The major SCFA’s produced are acetate, propionate, and butyrate, and each has an important role in the gut and in host animal metabolism. SCFA are the main source of energy for the cells lining of the colon. SCFA produced by microbial fermentation of plant fibers is also involved in glucose regulation. Inside the large intestine, short-chain fatty acids affect immunity, strengthen the intestinal wall, and feed the cells lining the gut.
*image source, nature.com http://www.nature.com
What is the process of how fiber is digested by microbes and creates short-chain fatty acids?
- Fiber gets to the large intestine and is devoured by microbes.
- Microbes feast on fermentable fibers that resist digestion.
- Microbes extract the fiber’s energy, nutrients, vitamins, and other compounds.
- Short-chain fatty acids are obtained from fiber fermentation and have been linked to improved immune function, decreased inflammation and protection against obesity. *