When you first hear or read about Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA), you might think that because of the word 'fatty', they are 'bad' for you. However, this is different for Short-Chain Fatty Acids! SCFA's are incredibly powerful and truly are your body's health heroes!
In this blog, we will explore:
- What are Short-Chain Fatty Acids?
- Sources of Short-Chain Fatty Acids
- How to Boost your SCFA Levels
- An Easy, Convenient Solution to Boost Your Short-Chain Fatty Acids
What are Short-Chain Fatty Acids?
Short-Chain Fatty Acids, or SCFAs, are a group of organic acids with a relatively small carbon chain length, typically containing fewer than six carbon atoms. They are produced during the fermentation of dietary fibre by gut bacteria in the colon.
The three most common SCFAs are:
Acetate: This SCFA is the most abundant in the human colon and is produced by several types of gut bacteria.
Propionate: Another vital SCFA, propionate, is synthesised by specific bacteria and has important metabolic effects.
Butyrate: Butyrate is the most well-known SCFA for its numerous health benefits.
Sources of SCFA
SCFAs are primarily produced in the colon through the fermentation of dietary fibre.
Foods rich in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, serve as our diet's primary sources of SCFAs.
By consuming these fibre-rich foods, you can support a healthy gut microbiome and promote the production of SCFAs.
Here is a list of foods rich in dietary fibre, which can promote the production of short-chain fatty acids:
- Chicory root (a surprising way to get chicory root fibre is revealed below!)
- Whole grains: oatmeal, brown rice, bran, whole wheat pasta
- Legumes: beans, lentils and chickpeas
- Fruits: apples, pears, berries, oranges and bananas
- Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes
- Nuts & seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts
- Psyllium Husk: A fibre supplement
- Popcorn: Minus the excess butter or oil, this is a great source of dietary fibre
Including these fibre-rich foods in your diet can help support a healthy gut microbiome and the production of beneficial SCFAs in your colon.
Find out more:
Health Benefits of SCFAs
The impact of SCFAs on our health is nothing short of remarkable.
Here are some of the key benefits Short-Chain Fatty Acids provide:
Gut Health: SCFAs are crucial in maintaining a healthy gut lining. They help nourish the cells lining the colon and promote a strong intestinal barrier.
Metabolic Health: SCFAs, particularly butyrate, have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity and reduced inflammation, making them important for metabolic health.
Immune System Support: These fatty acids can modulate the immune system, helping to balance the inflammatory response and protect against certain diseases.
Brain Health: Emerging research suggests that SCFAs may positively impact brain health and cognitive function, potentially influencing conditions like Alzheimer's.
How to Boost Your SCFA Levels
With 91% of people not getting enough of the life-saving superfood, fibre, it's safe to assume most people need to up their fibre game to enhance SFCA production.
Incorporating probiotics into your diet, such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut, are a great start to helping get your gut health in shape.
Prebiotics are the essential and special fibre that probiotics need to survive, flourish and thrive, ultimately creating a happier gut microbiome and a happier (and healthier you!).
Foods such as asparagus, bananas, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes are sources of prebiotic fibre. However, you must eat many of these to achieve the recommended daily 3-5g of prebiotic fibre!
For example, you would need to eat 3 medium-sized onions!
Find out more:
We have a solution!
Studies such as this one published in Nature have proven that prebiotic chicory root fibre significantly increases intestinal production of SCFA.
ió fibrewater is the UK's (and world's) first prebiotic fibre-infused water (made with chicory root fibre) that delivers 20% of your daily fibre intake and 100% of your daily prebiotic fibre intake AND is scientifically proven (in a Glasgow Caledonian University study) to increase your friendly gut bacteria (probiotics) significantly.
Not only does our revolutionary water taste great, and it has no nasty ingredients, no added sugar and is just 17 kcals and 1.3g (net) carbs, it's easy and convenient to incorporate into your daily routine too.
Get 20% off your ió fibrewater order using the code 'SCFA20' at the checkout.
Experience the difference - proven results
In addition to our Glasgow Caledonian University study, our research found that people drinking a bottle of ió fibrewater daily for 12 days (1 case) achieved significant results, as you can see below!
This chart is for 28 people taking part in the 12-Day Challenge. You can read more about this and the Glasgow Caledonian University study here.
Backed by science
The University of Roehampton is studying The Effects of ió fibrewater Supplementation on Gut Health, Immunity and Metabolism in Overweight Adults. This study is listed on the National Institute of Health Library of Medicine. This study investigates the effects of ió fibrewater on body composition parameters, blood chemistry and cognitive, psychological and behavioural factors in overweight adults.
The preliminary results from the Roehampton study are extremely promising and include 'significant' results regarding weight loss, lower blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and sleep, with further improvements in stress levels, anxiety, depression, cognition and eating less at mealtimes.
Short-Chain Fatty Acids are small but mighty molecules that profoundly impact our health.
By prioritising a fibre-rich diet and promoting a diverse gut microbiome, you can harness the numerous benefits of SCFAs and support your overall well-being. So, the next time you enjoy a hearty salad or a bowl of oatmeal (and a bottle of ió fibrewater!), remember that you're satisfying your taste buds and nourishing your body with these essential compounds.