A brief investigation of factors that affect short-chain fatty acid preservation in human stool samples

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are the most well-known metabolites of the gut microbiota -- and studies from the past several years have linked various SCFAs to human health in new ways, making these molecules increasingly relevant for clinical research.

The volatility of SCFAs in stool samples, however, poses a challenge when it comes to research protocols. So what's the best way to collect and store stool samples for SCFA analysis? Is one vendor's kit better than another's?

Having received these questions from our clients, the Microbiome Insights team put together a short internal investigation on how storage time, temperature, and stabilization reagent affect the quantities of SCFAs detected in a sample. Our new white paper details the results of this investigation. 

Feel free to reach out to our team with any questions.

We've also done in-house work on the best methods for collecting a single sample suitable for multiple lab tests – so if you're doing bacterial sequencing and SCFA analysis in parallel, ask us about how to collect your sample in order to carry out SCFA testing on the same sample you're submitting for sequencing.