SCFAs – The Link to Overall Health
There are good fats, bad fats, short fats, and long fats. Fats can be saturated and unsaturated. Fats are confusing, and can be the hardest aspect of nutrition and diet to understand.
Dietary and nutritional fats are called the triglycerides. They are made up of building blocks called “fatty acids” that come in three sizes: small, medium, and large.
They all have a very important role in keeping your body healthy. The most important one is the small fat, or the “short chain fatty acid” also known as the “SCFA”.
SCFAs are super significant to your health. These tiny molecular fatty structures play a huge role in the health of your intestinal tract. Because of the importance of intestinal health, the SCFAs are directly linked to a plethora of health issues. Because of this fact, they represent a major link to several other systems in your body. That is why they are so very important to understand.
There are two ways that you get these important fatty acid structures. SCFAs can be consumed directly by eating certain foods, and they are also manufactured within the gut. When the beneficial microbes eat the fiber found in vegetables, they secrete SCFAs.
Because of how small the SCFAs are, they enter into your blood stream rapidly. The amazing thing is that they actually curb your appetite and can help you lose weight. It might sound backwards, that you can eat fats and lose weight, but this is a little-known biological fact. Butter is one of the most common foods that you can eat, as it is a great source of SCFAs.
Fats also act as tiny messenger molecules that tell the brain and body what is happening in your digestive system. They are signaling molecules. When we understand this, it becomes apparent why we have a problem with traditional dietary advice that says we should avoid all fats. Traditional dietary and medical advice has always been focused on reducing and avoiding all fat. We have come to find out that this may not be sound scientific advice.
SCFAs also play a major role in helping to “calm down” systems in the body. This explains the important link between the intestines and the brain, which is referred to as the “gut-brain axis”. It has direct effects the development of schizophrenia, autism, and mental health issues. That’s why we now know that what we eat has a direct effect on mental health.
All SCFAs have a calming effect, but the most significant relaxing effect comes from butyric acid, which is the chemical that gives butter its characteristic qualities and taste. The bacteria that produce butyric acid kick into high gear when food is scarce, and many researchers now believe that this is the mechanism behind the health benefits associated with fasting.
Butyric acid derivatives, which are induced by caloric restriction, might also have a mitigating effect on pain and inflammation. This was reported by scientists from the Yale School of Medicine in an article published in the journal “Nature Medicine”. The researchers found that these benefits may extend to health challenges like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and dementias that are not typically associated with inflammatory pain.
What all this means is that upregulating butyric acid and increasing its levels in the blood can be one of the most important and effective of all dietary health strategies as stated by Pharmacist Ben Fuchs of Boulder, Colorado.
That means you can enjoy butter and cheese, because they are nature’s richest sources of butyric acid. And since it is produced by a reaction between fiber and the good microbes that live in your large intestine, you should make sure that you have a good beneficial bacteria population and a diet that includes lots of vegetables, mushrooms, and some good fruits.
Taking a probiotic supplement that has multiple strains of beneficial bacteria with a daily dose of 10 to 50 billion units, plus eating lots of fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso soup, and fresh, non-pasteurized kefir and yogurt can help you build a healthy gut that will pave the way to benefitting properly from SCFAs which will put you on the pathway to excellent overall health.he pathway to excellent overall health!
Scott Health Systems