Short chain fatty acids

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Test Details for Ordering
Test Short chain fatty acids
Price £48.00
Sample required blood
To order this test, please, go to Ordering Tests.

Please, make sure you have read When not to use this website to ascertain whether having this test is an appropriate and safe course of action for you.


Short chain fatty acids are produced in the large bowel as a result of bacterial fermentation of soluble fibre. They can provide over 500 kcals a day of energy which is especially useful when blood sugar levels fall low because mitochondria like to use SCFAs as an energy source. At night we all switch to SCFAs as blood sugar levels fall and this prevents hypoglycaemia at night. Night-time hypoglycaemia is a common cause of disturbed sleep.

This test looks for a hypoglycaemic tendency by measuring levels of short chain fatty acids first thing in the morning before breakfast has been taken. The logic is that when there is hypoglycaemia, the body switches early to using short chain fatty acids for energy supply and these will then deplete. Therefore, low levels of short chain fatty acids indicate a hypoglycaemic tendency. Hypoglycaemia is a common problem for people with a fermenting gut, so the test may indirectly be pointing to a problem with yeast or bacterial overgrowth in the bowel.

Low levels of SCFAs may also be indicative of a low fibre diet. This can be helped by eating foods rich in fibre such as nuts, seeds and vegetables.


  • 2ml blood


  • Fluoride oxalate blood tube
  • Laboratory request form
  • Packaging including SAE


  • It is important to continue your usual diet – indeed, there are no special dietary instructions for the test, but the blood sample must be taken at least 3 hours after a meal and preferably 12 - ie first thing in the morning before breakfast.
  • So arrange to have 2 ml of blood taken into a fluoride oxalate tube first thing in the morning before breakfast and post it off in an envelope to Acumen Laboratory.
  • Please, make sure that your name and date of birth are clearly marked on the tube. Check that your details, and the time and date of the sample, are correct on the lab request form. Using the packaging material provided seal the sample for posting in the enclosed envelope. Please, make sure that the request form is sent along with the sample.
Please, note that there is an interpretation fee for my letter to your GP. See Ordering Tests for more details.