Short chain fatty acids and colonic health

Bratisl Lek Listy. 2007;108(8):354-8.


Recently, colonic health has been linked to the maintaining overall health status and reducing the risk of diseases by changes in lifestyle. Functional foods, such as "prebiotics" and "probiotics", dietary fibers, and other dietary components that target the colon and affect its environment enhancing short fatty acid (SCFA) production have been at the forefront. The topic of this review is the key end products of colonic fermentation, the SCFA butyric, acetic, and propionic acids. SCFA are readily absorbed. Butyrate is the major energy source for colonocytes. Propionate is largely taken up by the liver. Acetate enters the peripheral circulation to be metabolized by peripheral tissues. Specific SCFA may reduce the risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular disesase (Fig. 1, Ref. 30). Full Text (Free, PDF)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colon / physiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile