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nightsurfer on 2009-12-09"Butyric acid (from Greek βούτυρος = butter), also known under the systematic name butanoic acid, is a carboxylic acid with the structural formula CH3CH2CH2-COOH. Salts and esters of butyric acid are known as butyrates or butanoates. Butyric acid is found in rancid butter, parmesan cheese, vomit, and body odor and has an unpleasant smell and acrid taste, with a sweetish aftertaste (similar to ether). It can be detected by mammals with good scent detection abilities (such as dogs) at 10 ppb, whereas humans can detect it in concentrations above 10 ppm.
Butanoate is produced as end-product of a fermentation process solely performed by obligate anaerobic bacteria. Fermented Kombucha "tea" includes butyric acid as a result of the fermentation. This fermentation pathway was discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1861.
The role of butyrate changes depending on its role in cancer or normal cells. This is known as the "butyrate paradox". Butyrate inhibits colonic tumor cells but promotes healthy colonic epithelial cells., but the signaling mechanism is not well understood.. A review suggested that the chemopreventive benefits of butanoate depend in part on amount, time of exposure with respect to the tumorigenic process, and the type of fat in the diet. Low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet are known to reduce the amount of butanoate produced in the colon