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Butyrate-producing human gut symbiont, Clostridium butyricum, and its role in health and disease

  • 2021-01-01
  • Gut Microbes 13(1)
    • Magdalena K. Stoeva
    • Jeewon Garcia-So
    • N. Justice
    • J. Myers
    • Surabhi Tyagi
    • Madeleine Nemchek
    • Paul J. McMurdie
    • O. Kolterman
    • J. Eid


Clostridium butyricum is a butyrate-producing human gut symbiont that has been safely used as a probiotic for decades. C. butyricum strains have been investigated for potential protective or ameliorative effects in a wide range of human diseases, including gut-acquired infection, intestinal injury, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegenerative disease, metabolic disease, and colorectal cancer. In this review we summarize the studies on C. butyricum supplementation with special attention to proposed mechanisms for the associated health benefits and the supporting experimental evidence. These mechanisms center on molecular signals (especially butyrate) as well as immunological signals in the digestive system that cascade well beyond the gut to the liver, adipose tissue, brain, and more. The safety of probiotic C. butyricum strains appears well-established. We identify areas where additional human randomized controlled trials would provide valuable further data related to the strains' utility as an intervention.

Keywords: Clostridium butyricum; butyrate; cancer; immunity; inflammation; intestinal barrier; irritable bowel syndrome; metabolic disease; neurodegeneration; short chain fatty acid.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Clostridium butyricumImproved Effectiveness in Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Irritable Bowel Syndrome SymptomsBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumImproved Metabolic Disease MarkersBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumIncreased Immunity to Gut-Acquired InfectionsBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumNeuroprotection in Neurodegenerative DiseasesBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Colon Cancer RiskBeneficial
Clostridium butyricumReduced Intestinal DamageBeneficial

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