Valeric Acid, or pentanoic acid, is formed in small amounts during fermentation of dietary fibre and is important in cholesterol metabolism.
The structure of valeric acid is very similar to that of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), except for the terminal amino group. Valeric acid is similar to its analogue, valproic acid, which has been shown to increase the production of GABA, resulting in a decreased synthesis of succinic acid. Succinic acid is an inflammatory signaling molecule that is elevated in animals subjected to metabolic and inflammatory diseases and in high-fat diets the levels of succinic acid are increased at the expense of butyric acid. Valeric acid has also been associated with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer, celiac disease, and autism.
SCFA supplements are most commonly found as butyric acid salts.
Herbal medicines that can affect SCFA levels include the following:
- passiflora edulis,
- Chinese Yam,
- trametes versicolor extract,
- lotus seed resistant starch,
- xylooligosaccharides from corn cobs,
- coptis chinensis,
- Reishi mushroom,
- Poria mushroom,
- Lingzhi mushroom,
Sleep, diet, exercise and stress management needs to be evaluated. Be cautious with use of antibiotics.
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