Tributyrin to Entain Human Circadian Rhythms and Improve Sleep in Individuals with Medical Disorders that can Increase Gut Permeability or Elevated Levels of Systemic Inflammation

Case ID:

This documents a new method of treatment for sleep improvements. Poor sleep is likely manifested by an underlying irregular circadian rhythm sleep disorder. A patient with a history of leaky gut syndrome and poor sleep took a commercially available oral short-chain fatty acid supplement, tributyrin, and documented improved sleep. This suggests a relationship of the gut microbial axis and its influence on the circadian network regulation and intestinal epithelial homeostasis. The patient reported better consolidated sleep while a delayed sleep phase phenotype remained. The favorable effect of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) on circadian rhythms is a novel finding that needs further study in research studies after better characterization of circadian rhythms in similar patients.

Irregular circadian rhythm sleep disorder has been known to occur in individuals with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and developmental disabilities but has not been described in patients with gut barrier dysfunction. Although, there are animal studies demonstrating the circadian entrainment of murine peripheral tissues by oral administration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are traditionally produced by “good” bacteria within the gut microbiome, there have not been any reports of modification of circadian rhythms. 


  • Treating irregular circadian rhythm sleep disorder
  • Applicable with leaky gut syndrome 


  • Novel idea
  • Initial promising results
  • New area of health study 
  • Simple improvement with only SCFA supplementation
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Garrett Edmunds
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Sairam Parthasarathy