Low Butyric Acid is Associated With Constipation in Geriatrics
Fauzi Yusuf, Muhammad Darma Muda Setia, Kudrah Manik and Muhsin Muhsin
Constipation is a disorder in bowel movement indicated by reduced defecation frequency to less than three times a week. About half of worldwide geriatrics experience constipation. Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as acetic, butyric, propionic and valeric acids, are the main products of microbial fermentation affecting bowel motility. Studies have shown the therapeutic effect of butyric supplements in reducing bowel pain, but less study assessed the role of SCFAs in constipation. This study evaluated levels of fecal SCFAs in 30 patients above 60 years old, both with and without constipation. No different level of SCFAs was found between constipation and non-constipation groups. Additionally, levels of acetic and propionic acids were not different between both groups. Interestingly, the level of butyric acid in the constipation group was significantly lower than the other group. The exact mechanism of how butyric acid affects constipation or constipation leads to reduced butyric acid in geriatrics remains unclear. Since butyric acid is associated with anti-inflammatory effects, increasing contractility of colonic smooth muscle and regulating intestinal neurotransmission; reduced level of butyric acid may decrease intestinal peristaltic, thus increased incidence of constipation. The future experimental study should address exact mechanism of role of butyric acids in constipation.