Benefits of Short-Chain Fatty Acids

Short Chain Fatty Acids

Short-chain fatty acids are a sub-group of fatty acids with aliphatic tails of two to six carbons. Short-chain fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids are primarily absorbed through the portal vein during lipid digestion,[1] while long-chain fatty acids are packed into chylomicrons and enter lymphatic capillaries, and enter the blood first at the subclavian vein. Short-chain fatty acids are produced in small amounts when dietary fiber is fermented in the colon.[2]

Butyric Acid

Butyric acid is a short chain fatty acid, which supports the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestine, and serves the natural processes of aerobic energy metabolism. Short chain fatty acids can have the protective ability of impeding the proliferation of damaging cells in the colon, and have been associated with helping to maintain healthy blood lipid and sugar levels. Butyrate is a major metabolite in colonic lumen arising from bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber and has been shown to be a critical mediator of the colonic inflammatory response. Butyrate possesses both preventive and therapeutic potential to counteract inflammation-mediated ulcerative colitis (UC) and colorectal cancer. The role of butyrate changes differs between normal and cancerous cells. This is known as the 'butyrate paradox'. Butyrate inhibits colonic tumor cells, and promotes healthy colonic epithelial cells;[1] but the signaling mechanism is not well understood.[2]

Butyric acid can act epigenetically as an histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, inhibiting the function of histone deacetylase enzymes, thereby favoring an acetylated state of histones in the cell. This is a major mechanism of epigenetic regulation of genetic expression. Two HDAC inhibitors, sodium butyrate (NaB) and trichostatin A (TSA), increase lifespan in experimental animals.[3] Butyrate is a major metabolite in colonic lumen arising from bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber and has been shown to be a critical mediator of the colonic inflammatory response.

Caprylic acid

Caprylic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that is absorbed from the intestines and carried by blood lipids. Caprylic acid is known to have anti-fungal properties. Mounting evidence also suggests that some of the naturally derived, medium-chain, saturated fatty acids also possess anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties. Caprylic acid is also used in the treatment of some bacterial infections. Due to its relatively short chain length it has no difficulty in penetrating fatty cell wall membranes, hence its effectiveness in combating certain lipid-coated bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and various species of Streptococcus.

The Challenge

For all their potential health benefits, when taken alone, medium-chain fatty acids like caprylic acid can have difficulty in penetrating fatty cell wall membranes where they may be most needed. Until now, the challenge with these two essential fatty acids has been successfully blending their properties while maintaining each component's unique abilities. With Intrinsa, Dr. D'Adamo successfully utilized precise nutrient blending so that caprylic acid works synergistically with butyric acid -- a short-chain fatty acid --so that both can more easily penetrate tissues in the body such as muscles, joints, and sinuses. We call this successful nutrient blending Intrinsa's Dual Fatty Acid Complex (DFAC) to distinguish its genuinely unique properties.

And The Solution

Imagine a person new to The Blood Type Diet: Type A beginning to ingest more fiber for the first time in years, or Type O introducing more high-quality protein sources into the system. Some bodies may experience quite an adjustment period. Fascinating new research into essential fatty acids suggests that our unique Intrinsa DFAC may be supportive for both of these people.Of greatest interest in the research are the fiber and protein facilitating properties of short chain and medium chain fatty acids. It appears that essential fatty acids such as butyric acid and caprylic acid may facilitate the transit time through the system and aid in metabolizing proteins and fiber.

The Larch Connection

Dr. D'Adamo's pure food-grade ARA6 Larch arabinogalactan further enhances the Intrinsa formula. When combined with the fiber--transit benefits of the DFAC, Larch improves gastrointestinal health by increasing gut microflora, and offering immune enhancing properties.

Larch arabinogalactan increases gut microflora, e.g., Lactobacillus, increases short-chain fatty acid production, and minimizes ammonia production and absorption. These effects suggest it may be beneficial as a dietary fiber supplement for improving gastrointestinal health.

The Basics

Our Intrinsa formula supports stomach, small intestine, and colon health. Developed by Dr. D'Adamo for use in his Clinic, Intrinsa is the result of nearly five years of work. Dr. D'Adamo has successfully blended two synergistic dietary nutrients, Butyric Acid and Caprylic Acid, with linking nutrient components to create a superior formula to protect and support stomach, intestine and colon health.



  1. Brody, Tom (1999). Nutritional Biochemistry (2nd ed.). Academic Press. p. 320. ISBN 0121348369. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  2. Wong, Julia M.; de Souza, Russell; Kendall, Cyril W.; Emam, Azadeh; Jenkins, David J. (2006). "Colonic Health: Fermentation and Short Chain Fatty Acids". Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 40 (3): 235-243. doi:10.1097/00004836-200603000-00015. PMID 16633129.
  3. Vanhoutvin, SA; Troost, FJ; Hamer, HM; Lindsey, PJ; Koek, GH; Jonkers, DM; Kodde, A; Venema, K et al. (2009). Bereswill, Stefan. ed. "Butyrate-Induced Transcriptional Changes in Human Colonic Mucosa". PLoS ONE 4 (8): e6759. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006759. PMC 2727000. PMID 19707587.
  4. Klampfer, L; Huang, J; Sasazuki, T; Shirasawa, S; Augenlicht, L (2004). "Oncogenic Ras Promotes Butyrate-induced Apoptosis through Inhibition of Gelsolin Expression". The Journal of Biological Chemistry 279 (35): 36680–8. doi:10.1074/jbc.M405197200. PMID 15213223.
  5. Zhang, M; Poplawski, M; Yen, K; Cheng, H; Bloss, E; Zhu, X; Patel, H; Mobbs, CV et al. (2009). Dillin, Andy. ed. "Role of CBP and SATB-1 in Aging, Dietary Restriction, and Insulin-Like Signaling". PLoS Biology 7 (11): e1000245. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000245. PMC 2774267. PMID 19924292.
  6. Nair MK, Joy J, Vasudevan P, Hinckley L, Hoagland TA, Venkitanarayanan KS (Oct 2005). "Antibacterial effect of caprylic acid and monocaprylin on major bacterial mastitis pathogens". J Dairy Sci 88 (10): 3488–95. doi:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(05)73033-2. PMID 16162522.

Reviewed and revised on: 01/12/2023      
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To promote a healthy digestive system, Dr. Peter D'Adamo blended two synergistic dietary nutrients, Butyric Acid and Caprylic Acid, with Larch Arabinogalactan to create Intrinsa.

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