Short chain fatty acids

Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA), are fatty acids with not more than six carbon atoms in the chains.

What are short-chain fatty acids? This is a fair question. Indeed, saturated and, unsaturated fatty acids or omega-3-fatty acids are often discussed, but so far short-chain fatty acids are little known. The answer is quite simple: short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are fatty acids with not more than six carbon atoms in the chains. They are generated mainly by the bacteria living in the intestine, here again mainly from fiber and fiber-rich food such as fruits, vegetables and legumes. The more fiber and fiber-rich food we eat, the more short-chain fatty acids are present in the intestine. Most of the short-chain fatty acids representing about 95% of the fatty acids in the human body are:

  • Acetic acid (acetate, 2 carbon atoms)
  • Propionic acid (propionate, 3 carbon atoms) and
  • Butyric acid (butyrate, 4 carbon atoms).

Short-chain fatty acids are frequently found in form of their salts. In the case of propionic acid, these are, for example, calcium or sodium propionate. These two salts are used in the production of bread and pastries and are found, among other things, in malt drinks and beer. They also occur, for example, in the maturation of cheese such as the Emmental cheese and the Swiss cheese. For a long time, public and scientific considerations focused on medium to long chain fatty acids. Only recently short-chain fatty acids enter the limelight of scientific interest. Previously, as a food preservatives they had a rather critical role in the public awareness. For several years, the potential positive effects of short-chain fatty acids in animals and humans have been discussed essentially in science. In most articles, the positive effects on intestinal flora by intake of sodium propionate in humans are reported. A breakthrough resulting in a completely new view of the effect of short chain fatty acids was the discovery of their inhibitory effects on adverse inflammatory processes in the human body, e.g. autoimmune diseases. Obviously, they also have a beneficial role in the regulation of sugar and fat metabolism.

News about short-chain fatty acids:

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Odd-chain fatty acids as a biomarker for dietary fiber intake

19. April 2017

Odd-chain fatty acids as a biomarker for dietary fiber intake: a novel pathway for endogenous production from propionate Click here for the article Continue reading

Rumblings of Parkinson’s: Gut Microbiome Shifts in Early Stage of Disease

28. April 2017

By the time a person with Parkinson’s notices something is wrong, the microbes in his gut may have long known about it. Click here for the article Continue reading

Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)

20. April 2017

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are small organic acids with less than six carbons, which are produced by fermentation of unabsorbed and undigested components of food in the large intestine, by… Continue reading

Statement: Sugar and fat metabolism
Statement: Nutrition and intake of propionates
Statement: Administration of fatty acids of different chain lengths
What is the mechanism of action of short-chain fatty acids, especially sodium propionate?
How much sodium propionate should be taken daily?
What are short-chain fatty acids and what is the difference between short- and long-chain?
Is it recommended to take sodium prophylactic?
Is there a time restriction on the use?
Is there any evidence for the use of sodium propionate?
What happens if you accidentally overdose?
Was ist in Propicum enthalten?
What is sodium propionate?
Should sodium / calcium propionate be taken with or independently of other food?
Are there any positive effects on other diseases or healthy people?
Are there interactions between short-chain fatty acids and drugs?
Are there any positive effects on other diseases or healthy people?
Is sodium / calcium propionate also suitable for children?
How is the mode of action of short-chain fatty acids, especially sodium propionate?
Why is propionic acid interesting from a scientific point of view?
Is the intake in rheumatic diseases useful?
Is there a time restriction on the use?
Is there evidence of the use of sodium or calcium propionate?
What is the mode of action of short-chain fatty acids, especially sodium propionate?
Is there any evidence of the use of sodium propionate or calcium propionate?
What are the differences between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids?
How much sodium propionate should you consume daily?
What are short-chain fatty acids?