Clostridium butyricum is a great probiotic for your gut and brain health. This bacterium can increase your butyrate levels. C. butyricum is also great for allergies and asthma and may ameliorate metabolic symptoms in obesity.

What is Clostridium butyricum?

Clostridium butyricum is a butyric acid-producing Gram-positive bacteria found in soil and the intestines of healthy animals and humans [1].

Butyrate (butyric acid) is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that serves as energy for colonic epithelial cells, plays a key role in maintaining gut immunological homeostasis, and exerts anti-inflammatory effect [2].

Furthermore, butyrate is not restricted to the intestinal tract but can be disseminated systemically and is detected in the brain. Butyrate in the brain can exert neuroprotective effects on neurodegenerative disorders and improve behavioral deficits via the inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) [3].

Clinical research about C. butyricum is still pretty limited, and therefore, to more fully understand the benefits of C. butyricum, you can also check out the benefits of butyrate.

C. butyricum has been used as probiotics for treating and preventing non-antimicrobial induced diarrhea, antimicrobial-associated diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome [1].

Tablets containing C. butyricum were approved from the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare for human clinical use since 1970 [1] and are widely used in Asia.

Health Benefits of C. butyricum

1) May Be Neuroprotective

C. butyricum restores butyrate in the brain, increases BDNF levels, reduces neuronal cell death, and significantly attenuates the cognitive dysfunction and histopathological changes in mice with vascular dementia [3].

C. butyricum exerts neuroprotective effects against ischemia/reperfusion injury in mice through antioxidant and anti-apoptotic (cell-death-preventing) mechanisms, and by increasing butyrate contents in the brain [4].

C. butyricum attenuates cognitive impairment, cell damage and prevents cell death in diabetic mice with cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury [5].

2) Beneficial for the GI Tract

C. butyricum Beneficially Modifies Gut Microbiota

C. butyricum beneficially modifies the intestinal microbiota in mice by increasing Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli and reducing the populations of unwanted bacteria [6].

C. butyricum Ameliorates Diarrhea

Concomitant administration of C. butyricum with antibiotics normalizes the intestinal microbiota, prevents the decrease of Bifidobacteria, and is effective for preventing and treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children [7].

C. butyricum May Combat GI Infections

C. butyricum increased survival in E. coli infected mice [8].

C. butyricum Ameliorates IBD

Ulcerative colitis (UC) patients with food allergy treated with specific immunotherapy (SIT) and C. butyricum showed significant amelioration of UC clinical symptoms, reduction of using UC-control medicines, and suppression of the skewed Th2 polarization, which did not occur in those treated with either SIT alone, or C. butyricum alone [9].

Probiotic therapy with C. butyricum achieved favorable results with minimal side effects and may be a useful complementary therapy for the prevention of pouchitis in patients with UC who have undergone ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) [10].

C. butyricum prevents acute colitis in mice through induction of IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine [11].

C. butyricum effectively prevents bloody diarrhea and mucosal damage in rats with IBD, with or without prebiotics [12, 13].

C. butyricum increases Lactobacilli and Eubacterium, increases n-butyrate, propionate, and acetate concentrations, and alleviates colitis in rats [14].

Treatment with C. butyricum is at least as efficient as treatment with mesalamine in rats with colitis [15].

3) Combats H. pylori and Ameliorates Gastric Ulcers

The combined use of C. butyricum reduced the changes in the intestinal flora and decreased the incidence of gastrointestinal side effects in patients going through H. pylori eradication therapy [1].

C. butyricum prevents the side effects of H. pylori eradication therapy, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea in humans [16].

C. butyricum inhibits the growth of H. pylori and cures persistent H. pylori infection in mice [17].

C. butyricum alleviates gastric mucosal damage and ameliorates symptoms in mice with gastric ulcers, through its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. This bacterium alleviates oxidative stress by increasing the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalases and decreasing malondialdehyde levels [18, 19].

4) May Combat Obesity

C. butyricum reduced fat accumulation in liver and blood, lowered insulin levels and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in obese mice. Furthermore, C. butyricum administration ameliorated GI and fat tissue inflammation [2].

C. butyricum can reduce lipogenesis (fat production) through its metabolites such as butyrate [20].

5) May Be Beneficial for Liver Health

C. butyricum increases cholesterol degrading enzymes and improves non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in rats on a high-fat diet [21].

6) May Boost Immunity

C. butyricum stimulates IgA, IgM and IgG production and activates local immunity in mice [22].

7) Alleviates Allergies

C. butyricum improves asthma and serum specific IgE in the patients treated with specific immunotherapy (SIT), increases IL-10, and converts antigen-specific B cells to regulatory B cells [23].

C. butyricum can markedly enhance the efficacy of SIT on allergic rhinitis in patients with allergies [24].

Administration of C. butyricum enforces the inhibitory effect of SIT on allergic inflammation in the mouse intestine [25].

8) May Combat Cancer

Heat-inactivated C. butyricum displays antitumor activity against sarcoma in mice [26] and inhibits the metastasis of melanoma by stimulating natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxic activity [27].

Furthermore, in mice, co-treatment with C. butyricum and Bacillus subtilis inhibits the development of colorectal cancer [18].

C. butyricum was also shown to kill bladder cancer cells [28].



Note that not all C. butyricum strains are safe for consumption. Whereas non-toxigenic strains are currently used as probiotics in Asia, other strains have been implicated in pathological conditions, such as botulism in infants or necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm neonates [30]. Search for strain in which the absence of neurotoxin production has been confirmed.

For example, C. butyricum MIYAIRI 588(®) (or CBM 588(®)) is safe for use as a probiotic in humans [31].

Buy C. butyricum

These products contain C. butyricum:

Another great health booster to try is the lectin avoidance diet, we’ve created a cookbook called the Lectin Avoidance Diet Cookbook to help you eat delicious food that will improve your gut health.

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About the Author

Biljana Novkovic - PHD (ECOLOGICAL GENETICS) - Writer at Selfhacked

Dr. Biljana Novkovic, PhD

PhD (Ecological Genetics)

Biljana received her PhD from Hokkaido University.

Before joining SelfHacked, she was a research scientist with extensive field and laboratory experience. She spent 4 years reviewing the scientific literature on supplements, lab tests and other areas of health sciences. She is passionate about releasing the most accurate science & health information available on topics, and she's meticulous when writing and reviewing articles to make sure the science is sound. She believes that SelfHacked has the best science that is also layperson-friendly on the web.

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