What is Clostridium butyricum?

June 01, 2023 3 min read

What is Clostridium butyricum?

Clostridium butyricum is a gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium that is commonly found in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. It is one of the most extensively studied species of the Clostridium genus due to its numerous health benefits.

One of the most significant health benefits of Clostridium butyricum is its ability to produce butyric acid,a short-chain fatty acid that has been shown to have numerous positive effects on the body. Butyric acid is an important energy source for colonocytes, the cells that line the colon, and is also involved in regulating inflammation and improving gut barrier function. Studies have suggested that butyric acid may also have potential therapeutic benefits for inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes.

In addition to its role in butyric acid production, Clostridium butyricum has also been shown to have other health-promoting effects, including:

  1. Regulation of the immune system: Research has suggested that Clostridium butyricum may help regulate the immune system by increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This effect may have potential therapeutic benefits for a range of conditions associated with inflammation, such as autoimmune diseases and allergies.
  2. Antibacterial activity: Clostridium butyricum has been shown to have antibacterial activity against a range of pathogenic bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Helicobacter pylori. This antibacterial activity may help protect against infections and reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.
  3. Promotion of healthy gut microbiota: Clostridium butyricum has been shown to promote the growth of other beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. This may help maintain a healthy balance of gut microbiota and reduce the risk of dysbiosis, which has been linked to a range of health problems.
  4. Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea: Clostridium butyricum has been shown to be effective in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a common side effect of antibiotic therapy. This effect may be due to its ability to restore the balance of gut microbiota disrupted by antibiotics.
  5. Prevention of respiratory tract infections: Some studies have suggested that Clostridium butyricum may help prevent respiratory tract infections, particularly in children. This effect may be due to its ability to modulate the immune system and enhance the production of antibodies.

While Clostridium butyricum has numerous health benefits, it should be noted that it can also have negative effects in certain circumstances. For example, in individuals with compromised immune systems, Clostridium butyricum can cause infections such as sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis. Additionally, excessive growth of Clostridium butyricum in the gut can lead to the production of toxic metabolites that can cause inflammation and damage to the gut lining.

In conclusion, Clostridium butyricum is a beneficial bacterium that plays an important role in the gut microbiota and has numerous health-promoting effects. Its ability to produce butyric acid and regulate the immune system, as well as its antibacterial activity and ability to promote the growth of other beneficial bacteria, make it a valuable addition to the gut microbiome. However, as with all bacteria, it is important to maintain a healthy balance and avoid excessive growth, particularly in individuals with compromised immune systems.


  1. Wang W, Lv H, Zhang J, et al. The safety evaluation of a new strain of Clostridium butyricum. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 2013;57:1-6. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2013.02.014
  2. Hwang NR, Yim SH, Kim YM, et al. Transcriptome-Based Identification of the Gene(s) Responsible for the High-Quality Meat Phenotype of the Korean Native Black Pig, Jeju Black Pig. PloS one. 2015;10(8):e0133432. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133432
  3. Liang X, Li Y, Zhang W, et al. Clostridium butyricum alleviates experimental colitis by suppressing IFN-γ-induced predominant lipid metabolism. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2020;35(3):477-488. doi:10.1111/jgh.14847
  4. Xiao H, Ge C, Feng G, et al. Improvement of growth performance and gut microbiota by supplementing piglets with Clostridium butyricum. PloS one. 2019;14(4):e0215680. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0215680
  5. Zhuo Z, Zhang L, Fan D, et al. Clostridium butyricum regulates intestinal barrier function in experimental colitis via the IL-10/STAT3 signaling pathway. International immunopharmacology. 2020;78:105974. doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2019.105974

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