Short Chain Fatty Acids: A topic new to many of us, but an energy source quite familiar to our bodies. Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) are fatty acids produced through intestinal microbial fermentation and play a critical role in our digestive health. SCFAs are created when indigestible dietary components— such as fiber— ferment inside the colon.1 Once in the colon, SCFAs1,2 provide energy to colon cells and boost immune function.
So, how do we enhance our bodies’ SCFA production? Scientists have found evidence to suggest that SCFA production is directly tied to what we eat, particularly, how much fiber we eat. 1,3 Thus, our fiber intake determines the type and quantity of SCFA made in our colon.
In fact, fiber is beneficial to the health of our microbiome in numerous ways. In our digestive system, prebiotic fiber helps nourish the friendly, good bacteria in the gut, which supports healthy digestion and immune health. Fiber promotes feelings of fullness when eating (satiety), which helps maintain healthy weight. Additional benefits from dietary fiber include regulating blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of disease such as cancer.4
Despite the overwhelming health benefits, most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their daily diet. Foods such as whole grains, whole fruits, and vegetables provide an excellent source of fiber and can be eaten as snacks or worked into most meals. If you are having trouble getting enough prebiotic fiber in your diet, Fiber Choice® Fruity Bites Gummies are a delicious way to add that necessary fiber to your daily routine. Check out the full range of Fiber Choice® products here.
1 Campbell K. Breaking it down: Short-chain fatty acids and your health. Gut Microbiota for Health. https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/breaking-short-chain-fatty-acids-health/. Published March 2, 2020. Accessed March 19, 2020.
2 Tan J, McKenzie C, Potamitis M, Thorburn AN, Mackay CR, Macia L. The role of short-chain fatty acids in health and disease. Advances in immunology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24388214. Published 2014. Accessed March 19, 2020.
3 Den Besten G, Van Eunen K, Groen AK, et al. The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. Journal of lipid research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3735932/. Published September 2013. Accessed March 19, 2020.
4 How to add more fiber to your diet. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983. Published November 16, 2018. Accessed March 19, 2020.