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Bacterial butyrate prevents atherosclerosis

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 03 January 2019

This article has been updated

Gut microbiota are known to produce an intermediate metabolite in the production of trimethylamine N-oxide that promotes atherosclerosis. Now, another metabolite produced by the same bacteria has been identified that prevents atherosclerosis. The basis for these opposing microbial effects are dictated by diet.

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Fig. 1: A microbial metabolite in the colon maintains barrier function to prevent atherosclerosis.

Change history

  • 03 January 2019

    In the version of this News & Views originally published, owing to production error, the concentration scales given for butyrate circulates in the bloodstream and colon were incorrect. It was stated that “butyrate circulates at mM levels (as opposed to µM in colon)”; this should have read “butyrate circulates at µM levels (as opposed to mM in colon)”. This error has now been corrected.


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Correspondence to Scott J. Bultman.

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Bultman, S.J. Bacterial butyrate prevents atherosclerosis. Nat Microbiol 3, 1332–1333 (2018).

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