A large body of evidence suggests that supplementation of butyric acid exerts beneficial intestinal and extra-intestinal effects. Unfortunately, unpleasant sensorial properties and unfavourable physico-chemical properties strongly limit its use in food supplements and foods for medicinal purposes. N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenyl-ethyl) butyramide (FBA) is a new butyric acid releaser in solid form with neutral sensorial properties. The aim of this investigation is to provide preliminary information on its pharmacokinetic and toxicological properties through the study of a) in vivo bioavailability of FBA administered by oral gavage to male and female Swiss CD1 mice in comparison with sodium butyrate, b) the influence of digestion on FBA stability through an in vitro simulated oro-gastro-duodenal digestion process, and c) in vitro toxicological profile by means of the Ames Test and Micronucleus Test. The results reveal that FBA is a good butyric acid releaser, being able to increase butyrate serum concentration in a dose and time dependent manner in both male and female mice with a pharmacokinetic profile similar to that obtained from sodium butyrate as such. These data are confirmed by investigating the influence of digestion on FBA, which undergoes extensive hydrolysis following oro-gastro-duodenal digestion, especially in duodenal conditions, with a residual concentration of less than 10% of the initial FBA concentration. Finally, in the Ames and Micronucleus Tests, FBA does not show any in vitro genotoxicity as it is non mutagenic in the Ames Test and results to be unable to induce chromosome breaks in the Micronucleus Test. In conclusion, FBA is a new butyric acid releaser that can overcome the disadvantages of butyric acid while maintaining the same pharmacokinetic properties and safety profile, as shown by the results of the preliminary in vitro toxicological studies performed in this investigation.
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