Blood sugar metabolism can seem like a mystery at times for many. Scientists now are aware of different pathways to help support blood sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity – which is termed Blood Sugar Dynamics. The 3 pathways that we will be discussing in this series are:
- The SCFA Pathway
- Insulin Signaling Pathway
- AMPK Pathway
Short Chain Fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced by friendly bacteria in your gut and are the main source of nutrition for the cells in your colon.1 Production of Short Chain Fatty acids, especially butyrate, in the gut microbiome is required for optimal health. Our low intake of fermentable dietary fiber in this modern world greatly impacts and limits this production. We tend to be a fast food, microwave society that eats very small amounts of diverse, fibrous foods.
Graphic from Apex Energetics
We now know that Short Chain Fatty acids also have a number of actions that are relevant to glucose metabolism. These Short Chain Fatty acids in the intestinal lumen (which is a hollow core or tube) bind to signaling receptors called GPRs2 in the colon causing them to release hormones (PYY and GLP-1). The PYY hormone increases the feeling of fullness so we are no longer hungry. The GLP-1 hormone increases pancreatic insulin secretion so that we convert sugar to energy instead of fat and free radicals. In other words, they are a master switches controlling fat burning vs fat storing.
Other major roles of Short Chain Fatty acids
- Inhibit Inflammation3
- Short Chain Fatty acids bind GPR receptors on immune cells to reduce inflammation and decreases pro-inflammatory markers called Nf-kB which is a known key element in creating insulin resistance.
- They are important fuel sources for the colon.4
- This helps with the intestinal lining cells so they stay healthy free of inflammation and disease. They also help the protective mucus layer in the colon.
- They improve intestinal tight junctions in the colon to prevent leaky gut and other auto immune problems.5
- This also reduces excessive inflammation
- By improving the integrity of the tight junctions, there is less immune triggering of inflammation and food sensitivity. This matter since excessive Inflammation is a known promoter of insulin resistance.
- They activate AMPK6 pathways which turns on fat burning and energy production.
As you can see, Short Chain Fatty acids have a direct influence and role in the Insulin Signaling Pathway and the AMPK Pathway and increasing these Short Chain Fatty acids has a major impact to our health.
Our microbiome and Short Chain Fatty acids and the interconnection of these blood sugar pathways can actually determine if you are Lean and fit, or fat and sick. Once our system has tilted into diabetes we are making lots of fat and free radicals. Your body cannot sustain health, balance and energy in that negative environment.
Key Products we carry at Renovare that support Short Chain Fatty acids and butyrate are:
- Mega Sporebiotic & Probiotic Max Restore
- Mega Mucosa
- Mega Prebiotic & OptiFiber® Lean
Upcoming article: Blood sugar balance and the pathways to help support it – Part 2
More articles on the Microbiome and Short Chain Fatty Acids (Click to Read)