If you’re living with an autoimmune disease, you’re someone who struggles with pain, fatigue, weakness, anxiety, and/or stomach issues on a daily basis.
You may have been told your condition has no known cause and it is something you must “live with” or “get used to”.
That’s not true at all. For one thing, autoimmunity has a root cause, and the root cause is an unhealthy gut. For another, you have the power to make your gut cure your autoimmune disease in a matter of months!
How Your Gut Health Affects Autoimmunity
Your gut contains the largest collection of immune cells, consisting of 70 percent of all lymphoid tissues in your body.
In order for an autoimmune disease to develop, three factors need to be present:
- Genetic predisposition
For example, if your grandfather had psoriatic arthritis, you have a genetic predisposition for the disease. However, just because you have the predisposition does not mean you will automatically get the disease.
- Environmental factors
Environmental factors such as infections, toxin exposure, emotional and mental stress, cigarette smoking, alcohol misuse, and excessive use of antibiotics are just a few of the environmental factors that can trigger autoimmune disease.
The microbiome is your inner ecosystem of gut bacteria. When the correct strains of microbiota are present in the amount they should be, your immune system can easily distinguish between foreign invaders and your healthy tissues.
However, in the case of gut dysbiosis, where pathogenic (bad) bacteria grow out of control and crowd out friendly bacteria, autoimmune disease can result.
Butyrate – The Anti-Inflammatory Fat You Never Knew Existed
Butyrate is a type of fatty acid you may have never heard of before, but it can act as your secret weapon against autoimmune disease.
Butyrate is absolutely necessary for your digestive system to work properly. It controls the growth of the cells lining your gut and makes sure there is a good balance between old cells and new cells. It is also an important energy source for those cells.
One of butyrate’s most important jobs is to help regulate the production and development of T-cells. T-cells are what help your immune system distinguish tissue that belongs to you from everything else that could be a threat to your system.
It’s when this ability breaks down that your immune system launches an attack on your own healthy tissues, resulting in autoimmune disease.
How to Get Your Gut to Start Manufacturing Butyrate
The best way to get your gut to start manufacturing butyrate is by eating fiber-rich foods.
There’s a certain type of starch called ‘resistant starch’ that will make your gut produce butyrate more effectively. Unlike typical carbohydrates, resistant starch does not get broken down by your stomach. This is what enables it to make it to your lower intestine, where it ferments food and manufactures butyrate.
Good sources of resistant starch include:
- White Beans
- Parboiled Rice
- Cooked Rice (Cooled)
- Cooked Potatoes (Cooled)
- Cooked Legumes (Cooled)
Note: When beginning to eat resistant starch, start with a small amount and work your way up to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal complaints.
- Butyrate and Colitis
According to a study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, rats who were given germinated barley foodstuff (GBF) showed an increase in the production of bacterial butyrate and improved intestinal barrier function. This resulted in a reduction of severity of their experimental colitis.
- Butyrate and Crohn’s Disease
According to a study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, “oral supplementation with butyrate (4 grams a day for eight weeks) improved the symptoms of Crohn’s disease in nine out of 13 patients.”
Butyrate Alternatives for the Sensitive Digestive System
Not everybody can eat resistant starch foods. If your digestive system is especially sensitive, or you have been sick for a long time, it’s best to start with pastured ghee (clarified butter) and organic vegetables.
Ghee is easier on your digestive system than butter, especially if you have lactose and casein sensitivities. Furthermore, while butter contains only 12-15 percent short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids, ghee offers 25 percent or greater!
A plate of steamed, organic vegetables topped with ghee is an excellent meal for someone with autoimmune disease.
Steaming vegetables is the best way to retain their nutrients, the vegetables also contain fiber, and the ghee contains butyrate, so it decreases the amount of effort your gut has to put into producing it!
If you have an inflammatory bowel disease or another condition that prevents you from eating too much fiber, consider a butyrate supplement.
In searching for the best supplement to recommend, I found a gluten-free, non-GMO supplement that also contains magnesium and calcium. Unlike other supplements I found, BodyBio Cal-Mag Butyrate does not contain magnesium stearate or other harmful fillers.
Despite what you may have been told, you do not have to just live with autoimmune disease. You can put it into remission by healing your gut, lowering your stress levels, and reducing your exposure to environmental toxins.