with oral butyrate supplementation–and supplements in general.

My concerns with oral butyrate supplements are not unique to butyrate; they are the same concerns I have with supplements in general. Butyrate seems to have a pretty good track record. I mean, as I mentioned above, it’s even approved by the FDA for flavorings. But any time I take a supplement I ask myself a battery of questions. Could there be impurities, such as heavy metals? What is the proper dose? Does the supplement contain the amount of active ingredient it says it does? What if people take enormous amounts? Should there be a concern with unopposed supplementation? (What I am thinking of here pertains to “ratios.” For example the ideal ratio of calcium to magnesium supplementation. Or the ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.) What are the side effects?

Butyrate seems pretty non-toxic as long as the manufacturer’s dosing guidelines are adhered to.  One study found that escalating doses in mice lead to kidney swelling– in humans the equivalent dose would be 7-8 grams in humans.  (2, 3)  To put it into perspective, the butyrate supplement I tried recommends a dose of up to 3.6 grams.  Another study specifically points out that in vitro, butyrate has positive effects until a certain point at which it has an opposite, detrimental effect:

“We conclude that the effect of butyrate on the intestinal barrier is paradoxical; i.e. whereas low concentrations of butyrate may be beneficial in promoting intestinal barrier function, excessive butyrate may induce severe intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis and disrupt intestinal barrier.” (4)

And finally, here is a nice toxicology report on butyric acid from the Environmental Protection Agency,  “Screening Information Data Sets” (SIDS). The report was accumulated for the SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting, referred to as the SIAM, in 2003.  It goes over just about anything you’d want to know about butyric acid, from its different uses to its stability in water to its effects on rats and their fetuses. For those interested in the toxicity profile as it at least relates to rats, scroll down a ways. It will talk about effects on male rats, female rats, pregnant rats, developing fetuses, chromosomes, etc. (5)

What are some commonly available butyrate supplements?

I Googled some supplements, and I will list those that I found. By listing them, I am not recommending any of them!  (Neither am I dis-recommending any of them.)  I’m simply listing in one spot just about all the supplements I could find and available consumer reviews.  If you think butyrate may be right for you, run it by your favorite healthcare provider. Maybe print off a couple of the studies I’ve linked to in my article and the EPA report above to help the provider understand toxicity, perhaps highlighting the sentences of interest to facilitate quick reading for them. I’m not in the situation to recommend anything, but I am happy to share my own personal experiences and research that I’ve come across.

Keep in mind the success of butyrate supplementation is going to vary from person to person. The pills will release their contents differently because of inter-individual differences in the pH of a person’s gut and transit time.  These supplements are salts, and the butyrate provided by these supplements will probably be absorbed very early in the GI tract, perhaps offering no benefit. There are other forms of butyrate used out there but not over the counter. I will mention them later.

P.S.:  Thank Amazon for the photos.  I didn’t realize the links came with photos.  Well, that saves you from my very bad drawings and “bubble-gum” photos.  (Sorry.  “Bubble-bum” is the word my dad used to describe the music I listened to as a kid.)   Rest assured this is still a hobby; I make no money from it.

BodyBio/E-Lyte Butyrate 600 mg (Calcium/magnesium complex): This one has five reviews you can read on Amazon. The reviews revolve around fibromyalgia, collagenous colitis, excess ammonia, and multiple food sensitivities.

http://www.amazon.com/BodyBio-E-Lyte-Butyrate-600-caps/dp/B0016NHCGA/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_1

BodyBio/E-Lyte 600 mg (Sodium Butyrate): This one also has five reviews on Amazon, around cancer, bipolar, substance addiction, and more nebulous issues. Quite interestingly enough, this also has medium chain triglycerides in it!

http://www.bodybio.com/main/products/sodiumbutyrate_qa.htm

http://www.amazon.com/BodyBio-E-Lyte-Sodium-Butyrate-caps/dp/B0058A9SF0/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_2

BodyBio/E-Lyte 500 mg (Sodium-Potassium Butyrate): One review regarding autism.

http://www.amazon.com/BodyBio-E-Lyte-Sodium-Potassium-Butyrate-Capsules/dp/B0058A9SRI/ref=pd_sim_hpc_2

Pharmax, Butyrate Complex: Three reviews. Constipation, yeast, and a nothing.

http://www.amazon.com/Pharmax-Butyrate-Complex-90-vcaps/dp/B0037V3WTA/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_3

Nutricology/ Allergy Research Group ButyrAid: 5 reviews. IBS, dysbiosis.

http://www.amazon.com/Nutricology-Butyraid-Tablets-100-Count/dp/B0014TDVXE/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_4

Cal-Mag Butyrate: 1 review. Leaky gut.

http://www.amazon.com/Ecological-Formulas-Cal-Mag-Butyrate-Capsules/dp/B003TV99EA/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_5

T.E.Neesby – Butyrex Cal/Mag, 600 mg, Micro encapsulated design: Two reviews. GI related and insomnia.

http://www.amazon.com/T-E-Neesby-Butyrex-Cal-Mag-capsules/dp/B00014G70C/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_9

http://www.jigsawhealth.com/supplements/butyrex

Butyren, Allergy Research (Nutricology): “ButyrEn, from Allergy Research Group, is an enteric-coated tablet of the calcium and magnesium salts of butyric acid, providing 815 mg of butyrate and 100 mg of both calcium and magnesium…the enteric coating is designed to provide delayed release in the intestinal tract.” Two reviews which don’t offer much.

http://www.amazon.com/Allergy-Research-Nutricology-Butyren-tablets/dp/B00014FOCY/ref=pd_sbs_hpc_11

BioCare Butyric acid complex (magnesium and calcium): No reviews.

http://www.biocare.co.uk/default.aspx?GroupGuid=29&ProductGuid=11890

Digestix: Two fair reviews.

http://www.pinnaclebio.com/products/digestix-%E2%80%93-calcium/magnesium-butyrate/

Forms of butyrate not available over the counter, per se:

Tributyrin:

In many butyrate research studies, tributyrin is used. Isn’t it fascinating that it is tributyrin which naturally occurs in butter? (6) Tributyrin serves as a delayed-release source of butyrate, and hence achieves more sustained plasma levels. It is made of a glycerol backbone with three butyrate molecules attached.  However, even still, it is absorbed before the colon:

“Oral tributyrin (glycerol tributyrate) is absorbed in the small intestine and at high doses increases free butyrate concentration in peripheral plasma for up to 4 h. However, the hepatic uptake of intestinal butyrate is known to be almost complete, suggesting that systemic delivery of butyrate to the colon would be limited.” (7)

Tributyrin has been used in many studies including, but in no way limited to, cancer studies, metabolic studies, and neurological disease studies.  Oncologists were hopeful that it could achieve the cancer-slowing benefits in vivo as is seen with butyrate in vitro; about 20% of cancer patients achieved long-term disease stabilization when receiving 200 mg/kg 3 times daily in a pilot trial. In diabetes and obesity, reports suggest tributyrin has the ability to suppress the induction of obesity and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-fat diet. Researchers speculate there may be an impact of tributyrin on the cognitive function of patients with early Alzheimer’s disease, although they express concerns:

“From the standpoint of practicality, however, it would be necessary to incorporate tributyrin into a functional food, as it would not be feasible to require the ingestion of many dozens of capsules daily.”  (3)

Phenylbutyrate:

Phenylbutyrate is an “orphan” drug used in rare conditions. What in the heck is an orphan drug?  An orphan drug is one that has been pushed through the typical drug approval process usually because the disease it treats is so rare. Phenylbutyrate has activity similar to butyrate (induction of apoptosis and histone acetylation) and is used for urea cycle disorders. I have listed it here as its actions seem similar to butyrate, and if one is exploring butyrate, they can also pursue study of phenylbutyrate. (8)

Butyrylated Starch:

Some studies have started using high amylase corn starch with butyrate attached.  You’ve seen high amylase corn starch mentioned in this series before when I discussed resistant starch. (7, 9)  Potentially, they’d like to consider adding butyrylated starches to food products to promote health.  (Darn it, folks.  Why do we keep letting ourselves be manipulated this way?  Instead of a cheap study looking at the safety or toxicity of raw potato to deliver resistant starch to the colon to bolster butyrate production and butyrate promoting bacteria, they’re coming up with more ways to modify your food source.  Why can’t we get it together?  When is enough enough?  Stop eating processed foods.  Even gluten-free ones.)

Enemas:

These may be helpful in ulcerative colitis. Research results are mixed.  The one formulation I found pre-prepared had been discontinued.  I read some forums, but I couldn’t really find any strong leads here.  It seems that to get these, you have to take your prescription to a pharmacy which compounds (makes) them specially for you. The smell and delivery mechanism are undesirable I read–not to mention the exposure time of the colon epithelium to butyrate will be brief.  If you have anything to leave in the comments regarding these, some Googlers may find it helpful in the future.

Conclusion:

Thanks for reading.  I’m sorry this has taken so long to prepare.  I hate that I pretty much came to a halt on a series.  I’m in my first trimester of pregnancy.  I’m not a very pleasant pregnant person.  Give me a baby.  Give me a kid.  Don’t give me pregnancy or a toddler.  (Joke.)

The next Butryate Series post will revolve around using probiotics to increase butyrate in the gut.  But I may have to write some “bubble-gum” posts in the meantime, if I can even type up anything at all.  I’m about shot.  Please point out typos and mis-information, please.  I appreciate it.  ~~Terri

Sources:  There are some interesting sources today.  Read and scrutinize carefully.

1.  Acetate adaptation of clostridia tyrobutyricum for improved fermentation production of butyrate.  Adam M Jaros, Ulrika Rova and Kris A Berglund.  2013.  SpringerPlus 2013, 2:47.  http://www.springerplus.com/content/2/1/47

2. Minamiyama M, Katsuno M, Adachi H et al. Sodium butyrate ameliorates phenotypic expression in a transgenic mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.  Hum Mol Genet 2004 June 1;13(11):1183-92.  http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/content/13/11/1183.long

3.  Tributyrin May Have Practical Potential for Improving Cognition in Early Alzheimer’s Disease Via Inhibition of HDAC2.  Mark F. McCarty.  March 2013.  Catalytic Longevity.

http://catalyticlongevity.org/

http://catalyticlongevity.org/prepub_archive/Tributyrin-AD.pdf

4.  Effects of Butyrate on Intestinal Barrier Function in a Caco-2 Cell Monolayer Model of Intestinal Barrier.  Peng, He, Chen, Holzman, and Lin.  Pediatric Research (2007) 61, 37–41.  http://www.nature.com/pr/journal/v61/n1/full/pr20079a.html

5.  SIDS Initial Assessment Report.  For 16th SIAM.  May, 2003.  http://www.epa.gov/hpvis/hazchar/Category_ButylSeriesMetabolic_HC_SIAR_0108_Interim.pdf

6.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyrin

7.  Butyrate delivered by butyrylated starch increases distal colonic epithelial apoptosis in carcinogen-treated rats.  Clark et al.  Carcinogenesis. 2012 January; 33(1): 197–202.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276328/

8.  A Phase I Clinical and Pharmacological Evaluation of Sodium Phenylbutyrate on an 120-h Infusion Schedule.  Carducci, Gilbert, et al.  Clin Cancer Res.  October 2001.  7;3047.   http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/7/10/3047.full

9.  Butyrylated starch increases colonic butyrate concentration but has limited effects on immunity in healthy physically active individuals.  West et al.  2013.  EIR.  102-119.

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Cranberry gelatin saladShoot. You need Grandma’s cranberry gelatin salad without Jell-O’s red food dye? We’ve got it.  She’ll be shocked at your ingenuity–or the fact that you think Jell-O isn’t “healthy.”  (By now your mother has made it perfectly clear you’ve gone over the edge with your eating. “She won’t eat that…”)

Cranberry Gelatin Salad

  • 12 ounce package of fresh cranberries
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 2 oranges, peeled after zesting and then diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups of juice (I have used apple juice and 50/50 pear/cranberry. Cranberry gives it a brilliant red color but is quite tart.)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon plain gelatin (I use Great Lakes but Knox would work.)
  • 3/4 cup of honey (or sugar)

1. Chop cranberries in a food processor (or blender) with the 3 cups of juice.
2. Drain the juice into a medium saucepan.  I run it through a strainer into the saucepan.
3. Set aside.
4. Combine the chopped cranberries with honey, diced oranges, orange zest and walnuts in medium-sized bowl. (If you want to avoid dirtying an extra dish, combine these ingredients in your prettiest glass serving dish. Otherwise, just transfer later.) Set aside.
5. Go back to the saucepan with juice. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of gelatin over the juice. Place on stovetop and heat the juice mixture over medium heat, whisking the whole time to dissolve the gelatin. Heat it until the gelatin is completely dissolved, but don’t bring it to a boil.
6. Pour the gelatin/juice mixture over the orange/nut/honey/cranberry mixture. Stir to mix.  Taste.  Is it sweet enough?  If not, add a touch more sweetener.  If it is, perfect.
7. If you haven’t already, transfer this mixture to a pretty glass serving dish. It looks really delightful to the eye.
8. Refrigerate until set up, maybe six hours.
9. Serve.  Ideally with whipped cream if you can!

Family “gustar” report: Well, let’s see. It’s cranberry salad.  I wouldn’t touch it as a kid.  Now I love it.  The in-laws loved it.  My eight-year old loves it.  Even my brother-in-law was happy to see cranberry salad at the scary gluten-free, dairy-free buffet!  If they like cranberry salad, this will go over without a missed beat.

To me, the real question is, “How is it compared to using Jello-brand red gelatin?” It is very similar. The color is not so red. Sometimes you don’t quite nail the gelatin consistency. I have found it is best to err on the side of too little. IF this doesn’t set up, then you can go back and put it in a saucepan, warm it up, add another teaspoon or two of gelatin, and then pour it back in the pretty bowl. Nobody will know. (Except two squirrely sisters over there chopping onions, yelling, “Tape this. Tape this. Put it on your blog.”) And finally, I think they must add some citric acid or something to give Jell-O a tart taste. I’ve noticed that anytime I make gelatin, it just lacks that tiny little punch that makes processed foods so desirable to the tongue.

This will keep days in the fridge, so you can definitely make it ahead!

Hope your eating is just where you want it to be this Holiday Season! Eat for your health! ~~Terri

Child eating the last of the cranberry salad

Butyrate Series, Part 6

We’re working our way through butyrate and the foods that increase butyrate in the body.  We are on resistant starch today.  It’s a doozy.  [“Doozy” probably comes from the nickname (“Duesy”) for a kind of car called a Duesenberg.  It was a supreme, luxury car made in my home state of Indiana, in a tiny farming town called Auburn, north of Fort Wayne.  Each Labor Day weekend they host a huge car auction called the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival.]

Don’t be afraid to let your diet be unique.

Getting butyrate and short chain fatty acids in the gut seems pretty important, and there a few dietary Cute orange snackways to go about getting it.  No one way will work for every single person.  You must recognize absolutely how unique and special you are.  (Is this chick for real?)  Seriously, I do think you’re probably pretty special, but I am talking about nutrition here.  What makes one diet suitable for one person and detrimental to another?  (Why can’t I eat ice cream?  Whaaa-whaaa.)

  • Your genetics:  Yes.  Absolutely.  The genes we have will determine how well we can digest certain foods!  If your long ago ancestors are from an area who relied traditionally on more starches, you have more genes to make amylase (the starch break-down enzyme) and more amylase in your spit. (1)  Native Japanese people have genes to metabolize seaweed that people of European descent don’t.  (Ha!  For those who don’t like the flavor of seaweed, more power to ’em, eh?) (2)  But, ice cream.  Mmmm.  Does ice cream make you bloat?  Blame your genes’ inability to make lactase for you to break down the sugar in milk.  (3) And your mix of genes will be different than your sister’s or cousin’s.
  • Your gut bacteria.  With the trillions (edited post-writing) of bacteria in your body, you’re bound to be one-of-a-kind.  Some people will have more of one type of bacteria helping them eat than another kind.  I hope over the butyrate series you have come to see bacteria as an integral part of you, your diet, and your health.  Your bacteria will affect what you can comfortably eat or what happens when you eat it.  If the bugs you happen to have are strains that make lots of methane with cellulose, then cellulose may not be your friend.  Your bugs may do better with resistant starch. If you have significant overgrowths of putrefactive bacteria that make more toxic metabolites, maybe you’re at higher risk for disease from a high protein diet. (4) (5)  (Studies show, however, that diet can modify levels of bacteria.  So all is not lost!)
  • Your individual function:  We all have our own unique pathology.  FODMAPS, SIBO, slow transit, food intolerances, and glucose intolerance just to name a few.  If your small intestine is really bad at absorbing the sugars and sugar alcohols from foods (like in FODMAPS),  you’re going to have to watch and keep a food diary to figure out which vegetables and fruits you can tolerate.  If green bananas make you itch, you have to find another source for resistant starch.

Bottom line?  Short chain fatty acids and butyrate are pretty darn important for the gut and body.  Find a way to make your diet compatible with getting them.  You have several options.  For nearly any specialized diet, there is usually something you can tolerate to help boost needed nutrients.

Ok.  Rant over– resistant starch to boost short chain fatty acid and butyrate production.  This is going to be dry, dry, dry and long, long, long.  I thought about dividing it up, but I wanted all the resistant starch stuff on one page, not several.  And I figure those who actually read it are people really looking to learn about it– so they’ll like it on one page.  By the way, Merry Christmas-time.  I hope you are having a beautiful month.  May you be filled with joy and peace now and forever.

Is that a healthy diet?

What healthy diet removes beans, legumes, grains and potatoes?  When I began my food journey two years ago, I was SHOCKED to see grains and potatoes removed from many diets like Paleo, SCD, GAPS, Primal, and Whole30.  (Were you shocked when you started?) However, after much research, I decided there was no harm in removing them as I tried to treat my GI health problems.  I mean, my vegetable intake skyrocketed in compensation!  Now, though, my GI issues have plateaued, and I have been on the prowl again to see what else can be done.  I am tracking butyrate- producing foods.  In this series, I have covered dairy products, fermented foods, fiber, and now we are hitting resistant starch.

Resistant starch from foods makes it past the small intestine’s digestive process to enter the colon, where bacteria can ferment (“eat it”) it to make short chain fatty acids and butyrate as a result.  Great!  Resistant starch is a popular topic in health spheres now.  It has several possible health benefits.  Do you see anything which could help you?

  • Improved blood sugar control and insulin response to food.  Implications for diabetes, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
  • Improved bowel health.  Implications for colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis, and constipation.
  • Improved cholesterol.  Implications for heart disease, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome.
  • Prebiotic to help stimulate the growth of “good” bacterial colonies in the colon.
  • Control of hunger and reduction of calories eaten.  Implications in obesity.
  • Increased micronutrient absorption.  Implications in overall mineral absorption for all and also in osteoporosis.
  • Thermogenesis.  Implications in diabetes and obesity.
  • Synergistic interactions with other dietary components, e.g. dietary fibres, proteins, lipids.  Implications for improvement of bowel health. (6)

Backtrack a second.  Working through the ways to Apples with almond butterpotentially increase butyrate:

The four ways to increase butyrate (as I see it) that I am working through:

  • Eat butyrate-containing foods.  (An aside:  I found something that said there was a form of butyric acid in butter AND honey!  The form is tributyrin, a form of butyric acid which is actually used in research studies to help the butyric acid not have such a short half-life.  No quantities listed in the abstract.  Isn’t that amazing?  Whole foods really can provide for us!) (7) 
  • Eat butyrate-producing foods like fiber and resistant starch.  (This is where we’re at in the series.)
  • Take butyrate supplements.
  • Take probiotics which contain bacteria known to make butyrate.

OK.  Back to resistant starch.  I know, some of you try not to eat starches.  So what is the difference between starch and resistant starch?  (Chemistry-wise, not much!  Actions in the body, HUGE!) 

What is starch?  Starch is plant carbohydrate.  A plant uses starch as a storage form for energy.  Starch is high in things like potatoes, corn, rice, other grains, and beans.  When we eat starch, it is usually completely broken down and absorbed in the small intestine by our amylase and other enzymes.  You know the rest– glucose, insulin, and calories.

Let’s talk a minute about the structure of starch because structure is going to help explain what makes starch resistant.  Starch is made up of two molecules, amylose and amylopectin.  Both molecules are simply made up of many glucose molecules hooked together—just hooked in different ways.  Amylose has many glucoses strung together in a tight, compact linear fashion.  Amylopectin has glucoses strung together in branching chains, forming a large structure.  Depending on the food/plant starch in question, these two players come together in different ratios and shapes.  They connect with each other through hydrogen bonding and form crystalline granules (an important point here in a bit) of varying sizes.  The crystalline granules are an effective way for the plant to store starch.  We have an enzyme called amylase, which works in the small intestine, and it is most often able to break apart the bonds of starch to make simple sugars which are easily absorbed(8, 9)

What is resistant starch?  Same stuff as starch!!!!  It’s just that for one reason or another (which we will talk about), it defies digestion by the small intestine and its amylase enzyme.  It moves into the colon and feeds bacteria, thus producing short chain fatty acids and butyrate.  Yeah!

How would the same stuff as plain, old starch do that?  We will look at that in minute.  First let’s mention the kinds of foods that have resistant starch.

What foods have resistant starch?

Obviously, starchy foods will have resistant starch, but how much resistant starch a food has– well, it willYellow pepper for Y keep your head moving like one of those darn, tiny bouncy balls your kids like to throw around.  Understanding resistant starch content is nearly insane.  So I’m going to list some examples of resistant starch values, but you have to keep reading to understand how truly variable and FICKLE resistant starch is.  For example, IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO SAY THAT A BANANA HAS LOTS OF RESISTANT STARCH—because sometimes it doesn’t!  I started to put together a nice table of resistant starch values.  I had research articles all over the schoolroom desk; I knew it was going to be a citation mess.  Every source had different values for resistant starch content and often even for the same food.  I decided making a chart was clearly was not a good time investment.  (Where do you want to invest your time?)  So here are some sources with lists of resistant starch contents for you to look over.  For your information, some sources suggest at least 20 grams of resistant starch daily; others suggest more.

Free the Animal.  Resistant Starch in Foods.  (Man.  What diligence.  Kudos.  This is what my table would have looked like.  He did a great job, and I’m grateful for his work!  This is a link to a PDF file which is featured on the blog.) (12)

An in vitro method, based on chewing, to predict resistant starch content in foods allows parallel determination of potentially available starch and dietary fiber  (10)

The Resistant Starch Report.  An Australian update on health benefits, measurement and dietary intakes.  (11)

Bananas (11)
8.5 grams/100 grams          Raw green, medium-size
2.4-5.4 grams/100 grams    Ripe, medium-size
Potatoes (10)
12.2 grams/100 grams        Boiled and stored at  5 degrees C –41 degrees F–fridge temperature
3.7 grams/100 grams          Boiled and not cooled
50 grams per pound           (Saw it on the internet gossip, but I need a legitimate source)  (About 97% of the starch in raw potato is resistant.)
1.3 grams/100 grams         Baked
Sweet potatoes (11)
1.1-2.1 grams                       Cooked
Raw  About 98% of the raw starch is resistant.  (Need source)
Plantains (12)
3.5 grams/100grams          Cooked
Raw much, much higher    (Need source)
Beans, white, boiled (10)
16.5 g/100 grams
Lentils, red, boiled (10)
13.83 g/100 grams
Chickpeas (11) 
6.6 g/100 grams
Nuts
Oats (12)
0.2 g/100grams                  Cooked
7.8 grams/100 grams        Raw
Pasta
1.4 grams/100 grams        Cooked whole wheat pasta (valemaisalimentos.com)
2.9 grams/100 grams        Boiled 9 minutes  (C)
Rice (11) (13)
3.1 grams/100grams         White, cooked
1.6 grams per 1/2 cup      Brown, cooked

The amount of resistant starch a food has will vary.  It will vary by the TYPE of resistant starch, the food source of the resistant starch, the food preparation, and many other factors I will try to point out.

There are four types of resistant starch RS:  Resistant starch type 1 (RS 1), resistant starch type 2 (RS 2), resistant starch type 3 (RS 3), and resistant starch type 4 (RS 4).

  • RS 1 is in seeds, legumes, and whole grains.  The starch is resistant because of the physical seed coat around the starch.  (Grinding and milling will decrease the amount of resistant starch.  Based on this, a wheat kernel has more resisant starch than ground flour.  Even chewing your food well decreases RS!)
  • RS 2 is in uncooked foods like potato, green banana, green plantains, sweet potato, cassava, yam, some legumes and high amylase corn.  The natural, raw shape of the starch granules in these particular plants does not allow our digestive enzymes to get in and break down the starch. (5)
  • RS 3 is in cooked and cooled starches, such as legumes, bread, cornflakes, potatoes, pasta salad or sushi rice. The starch when cooked becomes highly absorbable starch, but when it cools it forms a crystalline structure that won’t let enzymes in so it becomes resistant starch.  This is called retrogradation.  I will talk more about this below.
  • RS 4 is chemically modified starch and is not naturally found in nature.  It is often found in processed foods, but we don’t know if it acts the same as natural RS or not.  (So why are they putting it in our foods?  And why do people not care?  Ignorance is bliss.  But not really.) (6)

Both the plant species and the plant variety affects resistant starch content:  Bananas overall have more resistant starch than most rice.  Beans usually have more resistant starch than potatoes.  Within a species, long grain rice has more RS than short grain rice.  (14)  Jasmine rice has less RS than long grain rice varieties.  High amylose maize (corn) has been bred to have higher resistant starch than other corn.

Preparation method changes content of RS:  Long grain rice prepared in a pressure cooker has less RS than when prepared in a traditional rice cooker.  Baked potato has less resistant starch than potato salad.  Heated and cooled, heated and cooled, heated and cooled potato has more resistant starch than just potato that has been heated and cooled one time only.

Cooking at all changes RS:  Raw potato has immense amounts of RS.  Mashed potatoes have immensely less.

Foods can have more than one kind of resistant starch:  Potatoes have RS 2 when raw and RS 3 when cooked and cooled.

Ripeness decreases RS:  A green banana has great amounts of RS.  Ripe bananas have lots less.

Chewing decreases RS:  What are you going to do about this one?  LOL.  I think this is a great example of how you can find good in just about everything!  If you don’t chew well, you can get more resistant starch!

Remember how I mentioned amylose and amylopectin above?  In part, their association together will help determine how much RS there is:

  • Amylose and amylopectin come together in different ratios (maybe 20:80 or 40 :60 or 25:75) and will be different between species of plants and different varieties of the same plant, as I already mentioned.  The more amylose there is, the more resistant.  (5)  In fact, there’s this processed stuff called High Amylose Maize Starch that was bred to have high amylose.  It has great amounts of resistant starch.  1 tablespoon has 4.5 grams of resistant starch.  (13) Amylose takes higher heats to gelatinize so it is more resistant.  (When it gelatinizes, the body can digest it easier.)
  • Chain length of the amylose and amylopectin molecules will affect resistant starch content.
  • Size of the crystalline granules will affect resistant starch content. (15)

Non-starch components may affect the amount of resistant starch.  Amylase (our digestive enzyme) can bind with fats, and then change the breakdown of the starch.  If the amylase is all bound up, it’s not available to digest all of the starch.  Some plants come included with their own amylase inhibitors so we digest them less, allowing more RS to the colon.  Phosphorus can bind to the starch and make it more resistant.

Biological factors (such as transit time and menstrual cycles) can affect the digestion of starch. (6)

Yes.  Resistant starch values for any given food Water kefir with grape juicevaries dramatically. 

So when you look at different tables for resistant starch, you will see all kinds of different numbers.  The resistant starch values will be all over the place.  I know you don’t like it.  It’s just the way it is.  Nobody in life can give you an answer.  We just have to do the best we can.  God didn’t say, “Here.  Eat resistant starch.”  He gave you fresh vegetables, fruits, tubers, and yes, even grains.  And thankfully, He gave me a fridge to cool my tubers.

Why in the world does cooling change the amount of resistant starch?

When typical starch is heated, it becomes quite absorbable.  When it is cooled, it can form resistant starch and then not be absorbable.  This is termed retrograded starch or resistant starch type 3 or RS 3.  How does this happen?

Putting the starch in water and heating it allows the crystalline structure of the starch granules (made up of amylose and amylopectin) to swell.  Water can get into the starch granules, but it can’t break them apart because of hydrogen bonding between amylose and amylopectin.  The starch gelatinizes and swells.  With the swelling comes increased ease of getting amylase into the starch to break down the bonds holding it together.  So hot, cooked starch is easier to digest.

As the hot starch cools, its structure starts tightening back up and recrystallizing, becoming more like it was before water and heat was affected it.  Amylase can no longer get in to break the starch down into absorbable sugars.

The higher the amylose content, the more heat that is needed to gelatinize the starch.  Things with more amylose, such as high amylose corn starch, have more resistant starch.  In one study, high amylose corn starch showed an increase in butyrate formation, whereas low amylose corn starch did not. (15) (16) (5)

People often wonder why it matters if it’s cooled since when it is eaten it heats back up in our bodies.  I read that the answer to that is that it takes more heat than the temperature of your body to overcome the retrogradation.

Who might shy away from resistant starch?

SIBO people?  People with small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO) may have problems with resistant starch.  (SIBO is a disorder which contributes to bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain.  It occurs when bacteria inappropriately colonize the small intestine.)  I have seen the argument made that gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), SIBO, and some other GI disorders may be made worse by resistant starch.  Increasing the food supply for the bacteria that are inappropriately growing in the small intestine doesn’t seem like it would be helpful.  I can definitely understand this thought process.  However, on the other hand, production of SCFA has been found to increase the motility of the gut and make the environment more acidic.  These two mechanisms sound helpful!  Everything is an equilibrium.  Nobody right now knows the answer.  This is where you drag out a pen and a calendar, and you diligently journal what you eat and your symptoms and stop waiting to be told what to do.

FODMAP people?  One would think that FODMAP issues might actually do okay with resistant starch if there is no SIBO to go along and complicate the condition.  The gases usually made by the bacteria from FODMAP ingredients are not formed from resistant starch:  “However, RS [resistant starch] is believed to result in only a modest production of these gases [carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen] compared with other non-digestible oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides and lactulose.” (6)  Potato, sweet potato, and rice are often well tolerated in those with FODMAP issues–although I read that sweet potato has mannitol which may cause some people problems.  (Sorry, no source.)

Diabetics:  They say that diabetics’ blood sugars will be fine on resistant starch and may even improve!  This seems like it would be quite variable and a diabetic should watch very closely.  (19)

Flatulence:  Excess gas.  Anecdotal evidence points out that there is excess gas as a person starts increasing their resistant starch.  The anecdotes say that it usually resolves in the first week at a stable dose.

Last tidbits with no good place to fit in above butFruit kabobs I want you to hear about:

Will resistant starch make me fat?  Resistant starch reportedly helps with the feeling of being full–so you’re not so hungry!  However, if it is metabolized by your bacteria, it does have calories (short chain fatty acids are made and absorbed).  Typical starch that is absorbed up in the small intestine supplies 4.2 calories per gram.  Apparently, resistant starch produces 2 calories per gram.  (6)  Want an anecdote?  I started potato starch as a resistant starch.  I stir one tablespoon in water twice a day.  I can honestly say that I’m not very hungry.  Of course, there could be a million and one other reasons for that.

Did you know we have a drug that makes starch resistant?  Acarbose is a diabetic drug.  It inhibits amylase and so increases the amount of resistant starch and also increases oligosaccharides.  It has been found to increase SCFA in the colon (but with side effects of bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain, etc).  (17)

Resistant starch versus non-starch polysaccharides (see last post for explanation) in butyrate production:  RS seems to do a better job than other carbohydrates at producing butyrate. Resistant starch acts as a prebiotic, raising the numbers of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. (5)

Resistant starch diet helps increase the neurons that promote motility:  “After 14 days of RSD [resistant starch diet], the neurochemical phenotype of myenteric neurons of rats showed a significant increase of 35% in the proportion of ChAT-IR neurons complared with animals fed with the SD [standard diet]…As expected, RSD was associated with a significant increase in colonic concentration of butyrate compared with SD [standard diet].”   (18)  What is this saying?  On a resistant starch diet, the proportion of acetylcholine neurons increased!  Acetylcholine neurons play a large role in GI peristalsis and bowel movements.  Also, my friend butyrate, was found at increased concentrations.

Which form of resistant starch produces more butyrate?  This really seems to land you all over the place, trying to characterize all the different starch types and food types and how they each have a different effect.  Crazy.  Anyhow, RS 2 from raw potato starch is reported to increase the concentration of butyrate in humans and rats while RS 3 is reported to increase the concentration of acetate in pigs, but not in humans.  (5)

Great related reading:

I’m not saying I agree with all that is said.  I just like to see ALL that I can out there so I can think about how it applies to my body.  Does benefit outweigh risk in trying something?  Am I willing to accept that what somebody suggests could set me back significantly?  Does what they’re saying make sense in the context of what I know about physiology and biochemistry (which is NEVER enough!).

Free the Animal has about a million resistant starch posts, including posts on specific conditions (like SIBO, FODMAPS, high blood sugars, etc.)  This is really the place to go to read about resistant starch, although they have quite an enthusiastic stance.  I’m pretty excited, too, but I try to temper my excitement.  Nothing is a cure-all.  I haven’t had success coming off of butyrate with an increase in resistant starch using green bananas and Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch (yet).

Animal Pharm:  HOW TO CURE SIBO, Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth:  Step #2 Eat Resistant-Starch-Rich Tubers, Grains, Legumes and Pulses (Guest Post: Tim/TATER)

Digestive Health Institute:  Resistant Starch–Friend or Foe

Done:

Please take good care.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  Track your symptoms.  Be patient with changes.  Don’t get frustrated.  Read.  Weigh benefits and risks.  Don’t flit from diet to diet to diet.  Pick a system, stick with it awhile, and then implement tweaks slowly and methodically.  Where you are at NOW does not reflect where you have to stay FOREVER!!!!!

As always, I need typos pointed out and faulty links.  I do the best I can, but this is a simply a hobby of putting together my findings for others to read.

Terri

Part 7

Sources:

  1. Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation.  Perry, Dominy, Claw, et al.  Nature Genetics 39, 1256 – 1260 (2007) Published online: 9 September 2007.  (Link)

  2. Transfer of carbohydrate-active enzymes from marine bacteria to Japanese gut microbiota.  Hehemann, Correc, Barbeyron, et al.  Nature 464, 908-912 (8 April 2010). (Link)

  3. Archaeology:  The milk revolution.  Curry, Andrew.  Nature.  July 2013. (Link)

  4. Dominant and diet-responsive groups of bacteria within the human colonic microbiota.  Walker, Ince, Duncan, et al.  The ISME Journal (2011) 5, 220–230.  (Link)

  5. Starches, resistant starches, the gut microflora and human health.  Bird, Brown, and Topping.  Current Issues in Intestinal Microbiology.  2000.  1(1):  25-37.  (Link)

  6. Health properties of resistant starch.  Nugent, AP.  Nutrition Bulletin.  March 2005.  30 (1): 27-54.  (Link)

  7. (Abstract.)  Anticarcinogenic actions of tributyrin, a butyric acid prodrug.  Heidor, Ortega, de Conti, et al.  Curr Drug Targets.  December 2012.  13(14):1720-9. (Link to abstract.)
  8. http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/hysta.html
  9. The synthesis of the starch molecule.  Smith, Denyer, et al.  Plant Carbohydrate Biochemistry.  1999.  Chapter 7.
  10. An in vitro method, based on chewing, to predict resistant starch content in foods allow parallel determination of potentially available starch and dietary fiber.  Akerberg, Liljeberg, et al.  The Journal of Nutrition.  1998.  128 (3): 651-660.  (Link)
  11. The Resistant Starch Report.  An Australian Update on health benefits, measurement, and daily intakes.  Landon, Colyer, and Salman.  Food Australia Supplement. 2012.    (Link)
  12. Link to a PDF file on Free the Animal blog listing resistant starch content:  http://freetheanimal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Resistant-Starch-in-Foods.pdf
  13. Natural Hi-Maize Starch website:  “Double Resistant Starch Intake.”  http://www.resistantstarch.com/NR/rdonlyres/DE2ADBB0-FF7D-40A7-B409-03493FEFFDFA/4601/Foodswithresistantstarch_LR.pdf
  14. Effect of variety and cooking method on resistant starch content of white rice and subsequent postprandial glucose response and appetite in humans.  Yu-Ting Chiu, Maria L Stewart. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2013;22 (3):372-379.  (Link)

  15. Understanding Starch Functionality.  Scott Hegenbart. Food Product Design.  January 1996. (Link)

  16. Butyrylated starch increases colonic butyrate concentration but has limited effects on immunity in healthy physically active individuals.  West, Shristophersen, et al. Exerc Immun Review.  2013.  19: 102-119.  (Link)

  17. Abstract for Effects of acarbose on fecal nutrients, colonic pH, and short-chain fatty acids and rectal proliferative indices.  Holt et al.  Metabolism.  1996.  Sep;45(9):1179-87.  (Link)

  18. Short-chain fatty acids regulate the enteric neurons adn control gastrointestinal motility in rats.  Gastroenterology.  May 2010.  138(5):1772-82. (Link)
  19. Consumption of both resistant starch and b-glucan improves postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in women.  Behall, Scholfield, et al.  Diabetes Care.  May 2006.  29(5): 976-981.  (Link)

Butyrate Interruption, Kind of

My husband always passes along mainstream news clips on health that he sees relating to my studies.  I think he is super happy that we found this new way of eating and thinking, despite our doc-in-a-box trained brains.  (It has a made a huge difference in the health of every single family member.)

Anyhow here is today’s tidbit passed on to me by husband who noticed the word BUTYRATE.  The article relates to “potential new ways to prevent colon cancer” and discusses how there is growing evidence for a link between bacteria and colon cancer:

“Ahn and her colleagues also noticed lower levels of Clostridia – “good” bacteria – in the gut of cancer patients.  Clostridia – of which there are several forms – is important in the fermentation and digestion of fiber and carbohydrates.  Clostridia also creates a chemical butyrate, which is believed to moderate inflammation and cancerous mutations in the colon.”  (Emphasis mine)

So I continue to encourage you to eat for your bacteria!  Whole foods!  And I hope with the butyrate series that’s running, that you can say when you stumble across these news clips telling you it comes down to bacteria and the products they help make, “Yeah.  I knew that.  That’s old news.”

What you eat matters, from colon cancer to headaches to runny noses!  Don’t eat processed foods!  Here is the link to the article above:

Research points to potential new ways to prevent colon cancer

~~Terri

Butyrate Series, Part 5

It’s only voodoo until you understand the sense (science) behind it…so what’s the sense for fiber?

Introduction:

Part 4 of the Butyrate Series summarized naturally occurring sources of butyrate in food.  Today’s post explains another source of butyrate in the diet: fiber. (More correctly, fiber is a source for our colon’s bacteria to make butyrate for us.) Today we will cover:

  • What fiber is
  • Different kinds of fiber
  • Fermentability of different kinds of fiber
  • Which fibers bring about butyrate

(And if you think this sounds boring, you are probably quite right.)

There is a book out there called Fiber Menace by Konstantin Monastyrsky which demotes fiber.  I’ve not read it, but I’d have to say in my former Caterpillarseating life, I tried adding in high amounts of fiber: peas, hummus, beans, lentils, Shredded Wheat Cereal, Grape Nuts Cereal, Metamucil, and Fiber Con. I always swore in my head that this fiber did nothing but make my GI symptoms worse; however, this seemed like an insane fragment of my overactive imagination until 2011. In 2011, I read a little blurb in my American Family Physician journal about fiber not helping slow transit constipation and then found sources stating fiber may actually worsen slow transit constipation.  From a World Journal of Gastroenterology article:  “Muller-Lissner emphasized that a diet poor in fiber should not be assumed to be the cause of chronic constipation. In contrast, they found that many patients with severe constipation deteriorated when dietary fiber intake was increased.” (1)  Hmmm. Is that right?

In the past, I’ve tried high fiber and I’ve tried low fiber; I didn’t know what to think. Guess I still really don’t. Today, studies say that fiber helps this or that. Tomorrow they will say that it doesn’t. Depends on the wind. But considering how important short chain fatty acids (including butyrate) are, I’m thinking fiber may be pretty helpful, but not in the way I was trained to think.  It has nothing to do with the bulk or the drawing of water into the gut.  It has to do with good bacteria, what they like to eat, and what they make for me when they eat.  So for myself, in order to increase my butyrate naturally, I will keep vegetables and some fruit a priority.  I will watch my symptoms closely and adjust as indicated.

What I want you to know (because the rest of this post is like broccoli with no dip—pretty dry):

  • “Fiber” is an oversimplified, generic word for a hodge-podge of substances from plants. The words soluble and insoluble do not even come close to explaining the types of fiber.
  • Fiber is basically carbohydrates that humans cannot digest. There are many kinds of fiber which get “eaten” by the bacteria in different amounts and at different rates in our colon.  (More below.)
  • Some fiber, like cellulose (think of the stems of broccoli and the peel of an apple), gets fermented very little and very slowly.  Other fiber, like inulin (think onions) gets fermented very completely and very rapidly.
  • Each vegetable or fruit will contain several types of fiber, not just one type. Broccoli is not ONLY cellulose! Each vegetable or fruit has its own complex fiber identity! Find some that you tolerate.
  • I think to optimize butyrate production throughout the entire colon, it is good to eat a mix of vegetables and fruits. The quickly fermented fiber will bathe the first part of the colon in short chain fatty acids, and the slowly fermented fiber will make it to the end to bathe the final part of the colon.
  • Please don’t buy fiber in a box or plastic container. Please? Eat the real deal. Why? Because remember that vegetables and fruits contain multiple kind of fibers in one package, and they ferment at different rates. This provides valuable short chain fatty acids throughout the whole colon. In addition, different fibers have been found to influence the fermentation of other fibers, promoting more butyrate production than the given fibers alone. Not to mention all the vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients.  Again I say, find a mix of vegetables (and fruits) that you tolerate.  (2) (3) (6)  (And I still say, vegetable, fruits, and meats.  Wheat is a treat. Don’t get your fiber from wheat. My personal opinion.)
  • Good bacteria can be cultivated. Drugs that cultivate good bacteria are called PREbiotics, but foods can do the same thing. Vegetables and fruits carry fibers that are prebiotic. By eating vegetables and fruits, you are not just allowing the bacteria you have to make butyrate, you’re actually promoting their growth.  (4)

Caterpillar making attachmentReminder: All the information in this blog is information I have gathered and assimilated for my own purposes. I enjoy sharing it, but I certainly expect you to use it as fodder for learning and questioning, not as diagnosis and treatment.  Every individual is unique and may react differently (and badly) to what others find beneficial and helpful.  For your safety, present the information to your favorite trusted healthcare provider before making any changes. 

You know it’s bad when there’s a glossary:

Carbohydrates:  Carbohydrates are made up of polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, and sugars.

Sugars:  Sugars are monosaccharides or disaccharides.  Examples:  glucose, fructose, lactose, sucrose. They are usually completely absorbed in the small intestine. (But if they are not, they can continue to the colon to be fermented.)

Polysaccharides:  Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates made by linking many, many, many sugars together. They can be starch polysaccharides or non-starch polysaccharides. Starches are commonly used as energy storage; amylose and amylopectin are two very common starches.  Non-starches are usually used for structure, like cellulose.

Oligosaccharides:  These are smaller chains of sugars linked together. They’re bigger than sugars and smaller than polysaccharides. They can be found in onions, jicama, and wheat. They are things like inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS—often a part of prebiotics).

Starches (amylose and amylopectin):  Starches are polysaccharides, which means many sugars strung together. Common starches in plant matter include amylose and amylopectin. Amylose has its glucoses linked linearly in a very compact structure, making it digest more slowly. Amylopectin has its glucoses linked in a large, branched structure, allowing more easy penetration of digestive enzymes. We used to think that all starch was digested and absorbed in the small intestine. We now know this is false.  Starches are in things like flour, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.  (Aside for SCD followers:  Breaking the Vicious Cycle’s explanation of amylose and amylopectin is incorrectly reversed.)

Non-starch polysaccharides:  A very hodge-podge group. It’s what you think of as classic fiber. Cellulose, pectins, gums, and more fit in this category. They often provide structure to plant cells. The small intestine can’t digest them.

Fiber:  Usually defined as plant matter that escapes digestion by the small intestine and continues undigested to the colon. But a true definition is evasive because calling something “fiber” is like saying a shoe is a shoe is a shoe. Well, stiletto boots are a far cry from my New Balances. Non-starch polysaccharides make up a huge chunk of “fiber.” Also included, depending on who is writing the definition, are resistant starch and oligosaccharides.

Resistant starch:  There are several kinds of resistant starches, but basically they are all starches that manage to escape digestion in the small intestine, and therefore they act like fiber. (5)

Eating for butyrate production by bacteria

Ok.  So the goal is to produce butyrate by eating food.  (The bacteria will do the work for me.)  Let’s take a moment to remember why anyone should care.  Studies indicate butyrate may—

  • Heal leaky gut, and therefore improve food intolerances
  • Stabilize blood sugar responses, even to carbohydrates
  • Lessen hunger and help weight loss
  • Stimulate bowel motility
  • Help damaged nerve cells to function again
  • Cure and fight cancer
  • Other unknown functions (7)

(I take a butyrate supplement. I have noticed a huge improvement in my peristalsis and in my ability to eat nuts and eggs baked in pies. Although my supplement seems okay, a person can never tell what impurities are in their supplements or how much of the nutrient the body needsToo much of a good thing can potentially turn on you. So I want off of my supplement, and this is where this butyrate series came from.)

What foods do bacteria use to make butyrate?  Fiber and resistant starch are the best ingredients for bacteria to make butyrate in your colon.  (Bacteria can make butyrate from proteins, mucous, and sloughed cells, but these ingredients lead to the formation of chemicals detrimental to your colon, like ammonia.)  We will talk about fiber today and resistant starch next time.

Fiber: 

You’ve heard of fiber. But what is fiber? Do you want functional fiber? Physiologic fiber? Soluble fiber? Insoluble fiber? Resistant starch “fiber?”  Caterpillar made cocoonViscous fiber? Fermentable fiber? Microfiber???? (No.)

Fiber is a hodge-podge (word of the day) of chemical substances.  Like my shoe analogy up there in the glossary: work boots, snow boots, running shoes, basketball shoes, platform shoes, and stiletto heels. They all go on the feet. They all have a similar function. They are all shoes. But you can break them down into boots and shoes. Or active wear and formal wear. Or open-toed and closed-toe. Or open-toed formal and closed-toe formal.

Fiber may be fiber, but it can be classified many ways.  My little ditty of a definition for fiber in the glossary– “plant matter that escapes digestion by the small intestine and continues undigested to the colon”—keeps it about as simple as it can get. (Shoe. Fiber.)

Maybe you have heard of soluble and insoluble fiber, this is NOT the only way to classify fiber.  (In fact, experts are trying to phase out the terms soluble and insoluble. They have come to realize that the function of the fiber does NOT depend on its solubility.) (8)

Bottom line: Fiber is a complex issue. The Paleo Mom has a great fiber series that she published recently The Fiber Manifesto.

Let’s look at the types of fiber—the ways to categorize fiber.  I’ll warn you, categories overlap.  Just remember that fiber is plant matter (usually) that makes it to the colon undigested:

Fiber can be classified based on solubility, fermentability, viscosity, whether or not it is a starch, or whether it’s a synthetic fiber with physiologic function.

Different ways to classify fiber:

Soluble fiber:
Pectin, mucilage, gums,   psyllium, wheat dextrin
Insoluble fiber:
Cellulose, lignins, some   hemicelluloses, some pectins
Fermentable:
Oligosaccharides like FOS and inulin, gums (guar), pectins, wheat dextrins
Non-fermentable:
Cellulose, hemicellulose,   lignin
Viscous (gel-forming) fiber:
Pectins, gums (guar gum), psyllium
Non-viscous (non gel-forming) fiber:
Inulin
Resistant Starch:
Polysaccharides made of starch
Non-starch   polysaccharides:
Celluloses, hemicelluloses,   pectins, and gums
Functional fiber (designed or extracted fiber):
Inulin, psyllium, FOS, some   resistant starch
Dietary fiber (fiber found naturally in food)

(9) (10)

Now, you can take just about all of those and mix and match them!!!  For example, you can have:

  • Soluble, fermentable (example:  pectins)
  • Insoluble, fermentable  (example:  resistant starch)
  • Soluble, non-fermentable (examples:  alginates, carrageenans)
  • Insoluble, non-fermentable (examples: cellulose and lignin—cellulose is actually a bit fermentable, see below)
  • Resistant starch, fermentable  (example:  resistant starch)
  • Non-starch polysaccharides, fermentable  (examples:  FOS and inulin)
  • Non-starch polysaccharides, non-fermentable  (example:  cellulose)

You can keep going with this, but I’m stopping. Just remember, foods are composed of several types of fiber in one package—so a banana is NOT completely made up of soluble fiber! It also has (at least) resistant starch (an insoluble fiber!), pectin, and hemicellulose.  And it gets even more complicated than this because a ripe banana will have a different fiber composition than a green banana. Ahhhh!)

To make butyrate, we are mostly concerned with the fiber that is fermentable.  Solubility has nothing to do with it.

The table below summarizes the fermentability of the different fibers mentioned above. Percent of fermentability is important. Butyrate isn’t made unless the bacteria in the colon have something to ferment. Less butyrate will be made from cellulose (20-80% fermentable) than inulin (100% fermentable). HOWEVER, all the inulin will be probably be used up early in the colon, as soon as there are bacteria to feast on it. Since less cellulose will be fermented early on, more will be available throughout the whole colon, not just the beginning—like a “slow release” formulation.

Please note that our bacterial microflora are exceptionally unique and therefore our tolerability to different fibers will be unique. In a study on the fermentation of cellulose in the cell wall of spinach, one group of people fermented the spinach with one group of bacteria–while the another group of people fermented it with another kind of bacteria. (11)  Since we have different bacteria with different capabilities and metabolite production (such as gas), perhaps this is why some of us do well with fiber and not others?

Colonic fermentability of dietary fibres in humans

Dietary   fibre

Fermentability   (%)

Cellulose

20-80

Hemicelluloses

60-90

Pectins

100

Guar gum

100

Ispaghula

55

Wheat bran

50

Resistant starch

100

 Inulin, oligosaccharides

  100 (if they are not in excess)

(12)

So now you know that fermentable fibers make butyrate best. You can see above which fibers are fermentable (remember it’s probably good to mix and match high and low fermentable foods). But which fibers make a higher percentage of butyrate? Cellulose, inulin, raffinose (in beans), and resistant starch made higher percentages than guar gum, lactose, pectin, and sugar beets sources.  Oat beta-glucans were pretty high and so was wheat bran. (6) I’ve not tried to tease out grains, mostly because I don’t eat them. They are problematic for me and for many other people as well  Studies using them for fiber sources give so many mixed messages too.

Fiber acts as a prebiotic for good bacteria and also inhibits the growth of bad bacteria:

By eating vegetables and fruits with fiber and resistant starch, you are also promoting the growth of “good bacteria.”  Many of the good bacteria make butyrate for your body. You have commonly seen the term PREbiotic (not to be confused with the closely related term PRObiotic). All prebiotics are considered fiber. For a fiber to be a prebiotic, it must have the following characteristics:

  • “Resists gastric acidity, hydrolysis by mammalian enzymes, and absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract;
  • Is fermented by the intestinal microflora;
  • Selectively stimulates the growth and/or activity of intestinal bacteria potentially associated with health and well-being.”

You can buy prebiotic supplements, and some probiotics come with prebiotics mixed in. However, prebiotics occur naturally in foods such as leeks, asparagus, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, wheat, oats, and soybeans. (Eat real food.)

(By the way, have you ever wondered what makes a bacteria a “good” bacteria? I have:  “Generally, bacteria having an almost exclusive saccharolytic metabolism (i.e., no proteolytic activity) can be considered potentially beneficial. Such a metabolic profile is typical for lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.”  Quote is just basically saying that good bacteria can’t break down protiens.) (9)

Prebiotics (including types of fiber) also inhibit the growth of bad bacteria! As the good bacteria ferment fiber, they produce short chain fatty acids and make the inside of the colon more acidic. A more acidic environment in the colon reduces breakdown of peptides (proteins), resulting in less formation of toxic compounds such as ammonia, amines, and phenolic compounds. Also, the more acidic environment decreases the activity of undesirable bacterial enzymes. So again, looks like eating real food that is fermentable will act as a prebiotic to encourage the growth of good bacteria and discourage the growth of bad.  (9)

What I wish I understood more:

1. The Inuits lived on a primarily fat and meat diet. Yet they had low rates of disease. Where did their butyrate come from? Did they forage enough when possible to get some? Did they ferment some of the plant matter when it was available for use later when it wasn’t available? Did the fermented meats they made provide them with butyrate? (Here we go again; I just can’t find good information on quantification of fermented food content. Anyone?) Does subsisting only on high quality animal protein and fat change the environment of the colon and body such that lower butyrate production is needed? Did their unique diet cultivate a unique micro flora that maximized butyrate production?

2. If grains and isolated fiber are removed as fiber sources from studies, how would this affect results?

Closing:

Man. Thanks for reading. If you have FODMAP problems and you just can’t tolerate any vegetables, come back next post. Next post we will move on to resistant starch, a huge producer of butyrate.  Only about two butyrate posts left to go. As always, comments, constructive criticism, and pointing out of typos is always welcome.

Terri

Part 6

Sources:

1.  http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/13/4161.pdf

2.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1374147/?page=6

3.  http://gut.bmj.com/content/34/3/386.full.pdf

4.  Starches, Resistant Starches, the Gut Microflora and Human Health.  Bird, Brown, and Topping.  Curr. Issues Intest. Microbiol.  2000.  1(1):  25-37.  http://www.horizonpress.com/backlist/ciim/v/v1/03.pdf

5.  Health properties of resistant starch.  Nugent.  Nutrition Bulletin.  2005.  30: 1(27-54)

6.  Short-chain fatty acid formation at fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates.  Henningsson, Bjorck, and Nyman.  Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition.  2001.  45:165-186.

7.  Review article:  the role of butyrate on colonic function.  Hamer, Jonkers, Venema, Vanhoutvin, Troost, and Brummer.  Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  2008.  27: 104-119

8.  http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/1/1.full

9.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

10.  http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/fiber/

11.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20662929

12. http://www.fao.org/docrep/w8079E/w8079e0l.htm

Butyrate Series, Part 4

Introduction:

We have had a most wonderful Thanksgiving week!  A warm thank you to my family for coming so far to visit and eat a gluten-free, dairy-free whole foods Thanksgiving dinner!  But let’s get this butyrate series rolling again.  Today’s post will start explaining dietary sources of butyrate after a few miscellaneous points.

1.  What does butyrate smell like?

Stravecchio Parmesan Cheese

A.  Chocolate
B.  Sauerkraut
C.  Stinky locker rooms
D.  Parmesan cheese
E.  A and C
F.  C and D
G.  All of the above
H.  None of the above

The smell of butyrate is quite characteristic.  I’ve heard it described as a vomit smell and a parmesan cheese smell.  Go figure.  My nose luckily errs on the side of parmesan cheese.  Today I opened a jar of ghee (ghee is clarified butter with the milk proteins removed and only the fat left behind) and a bottle of my butyric acid supplement capsules and had my sister smell them.  That distinct smell that greets you from a jar of ghee (or from butter if you have a good smeller) is butyric acid.  I wonder if I could sprinkle my supplement on my pizza meatballs… anyhow… butyric acid is what makes the locker room smell, stinky shoe smell, and certain cheesy smell.  So the correct answer is F (both C and D).

2.  How do you pronounce butyrate?

A.  Butt-eye-rate
B.  Byou-ter-ate
C.  Butt-er-rate
D.  Butt-yuh-rat

Butyrate:  byou-ter-ate
Butanoate:  byou-tan-oh-ate
Butyric acid:  byou-teer-ic acid
Butanoic acid:  byou-tuh-no-ic acid

The answer is B.

3.  Why do research articles use butyrate, butanoate, butyric acid, and butanoic acid interchangeably?

A.  Because they made mistakes in their writing and the editors missed it.
B.  All scientists, especially in nutrition, want to confuse everybody.  Like The Tower of Babel.  (Pssst.  Don’t let them do it.  Just eat real, whole foods.  Healthy food.)
C.  Because the terms apply to the same basic functional structure which the body can convert from one to the other with no difficulty at all.
D.  After lipase works on the short chain fatty acid butyrate, butyrate, butanoate, butyric acid, and butanoic acid are all made.  Although varying in structure, they do the same things in the body.

Butyrate, butanoate, butyric acid, and butanoic acid are interchangeable terms for our purposes.  In fact, butyrate and butanoate have exactly the same structure.  Butyric acid and butanoic acid have exactly the same structure.  And the only difference between butyrate/butanoate and butyric acid/butanoic acid is a hydrogen atom.  They all have the same structure plus or minus a hydrogen atom, and the body has no problems converting them back and forth.

The correct answer is C.

Back to Boring.  How Can You Get Butyrate?

There is no dietary guideline for butyrate, and you won’t see it mentioned on the nutrition label.   The best sources for butyrate come from eating certain foods that the bacteria living in your colon like to also eat (fiber and resistant starch).  However, this is not the only way.

I see 4 potential sources of butyrate for the body:

  • Eat butyrate containing foods
  • Eat butyrate producing foods
  • Take butyrate supplements
  • Take probiotics which contain bacteria known to make butyrate

Today we will look at “Eat butyrate containing foods.” 

What foods contain butyrate?

A.  Butter and cheddar cheese
B.  Bacon and ham
C.  Potato and sweet potato
D.  Beans and peas

There are not many food types with butyrate in them.  It pretty much comes down to food made from the milk fat of animals who eat grass, for example cows, sheep, and goats. These are called ruminant animals: animals who eat grass, have hooves, chew their cud, and have specialized stomachs.  The bacteria in their guts are very effective at making butyrate. (1, 2, 3)  So the correct answer was A.

Milk fat foods with butyrate:  Listed below are the butyrate contents for milk fat foods that I found on-line.

(Two asides:  1.  Here is a cool graphic “poster” glorifying the attributes of BUTTER:  Bulletproof–Grass-fed Butter in Bulletproof Coffee Review2.  If it is helpful at all as a useless reference, BodyBio makes a butyrate supplement.  BodyBio recommends a dose of 3600 mg daily of its butyrate supplement.  That may help you put the amounts I list below into some sort of perspective.)

  • 100 grams (one stick) of butter has 2700 mg
  • One pat of butter has about 216 mg (a pat of butter is 10 grams, 1/3 of an ounce, or 1/2 tablespoon) (3, 4, 5)
  • 100 grams (a little less than 1/2 cup) of cream has 1500 mg
  • 100  grams of whipping cream has 1200 mg  (I don’t know the difference between cream and whipping cream)
  • 100  grams (about 3.5 ounces) of cheddar cheese has about 1100 mg
  • 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of Camembert has about 780mg
  • 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of parmesan has about 730 mg
  • 100 grams of full fat ice cream has about 370 mg
  • 100 grams of “regular” milk has about 120 mg
  • 100 grams of whole milk yogurt has about 100 mg (5)

That’s it?

Well, that’s “pert near” about it.  Some fermented foods are claimed to have butyrate, but I couldn’t find Fermented foodsquantification of this, nor could I find any good list of sources from people who claimed this.  I spent hours searching, and I tried about a dozen or more different search terms.  I’ll list what I could find that showed/didn’t show butyrate in fermented foods.  If you have anything to offer in this area, please do!

Fermented Foods:

  • A study on commercial sauerkraut which showed no butyric acid in sauerkraut:  Chemical and Sensory Characterization of Commercial Sauerkraut. (6)
  • I found a rat study looking at the effect of fermented sugar beet fiber on cholesterol.  To make the rats’ food, they fermented sugar beet fiber with rat cecum bacterial contents in a fermentation jar.  The fermented “food” they made for the rats had higher levels of short chain fatty acids (including butyrate).  (Umm.  Is that how you make your sauerkraut?  Maybe we need to use their starter?  Makes you look at a Pickl-it-Jar in a whole new way…)  (7)
  • Kombucha.  I found a site called Happy Herbalist with a  post called “Analysis of the Kombucha Ferment.”  It lists butyrate (butanoic acid) as a potential substance in kombucha.  But I couldn’t determine the source of this information.  If you’re interested in kombucha, here’s a link to a research article about it.  Nothing about butyrate in it, though:  Changes in major componnets of tea fungus metabolites during prolonged fermentation.  In addition, I found something called “Teapedia.”  It also lists butyric acid as a potential component of kombucha:  Kombucha. 

So as far as fermented foods and butyrate go, I think there is probably a tad in some. Not much, if any, in the sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles I eat. If there’s a strong smell like parmesan cheese or stinky locker room, there’s probably a good chance there’s butyrate there. Trust your nose.

Final Thought

Does the presence of butyrate in what you eat even make a difference?  If you surf around regarding oral butyrate (either via food or via supplements), you’ll see concern about how butyrate does not make it to the colon.  It seems to be important to have butyrate actually physically in the colon. (8,9,10)  Many human studies on oral butyrate use an enteric coated formulation so it can make it all the way to the colon (11).  Two things cross my small mind here:

  1. Although most butyrate seems to be absorbed by the small intestine, the absorption of butyrate is “saturable,” meaning at some point the transport of butyrate will become overwhelmed, and butyrate can scoot on by to make it to the colon without being absorbed.  (12,13)
  2. It appears that the butyrate that is absorbed makes it to the blood for beneficial effects, even on the colon, and this seems beneficial to the body too.  From a study looking at short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and butyrate on mice with induced colitis: “It is now clear that the trophic [positive growth] effect of SCFA is due not only to the simple provision of energy to the host but also to the combination of local action and systemic metabolism of SCFA… We have demonstrated that this protection can be obtained by oral doses of SCFA.” (emphasis mine) (14)

Point one makes me think that if enough butyrate is taken through foods, there is a point at which absorption is overcome, and so some butyrate does actually make it to the colon.  Point two makes me think that even if it does get all absorbed, even that which is absorbed makes a difference both to the entire body and to the colon.

If you can’t eat dairy.  Don’t despair.  The next post will look at butyrate producing foods we can eat.

Take good care.

~Terri

Part 5

Sources:  (Most sources can be found in entirety or in significant portions on-line if you look for links to PDF files or look for little boxes that say “Full text.”)

  1. Milk Fats:  http://www.cyberlipid.org/glycer/glyc0073.htm
  2. Understanding the Ruminant Animal Digestive System from Mississippi State University Extension Service:  http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p2503.pdf
  3. Foods High in Butyric Acid:  http://wholefoodcatalog.info/nutrient/butyric_acid/foods/high/
  4. The Ambiguity of a Pat of Butter:  http://www.ochef.com/1460.htm
  5. Butyric Acid Content of Food:  http://wholefoodcatalog.info/nutrient/butyric_acid/foods/
  6. Chemical and Sensory Characterization of Commercial Sauerkraut.  Trail, Young, Fleming, and McFeeters.  Journal of Food Quality.  1996.  19:  pp. 15-30.  http://www.ncsu.edu/foodscience/USDAARS/Acrobatpubs/P254-286/P258.pdf
  7. Fermentation Products of Sugar-Beet Fiber by Cecal Bacteria Lower Plasma Cholesterol Concentration in Rats.  Hara, Haga, Kasai, and Kiriyama.  The Journal of Nutrition.  April 1998.  128:4 (688-698).  http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/4/688.full
  8. Butyrate and the Colonocyte.  Velazquez, Lederer, and Rombeau.  Digestive Diseases and Sciences.  April 1996.  41: 4(727-739).  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02213129
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3070119/  Potential effects of butyrate on intestinal and extraintestinal disease.
  10. Short-chain fatty acid formation at fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates. Henningsson, Bjorck, and Nyman.  Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition.  2001.  45: 165-168.
  11. Oral butyrate for mildly to moderately active Crohn’s disease.    Sabatino et al.  Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Nov 1;22(9):789-94 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16225487
  12. Absorption of short chain fatty acids from the human ileum.  Schmitt, Konrad, et al. Digestive Diseases.  1977. 22:4 (340-347).  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01072192#page-1      STEFF, MEMS
  13. Absorption of short chain fatty acids from the human jejunum. Schmitt, Soergel, and Wood.   Gastroenterology.  February 1976.  70: 2 (211-215).  http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(76)70032-5/abstract
  14. Protection by Short-Chain Fatty Acids against 1-B-D-Arabinofuranosylcytosine-Induced      Intestinal Lesions in Germfree Mice.       Ramos, Bambirra, Nicoli, Cara, Vieira, and Alvarez-Leite.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother.  April 1999.  43:4(950-953).  http://aac.asm.org/content/43/4/950.full