Beneficial SCFAs

A healthy result should fall into the range 13.6 - 150 micromol/g.

Short chain fatty acids are saturated fatty acids consisting of no more than 6 carbons. The most common forms—acetate, propionate, and butyrate—are also helpful for colon and overall health. Thus, they are called beneficial SCFAs. Beneficial SCFAs exert anti-inflammatory properties in the gastrointestinal tract. They help maintain a barrier in the intestine to prevent “leaky gut.” They also indirectly help people feel full, thus regulating appetite. Beneficial SCFAs are also important for maintaining levels of protective microbes in the gut and inhibiting pathogenic microorganisms. Each short chain fatty acid is measured separately in stool samples. In most cases, however, acetate, propionate, and butyrate are present in a predictable ratio, specifically 60:20:20.

Normal Ranges for beneficial SCFAs:

Analyte (µmol/g)


Mildly Decreased


Total SCFA

≤ 48.2


≥ 72.2


≤ 4.3


≥ 7.8


≤ 31.4


≥ 46.3


≤ 9.1


≥ 13.7



Beneficial SCFAs result calculator

insert the value from you Beneficial SCFAs test result.

What does it mean if your Beneficial SCFAs result is too low?

Low levels of beneficial SCFAs may not directly cause symptoms; however, this state is associated with a number of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In most cases, low levels of beneficial SCFAs can be resolved by consuming prebiotics and probiotics. In certain cases, SCFA enemas can be used to directly change the colon content of beneficial SCFAs.

Some specific causes of low beneficial SCFA levels are:

- Metabolic diseases

- Inflammatory bowel disease

- Antibiotic use

- Obesity

- Bowel irradiation

- Diet high in fat and simple sugars

What does it mean if your Beneficial SCFAs result is too high?

The upper limit of normal for beneficial SCFAs in stool is not known.

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