Today we’re talking about calcium/magnesium butyrate. It sounds like a mouthful but it is really quite simple!
Calcium/magnesium butyrate is a supplement that contains three components:
- Magnesium and
Most of us may have heard of calcium and magnesium, but butyrate may be new to you. Butyrate is a nutrient that the bacteria in your gut (your microbiome) produces when certain types of fibre and resistant starch that you eat is digested. Butyrate is important because it has a number of health benefits.
Not only is butyrate formed through digestion in your gut, but we can also take it in as a supplement. There are various forms of butyrate supplementation available, but in our opinion, calcium/magnesium butyrate wins the race hands down. Let’s dig into this in more detail.
What is Butyrate?
We all know that eating fibre is good for our health. It aids in digestion and helps you go to the loo with ease. Due to the way it is digested, it produces specialised substances that can have whole-body effects. One of the beneficial substances that the digestion of fibre produces is known as short-chain fatty acids (or SCFA).
SCFA have a number of beneficial effects on our gut and on our bodies as a whole. The three most common SCFAs are acetate, propionate and butyrate.
One of the many functions butyrate plays is to nourish and feed the cells of your colon. Without enough butyrate, these cells suffer and this leads to a breakdown in your health.
Butyrate works in a few ways including that it:
- Works against inflammation
- Improves intestinal barrier function
- Modulates immunity
As we mentioned, butyrate is formed through the digestion of certain fibres as well as resistant starches. Some notable foods which contain these butyrate-producing substances include onions, garlic, slightly green bananas, beans and Jerusalem artichokes.Research is ongoing, but occasionally food sources of certain nutrients are not high enough to produce a clinical effect. For this reason (and for convenience), butyrate supplements are also available. Supplementing with butyrate can lower inflammation in the body and can also benefit the good bacteria in our gut.
The name of the game in this article is to discuss these supplements in greater detail. We will show you why we think that calcium/magnesium butyrate supplementation is the right choice for you!
What Are The Health Benefits of Butyrate?
Not only does butyrate have health benefits for your digestive system, but it also has benefits for your whole body.
Some whole-body benefits of butyrate include:
- Reducing Gut Inflammation
- Preventing Obesity (may assist with weight loss)
- Reducing Risk of Colon Cancer
- Reducing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) pain
- Inhibits Growth of Pathogenic Bacteria
How Do I Choose a Butyrate Supplement?
There are many benefits to taking butyrate supplements. New research is emerging every day and we are only starting to scratch the surface of this interesting nutrient.
With so many supplements available on our shelves, how do you go about choosing which supplement is right for you?
Let’s explore what to look out for in a butyrate supplement.
Butyrate by itself can’t do its magic
Choosing the Right Form
Free butyrate tastes and smells notoriously terrible. Some people even describe it as smelling like rancid milk, making it difficult for the average person to consume. This, in combination with the fact that it is also known to be rapidly absorbed, means that it needs to be consumed in a specific form. It can either be bound to another substance (i.e. butyrate salt) or coated in a special substance (i.e. enteric coating) to protect it from early absorption.
Butyrate’s helpers can be…
Butyrate supplements often contain sodium or calcium (thus the label will read sodium butyrate or calcium butyrate). Both form a stable butyrate salt and both provide nutritional value. Occasionally an additional nutrient will be added to these forms, for example, selenium, potassium, zinc or magnesium. The reason manufacturers add these to the supplement, is to increase the nutritional value for the consumer (that’s you!)When you take calcium/magnesium butyrate, not only are you reaping the benefits of the butyrate in its appropriate form, but you also get additional calcium AND magnesium!
Why is Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate a Better Choice?
Sodium butyrate and calcium/magnesium butyrate are both good options to use as butyrate supplements. However, calcium/magnesium butyrate does seem to be more stable and it has the added benefit of increasing beneficial nutrients in your diet.
Another benefit includes that calcium/magnesium butyrate is less hygroscopic. This means that it attracts less water from its surroundings and won’t go soggy on the shelf.
What About Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate Dosage?
The most common dosage recommendation for butyrate supplementation is 150-300mg/ day. However, the optimal dosage has not been easy to establish due to the fact that a number of the experimental studies have come back as inconclusive.
However, a recent literature review found that this dosage may be too low to produce clinically meaningful effects for people suffering from gut disorders and diseases. So, some authors suggest that you take more than this.
The probability of taking too much is very low and there have been no known cases of butyrate overdose. As always, before you take any kind of supplement, discuss the pros and cons with your healthcare professional.
Does Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate Have Side Effects?
Butyrate supplements are among the safest supplements you can take. To date, there are no studies that show negative side effects in people who take the recommended dose.
When consuming butyrate in excess, your body naturally excretes what it doesn’t need. However, in some animal studies, extremely high doses of butyrate can lead to swelling of the kidneys and damage cells of the intestines.
So while it is safe, as with everything in life, going to the extreme is not always better!
When taking a supplement to improve your health, it is vital to weigh up the pros and cons. We know that consuming this supplement in regular doses can have a meaningful impact with minimal side effects.
Thus the risk-benefit ratio is swayed towards beneficial for most people.
Best Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate Supplements
To help you find the best calcium/magnesium butyrate supplements, here are some of our top picks:
This supplement provides you with 360mg butyrate per serving, along with 48% of your daily calcium needs and 60% of your daily magnesium needs. In addition to this, it is also micro-encapsulated, which means it is covered with a slow-release substance that helps to ensure that the butyrate is absorbed at the right time (i.e. when it reaches your colon).
If you’re looking for a keto, vegan and vegetarian-friendly supplement then this one is a good choice! This supplement from BodyBio contains 120mg of butyrate per serving and it also provides 16% of your daily calcium needs, along with 20% of your daily magnesium needs.
Our verdict is that there is really no reason why you shouldn’t be taking these supplements. It is a win-win situation!
Calcium/magnesium butyrate can help your body fight inflammation and disease making you healthier in the long run. Taking a calcium/magnesium butyrate supplement can also assist to prevent some nutritional deficiencies with little or no drawbacks.