What is Short Chain Fatty Acid Analysis?

Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are the products of fermentation of insoluble fibre from diet (eg. cellulose, resistant starch) by the bacteria in the gut. These fatty acids have been shown to play an important role in regulating metabolism in the gut and are closely associated with gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and other conditions such as obesity. By quantifying SCFA in stool, one can monitor gut health and inflammation.

If you are interested in incorporating short chain fatty acid analysis into your study please ask us about collection and stabilization options as well as bundling with amplicon sequencing. See our collection and stabilization validation below for some guidance on choosing the right collection device for your study.

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Short chain fatty acids are extracted from stool in an aqueous solution, analyzed in a gas chromatograph (GC) coupled with a flame ionization detector (FID), using a Thermo TG-WAXMS A GC Column. The analytes are quantified against a series of stock standard solutions.

We report data for acetic, propionic, butyric, valeric, isovaleric, hexanoic, isobutyric and heptanoic acids. Your output will include a value for each SCFA peak that is detectable in your sample.

A brief investigation of factors that affect short-chain fatty acid preservation in human stool samples

The volatility of SCFAs in stool samples poses a challenge when it comes to research protocols. So what’s the best way to collect and store stool samples for SCFA analysis? Is one vendor’s kit better than another’s?

Download white paper


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