Advancia has opened new horizons focusing on butyrate: from the nutrient to the messenger

More than 125 participants attended the first 2019 Advancia Academy, which was held in Rome
calendar icon 8 May 2019
clock icon 4 minute read

Scientific Interest Group IHSIG now called the International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health. Our Advancia Academy 2019 focused on butyrate. “Butyrate is indeed an essential nutrient for the intestinal epithelial cells and hence offers gut health benefits. It can either be produced by commensal bacteria or supplemented through the diet. What are the benefits and limits of its action? How can we improve gut functioning through endogenous and exogenous butyrate are the key topics of this Advancia Academy" said Dr Pierre-André Geraert, (Director Scientific Marketing, Adisseo).

Butyrate: a key functional regulator: the messenger!

To open the seminar, Dr Hervé Blottiere from INRA & Micalis France revisited the fundamental roles of butyrate for the intestinal mucosa. In few words, Hervé how could you stress out a little bit more on the importance of butyrate? “Indeed, dysbiosis or gut disturbance is often associated with decreased of genes and bacteria linked to butyrate production. Butyrate appears essential in gut physiology, is involved in cell metabolism, barrier function, gut motility, endocrine functions and immune regulation. Its new role as a potent activator of AhR nuclear transcription factor makes butyrate an important modulator in intestinal epithelial cells.”

Dr Petra Louis from The Rowett Institute addressed more globally the gut microbial short-chain fatty acid metabolism through the human microbiota example. How the microbiota is influenced by the dietary substrates, particularly fibres, and how bacteria feed each other. Those metabolic pathways are key elements which could help to better feed our animals taking into account the microbiota.

From stimulating the butyrogenic microbiota to the optimal dietary form of butyrate

Prof Filip van Immerseel from Ghent University focused on the dietary means to influence the butyrogenic microbiota in poultry gut through for instance, the prebiotic effect of arabinoxylan oligosaccharides as well as the benefit of supplementing dietary butyrate to reduce pathogen shedding (Salmonella sp, Clostridium perfringens). Dr Joshua GONG illustrated the importance of supplementing protected form of dietary butyrate. Butyrate also appeared to decrease lipid deposition through reducing the lipogenic pathways. It also stimulates beneficial bacteria in the hindgut.

Prof Kolapo Ajuwon (Purdue univ) further addressed the action on butyrate on the gut and beyond showing in particular the effect on gut-brain axis and also its epigenetics benefits. He also illustrated the importance to adapt butyrate supplementation according to specific growth or challenging phases (weaning, heat stress…) faced by the animals.

To close the seminar, Dr Jean-Paul Lalles (INRA) opened the field through the molecular and functional aspects of butyrate and its effects on Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase and inducible Heat Shock Proteins important players in gut protection against inflammation.

All participants contributed to the workshops organised during the day to further understand and question the potential of endogenous and exogenous butyrate to help strengthen the gut health of the animals to help developing a more sustainable protein production system.

The overall messages of the seminar revealed the importance of butyrate both produced by commensal bacteria as well as supplemented through the feed. Indeed, its role as energy nutrient was long known but more roles as messenger for a good gut functioning have been extensively demonstrated: from cell proliferation and differentiation, better gut frontier integrity, improved gut immune function and even effect on the local and central nervous system.

All presentations and questions will be available on

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