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I think I know why -- bioavailability problems but since I have no firm evidence to support this theory I thought I would ask the biology stackexchange community for their input. I'd like some firm bioavailability data of sodium butyrate in mammals, preferably humans.

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  • $\begingroup$ At least in humans butyrate tastes horrible I think. that might be way it isn't taken orally. $\endgroup$
    – shigeta
    Commented Sep 6, 2013 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ @shigeta Na, I doubt it seeing how corticosteroids tend to taste terrible (which thing I know from personal experience as an asthmatic) and yet we have methods of getting around this problem such as putting them into capsules or telling the patients to just suck it up. $\endgroup$
    – Josh Pinto
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ Apparently it can $\endgroup$
    – Luigi
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 15:27

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Unpleasant taste is in fact the primary reason. Phenylbutyrate is an alternative that has a comparatively milder odour and taste and is therefore used instead.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/sodium-phenylbutyrate-oral-route/description/drg-20066057

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