Sodium Butyrate for cancer

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that is a potent detoxifier of ammonia and neurotoxins. It is produced naturally by anaerobic bacteria in the gut where it also encourages the formation of friendly bacteria.

Sodium butyrate is the sodium salt of butyric acid, which is a short-chain fatty acid. It’s a natural byproduct of the fermentation of dietary fibers in your large intestine. benefits have been shown in animal-based studies for Alzheimer’s and colon cancer.


Sodium Butyrate Inhibits the Self-Renewal Capacity of Endometrial Tumor Side-Population Cells by Inducing a DNA Damage Response

.    Kiyoko Kato1, et al   Mol Cancer Ther; 10(8); 1430-9. ©2011 AACR.


We previously isolated side-population (SP) cells from a human endometrial cancer cell line, Hec1, and determined that Hec1-SP cells have cancer stem-like cell features. In this study, we isolated SP cells and non-SP (NSP) cells derived from a rat endometrial cell line expressing human [12Val] KRAS (RK12V cells) and determined the SP phenotype. RK12V-SP cells showed self-renewal capacity, the potential to develop into stromal cells, reduced expression levels of differentiation markers, long-term proliferating capacity in cultures, and enhanced tumorigenicity, indicating that RK12V-SP cells have cancer stem-like cell features. RK12V-SP cells also display higher resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.

In contrast, treatment with a histone deacetylases (HDAC) inhibitor, sodium butyrate (NaB), reduced self-renewal capacity and completely suppressed colony formation of RK12V-SP cells in a soft agar.

The levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the number of γH2AX foci were increased by NaB treatment of both RK12V-SP cells and RK12V-NSP cells. The expression levels of γH2AX, p21, p27, and phospho-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase were enhanced in RK12V-SP cells compared with RK12V-NSP cells.

These results imply that treatment with NaB induced production of intracellular ROS and DNA damage in both RK12V-SP and RK12V-NSP cells. Following NaB treatment, DNA damage response signals were enhanced more in RK12V-SP cells than in RK12V-NSP cells.

This is the first article on an inhibitory effect of NaB on proliferation of endometrial cancer stem-like cells. HDAC inhibitors may represent an attractive antitumor therapy based upon their inhibitory effects on cancer stem-like cells.



Research on mammals suggests that sodium butyrate  alters gene expression in cells and also can arrest cell proliferation in cancer. It does this by inhibiting of an enzyme cascade (HDAC). Sodium butyrate is the most common HDAC inhibitor since it is prevalent and naturally occurring in the human gut (assuming you are eating enough fiber). research suggests that it seems to have particular benefit with pancreatic, liver and brain cells. more tantalizing was a article published in the 2011 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease declaring that sodium butyrate  improved memory function in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model – even when administered at an advanced stage of the disease.


Accepted May 24, 2011.

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