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Neurosci Lett. 2016 Jun 20;625:56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Butyrate, neuroepigenetics and the gut microbiome: Can a high fiber diet improve brain health?

Author information

1
Sperling Center for Hemorrhagic Stroke Recovery, Burke Medical Research Institute, 785 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605, USA; Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Ave. Box 65, New York, NY 10065, USA.
2
Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina Genetic Medicine Building, Room 5060, 120 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
3
Sperling Center for Hemorrhagic Stroke Recovery, Burke Medical Research Institute, 785 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605, USA; Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Ave. Box 65, New York, NY 10065, USA. Electronic address: rrr2001@med.cornell.edu.

Abstract

As interest in the gut microbiome has grown in recent years, attention has turned to the impact of our diet on our brain. The benefits of a high fiber diet in the colon have been well documented in epidemiological studies, but its potential impact on the brain has largely been understudied. Here, we will review evidence that butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by bacterial fermentation of fiber in the colon, can improve brain health. Butyrate has been extensively studied as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor but also functions as a ligand for a subset of G protein-coupled receptors and as an energy metabolite. These diverse modes of action make it well suited for solving the wide array of imbalances frequently encountered in neurological disorders. In this review, we will integrate evidence from the disparate fields of gastroenterology and neuroscience to hypothesize that the metabolism of a high fiber diet in the gut can alter gene expression in the brain to prevent neurodegeneration and promote regeneration.

KEYWORDS:

Butyrate; Gut microbiome; Gut-brain axis; High fiber diet; Neuroepigenetics

PMID:
26868600
PMCID:
PMC4903954
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2016.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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