The Best Digestive Health Supplements for Optimal Gut Function
The digestive system is an essential part of the body’s overall wellness. It is responsible for breaking down food and nutrients to provide energy to the body, among other vital functions. However, when our gastrointestinal (GI) tract is not working optimally, it can lead to several health problems. Fortunately, some supplements can help support good digestive health. Here are some of the best dietary supplements for excellent gut function.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and aid digestive health. They help maintain a balance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your intestines by fighting off bad bacteria that cause digestive problems such as constipation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
|Lactobacillus acidophilus||Helps reduce allergy symptoms, aids digestion, improves vaginal health.|
|Bifidobacterium lactis||Improves immune response, aids digestion, improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).|
|Streptococcus thermophilus||Improves lactose digestion, boosts the immune system.|
Taking probiotic supplements can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics come in different strains, each with unique benefits. Some of the most common are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Streptococcus thermophilus. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new probiotic supplement to ensure it is safe for you.
Digestive enzymes are proteins that help break down food into smaller, more manageable nutrients that the body can absorb. They play an important role in digesting carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in particular. However, some people may not produce enough digestive enzymes naturally or may have difficulty absorbing them from food.
|Amylase||Helps digest carbohydrates found in grains, fruits, and vegetables.|
|Lipase||Aids the digestion of fat by breaking it down into smaller molecules.|
|Protease||Helps break down proteins found in meat, dairy, nuts, and legumes.|
Supplementing with digestive enzymes can help improve digestion and nutrient absorption, especially for individuals who struggle with conditions like lactose intolerance or pancreatic insufficiency. Some of the most common digestive enzymes are amylase, lipase, and protease.
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet and is critical for maintaining healthy bowel movements. A high-fiber diet has many health benefits, including promoting regular bowel movements, reducing inflammation, and helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
|Psyllium husk||Regulates bowel movements, reduces constipation, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels.|
|Inulin||Feeds good gut bacteria, enhances mineral absorption, reduces constipation.|
|Wheat dextrin||Promotes bowel regularity, enhances mineral absorption and aids digestion.|
If you struggle to obtain enough fiber through your diet, supplements can be a great way to boost your intake. Some common types of fiber supplements include psyllium husk, inulin, and wheat dextrin.
Prebiotics are fibers that feed beneficial gut bacteria and help promote their growth. They resist digestion in the stomach and small intestine and pass through to the colon, where they are fermented by gut bacteria to release short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These compounds are essential for gut health and have anti-inflammatory effects, among other benefits.
|Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)||Promotes growth of bifidobacteria, boosts immune function.|
|Galacto-oligosaccharides(GOS)||Balances gut bacteria composition, supports calcium absorption.|
|Xylooligosaccharides(XOS)||Increases butyrate production that promotes healthy gut function, reduces inflammation.|
Prebiotic supplements like fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides(GOS), and xylooligosaccharides(XOS) can help support gut health by feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new prebiotic supplement to ensure it is safe for you.
The best digestive health supplements work together to promote optimal gut function. Adding probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fiber supplements to your diet alongside prebiotics can make a positive difference in not only your digestive health but also overall wellness. Talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements to check for interactions with any medications and ensure you are consuming safe and effective products.