Delivery of Acetate to the Peripheral Blood after Consumption of Foods High in Short-Chain Fatty Acids

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2021 Feb;65(4):e2000953. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.202000953. Epub 2021 Jan 22.


Scope: To promote local and systemic benefits of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), methods of increasing their delivery to the gastrointestinal tract are needed. SCFA in foods and beverages represents a poorly characterized source. Main aims of this study are: 1) quantify SCFA in commonly consumed foods and beverages, and 2) explore the pharmacokinetics of consuming oral SCFA from dietary sources.

Methods and results: Gas-chromatography coupled to flame ionization detection is used measure SCFA in 38 commonly consumed foods and beverages. Acetate is the most abundant SCFA detected, with kombucha and vinegar found to provide >1000 mg of acetate per serve. An acute pharmacokinetic study is conducted in 10 participants. Acetate is stable across the 2-h sampling period after consumption of a control drink, with consumption of a vinegar drink containing 25 mmol acetate significantly increasing plasma acetate concentration after 60 min and increasing acetate delivery to the blood upon assessment of the area under the pharmacokinetic curve.

Conclusion: Fermented foods and beverages are a natural source of dietary SCFA that acutely deliver SCFA to the blood. If systemic delivery is needed for immunological and metabolic effects to occur, these may be achieved if delivered over a longer period of time.

Keywords: acetate; fermented food; pharmacokinetics; postbiotic; short-chain fatty acids; vinegar.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / blood*
  • Beverages
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / analysis*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Fermented Foods
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Humans
  • Kombucha Tea
  • Male
  • Young Adult


  • Acetates
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Kombucha Tea