The Amazing Benefits of Butyrate For Thyroid Patients

The Amazing Benefits of Butyrate For Thyroid Patients

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Thyroid patients: what’s the single best thing you can do to improve your gut health right now?

It’s not taking probiotics… it’s not taking supplements… and it’s not going on an all-meat diet…

Although all of these things have the potential to help, there’s one thing that trumps them all: 

It’s naturally increasing your production of a special energy source known as butyrate. 

I’ll tell you how to do more of that in a minute but let me take a second to explain how it works:

Butyrate is created by the healthy or “good” bacteria in your small intestines when you eat foods that are rich in fiber.

Your body extracts the nutrients that it needs from those foods and leaves the rest for the trillions of bacteria in your gut. 

Your good bacteria then ferment these indigestible carbohydrates and create butyrate. 

At its core, butyrate is really just an energy source. 

After it’s created in your small intestines, it travels to your large intestines where your colon cells use it for energy.

Keeping them healthy and happy. 

Some of that butyrate then gets absorbed systemically where it positively impacts other organs and tissues where it manages inflammation, balances the immune system, and prevents diseases like cancer (1). 

As you can see, it targets all of the areas that are important to thyroid patients for improving thyroid function, thyroid conversion, and preventing the worsening of diseases like autoimmune disease.

I can tell I’m losing you and that you’re about 2 seconds away from going back to your probiotics and your all-meat diet but before you do, let me give you 5 reasons why you should start caring about butyrate:


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The Complete List of Thyroid Lab tests:

The list includes optimal ranges, normal ranges, and the complete list of tests you need to diagnose and manage thyroid disease correctly!


#1. It Can Help With Weight Loss

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If it’s one thing that thyroid patients struggle with the most, it’s weight gain.

And one of the most ignored aspects of healthy weight loss is optimal gut health.

We know from studies that there is a correlation between a healthy gut and a healthy weight. 

For instance, one study that looked at mice showed that transplanting stool from mice with a normal weight helped overweight mice lose weight. 

We also know that in humans, people who are a healthy weight have a different concentration of bacteria in their gut compared to those who are overweight (2). 

Obviously, there is some connection between your gut health and your ability to lose weight and stay lean. 

And one way to tap into this connection is by naturally increasing butyrate. 

Butyrate has been shown to affect a very important hormone called GLP-1 (3).

Yes, this is the same hormone that is activated by incredibly popular weight loss medications like Wegovy and Saxenda

Imagine getting the benefits of activating this receptor naturally without accepting the risks associated with these medications.

I’ve been a proponent of these medications in the past but with new research suggesting they are linked to thyroid cancer, it’s great for thyroid patients to have some alternative options.

Beyond its impact on GLP-1, butyrate also helps with weight loss by impacting peptide yy (4) which is critical for telling your brain you are full after you eat. 

#2. It Will Keep the Intestinal Barrier of Your Gut Healthy

Decreased intestinal permeability, otherwise known as leaky gut, is a big problem when it occurs, especially for thyroid patients.

Increased intestinal permeability is thought to play an important role in the onset and progression of autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease.

Normally, your intestinal barrier prevents bad things like toxins from getting into your body, while allowing only the good things you want to get in like vitamins and nutrients.

When this barrier is compromised, your body may accidentally let in toxins and other compounds that look similar to your thyroid gland.

If your immune system comes into contact with these compounds it may create antibodies which then cross-react with proteins in your thyroid gland.

And if this happens? Bam, you get thyroid autoimmune disease.

Butyrate may be one way to heal leaky gut and prevent this very issue because it helps to increase the mucus barrier around your intestinal wall.

#3. It Can Treat Other Gut Disorders

It’s NEVER normal to experience gut-related symptoms. 

If you aren’t having 1-2 easy bowel movements each day then you know there’s room for improvement with your gut. 

When your gut is healthy, you really shouldn’t even notice that it’s there. 

Symptoms like acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, or bloating, are warning signs that something that you are doing is damaging your gut. 

It could be your diet, it could be stress, it could be lack of exercise, or even not getting enough sleep. 

shop thyroid supplements for all thyroid patients

Whatever it is, we know that 60-70 million Americans suffer from gastrointestinal diseases

And given the impact that thyroid disease has on gut motility, it’s safe to assume that thyroid patients experience gut problems at a much higher rate than the average population.

Getting more butyrate seems to be a natural remedy for just about any gut disease you can think of.

So whether you are suffering from thyroid-related acid reflux, thyroid-related small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or thyroid-related constipation, butyrate can help.

Imagine being able to get off of your acid-blocking medication, which is the THIRD most commonly prescribed medication in the US and one of the worst medications you can take long-term if you have thyroid issues.

#4. It Has Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects That Benefit Your Entire Body

We’ve talked about the benefits that butyrate has specifically on your gut but it also impacts your entire body. 

Some of the butyrate your gut produces gets absorbed into your system and makes its way to organs and tissues where it exerts a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. 

This anti-inflammatory effect is beneficial to thyroid patients because inflammation inhibits the production of T3 thyroid hormone.

The main way it impacts inflammation is through its action on nuclear factor kappa b. 

This is the same target of anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin and turmeric and is one of the reasons that they are so effective

Reducing inflammation in your entire body will help with just about every condition you can think of including insulin resistance, thyroid conversion, obesity, pain syndromes, diabetes, cancer, and more. 

This is one reason that higher fiber consumption is associated with so many positive health outcomes (5). 

#5. Better Gut Health Means Better Skin Health

If all of these benefits weren’t enough then maybe I can get you to make more butyrate by appealing to your vanity. 

Not only will butyrate affect the inside of your body, it also will positively impact the outside of your body: your skin. 

Most people don’t realize this, but you have a lot of bacteria on your skin and, just like your gut, the bacteria on your skin will influence the overall health of your skin. 

Studies have shown that butyrate positively impacts your skin flora (6) while also protecting your skin from infection and ultraviolet light. 

UV light is, of course, the primary cause of skin aging. 

So if you feel that your thyroid is causing premature aging or other skin problems (which is highly likely), you want more butyrate.

How to Get More Butyrate

The question is, how do you get more? 

You’ll only get these benefits if two things are true: 

The first is that you must have enough of the GOOD bacteria in your body to produce it. 

So if you’ve undergone treatment with lots of antibiotics or if you have gut conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, you may not have the right concentration of bacteria to produce the butyrate you need. 

This is a situation where probiotics may be helpful. 

Sometimes you have to start out with probiotics to heal your gut because you need a healthy gut to get an even healthier gut. 

And the second is that you must provide your GOOD bacteria with food or substrate. 

This food is indigestible to you, but not to your bacteria. 

The best foods for naturally increasing butyrate production include:

  • Fruits, especially apples, bananas, and kiwis
  • Vegetables, especially artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli
  • And sources of resistant starch like potatoes, oats, and quinoa

You have to change the way that you think about these foods because you’re not eating for yourself, you’re eating for your bacteria. 

So you might be thinking: how can I eat potatoes when I already have high blood sugar or diabetes?!

Well, paradoxically, eating more of these foods will positively impact inflammation and insulin sensitivity through the means of butyrate production and its impact on your whole body. 

Ultimately, you are the one that benefits, but it starts with your gut microbiome. 

Foods loaded with fiber aren’t the only way to get butyrate, either:

You can also get it directly from foods like butter, cheese, ghee, and milk. 

These foods provide butyrate directly as opposed to the other foods I mentioned which indirectly increase butyrate production through your gut bacteria.

Butyrate Supplements vs Butyrate From Foods

Another way of increasing butyrate is by taking it in supplement form. 

You can find butyrate in supplements as butyric acid or as sodium butyrate. 

Even though they do contain butyrate, they often aren’t as beneficial as getting it from food sources. 

The act of eating the foods I listed above provides tons of additional benefits aside from just the butyrate production so don’t expect equal results if you just take butyrate supplements. 

There is one situation in which it may make sense to use butyrate supplements, though, and that’s if you’re reading this and your gut is in really bad shape. 

In this situation, starting with probioticsl-glutamine, and some butyrate supplements may make sense. 

This will allow your gut to heal enough to benefit from eating a more fiber-rich diet. 

Then, once your gut is in good enough shape to benefit from the foods mentioned above and to produce enough butyrate on its own, you won’t need to supplement with it. 

Butyrate is definitely what I would consider a hidden gem for better gut health and better thyroid health in general. 

If you’re interested in using the power of food to improve your health and your thyroid then I’d recommend checking out this article next

It outlines a list of thyroid superfoods that you can eat daily to provide your thyroid with more of the nutrients it needs to function day to day. 


  • One of the best ways to naturally improve your gut health (and the entire health of your thyroid) is by producing more butyrate. 
  • Butyrate is an energy source that is created by the good bacteria in your gut which is then used by your colon cells. 
  • Higher butyrate levels have been linked to a number of incredibly important health benefits including weight loss, better skin health, improved immune function, better cancer-fighting capacity, and more. 
  • Increasing butyrate production targets the symptoms that thyroid patients face most frequently and provides additional benefits on thyroid medication absorption and thyroid conversion.
  • The best way to produce more butyrate is by eating fiber-rich foods to promote the growth of healthy bacteria. 
  • Butyrate can also be obtained in supplement form as butyric acid or as sodium butyrate. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Is this the first time you’ve heard of butyrate?

Were you aware of the benefits of increasing more of this important energy source?

Are you planning on making any changes to your diet? 

Or are you planning on taking butyrate in supplement form instead? 

Leave your questions or comments below! 

Scientific References







thyroid patients_ fix your gut with butyrate

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

P.S. Here are 4 ways you can get more help right now:

#1. Get my free thyroid downloads, resources, and PDFs here.

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