Niacin and Butyrate: Nutraceuticals Targeting Dysbiosis and Intestinal Permeability in Parkinson's Disease

Nutrients. 2020 Dec 23;13(1):28. doi: 10.3390/nu13010028.


Dysbiosis is implicated by many studies in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Advances in sequencing technology and computing have resulted in confounding data regarding pathogenic bacterial profiles in conditions such as PD. Changes in the microbiome with reductions in short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria and increases in endotoxin-producing bacteria likely contribute to the pathogenesis of PD. GPR109A, a G-protein coupled receptor found on the surface of the intestinal epithelium and immune cells, plays a key role in controlling intestinal permeability and the inflammatory cascade. The absence of GPR109A receptors is associated with decreased concentration of tight junction proteins, leading to increased intestinal permeability and susceptibility to inflammation. In inflammatory states, butyrate acts via GPR109A to increase concentrations of tight junction proteins and improve intestinal permeability. Niacin deficiency is exacerbated in PD by dopaminergic medications. Niacin supplementation has been shown to shift macrophage polarization from pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile. Niacin and butyrate, promising nutrients and unique ligands for the G protein-coupled receptor GPR109A, are reviewed in this paper in detail.

Keywords: GPR109A; brain-gut axis; butyrate; intestinal barrier; leaky gut; microbiome; niacin; nutraceutical; parkinson’s diseases; permeability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butyrates / metabolism
  • Butyrates / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dysbiosis / drug therapy*
  • Dysbiosis / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Niacin / metabolism
  • Niacin / therapeutic use*
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Permeability / drug effects


  • Butyrates
  • Niacin