What Vitamins Are Good for Gut Health? An In-Depth Look

What Vitamins Are Good for Gut Health? An In-Depth Look

A person’s entire health greatly depends on their digestive system. Additionally, inadequate intake of the nutrients required for healthy digestion can result in a host of issues such as immune system weakness, weariness, nausea, and weak bones.

The good news is that, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), eating fruits, vegetables, and protein may typically provide you with all the vitamins you need for digestion.

Best Vitamins & Supplements for Gut Health

Many different types of vitamins and supplements have been studied for possible effects on the gut microbiota. It’s crucial to remember that not all products advertised as improving gut health have been shown to be effective by science. Before attempting any supplements, see your physician, dietitian, or other healthcare professional.

Probiotics

Live microbes, or probiotics, are present in your body. Often referred to as the “good” bacteria, they maintain the health of your digestive system. Probiotic pills are frequently utilized to support the upkeep of a balanced population of good gut flora. 

Probiotics come in an abundance of varieties, not all of which have undergone extensive research. However, the two most frequent probiotic strains found in functional foods and supplements are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. 

There are several ways in which lactobacillus strains might enhance gut health. By shielding the lining of your intestines, this probiotic helps to keep pathogens away and avoid infections. Together with other beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacterium, it can help boost the quantity of good bacteria in your stomach. 

Another class of probiotics that has been demonstrated to reduce intestinal inflammation and alleviate IBS symptoms is bifidobacteria. According to one study, Bifidobacterium may even strengthen immunity. 

Notably, further investigation is necessary to completely comprehend the mechanisms of action of probiotics. Furthermore, not all probiotic pills contain the same strains, thus not every circumstance will benefit from them. Try foods high in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, tempeh, and sauerkraut, before taking supplements. 

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are fibers that have the ability to promote the development or activity of beneficial microorganisms. The equilibrium of bacteria in your stomach can be improved by taking a prebiotic together with a probiotic. Consuming prebiotics has been shown to have some benefit in controlling digestion. 

Prebiotics such as inulin are found naturally in foods such as wheat, leeks, onions, garlic, and Jerusalem artichokes. According to clinical research, taking an inulin supplement may benefit people who suffer from constipation by increasing the frequency of their bowel movements. Additionally, inulin may enhance the makeup of gut flora. 

Prebiotic pills are not the greatest choice for everyone, especially if you already consume a lot of foods high in prebiotics. However, they may be a safe and effective strategy to promote gut health and control bowel movements. The best and safest dose for these supplements has to be investigated further. 

B Vitamins: Energy for the Day

According to the NIH, these vitamins are present in proteins including fish, chicken, meat, and dairy products as well as leafy greens and beans. They aid in the formation of red blood cells and the body’s ability to use food as fuel. Due to their water-soluble nature, B vitamins must be a regular component of your diet; you cannot save them in your fat cells for later use. (With the exception of vitamin B12, which recirculates, this is true for all B vitamins.)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids are frequently used for heart health, skin health, and inflammation reduction. The effect that omega-3 fatty acids have on the gut flora has been the subject of several recent investigations. 

It is thought that omega-3 fatty acids influence the gut by changing the variety of gut microorganisms, reducing inflammation, and raising short-chain fatty acid levels (SCFAs). It is well known that SCFAs protect the stomach lining

Although further research is required to validate these claims, taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids is generally safe and has a number of health advantages. Because so many individuals don’t eat enough foods high in omega-3s, taking supplements can be an excellent way to get all the advantages of this healthy fat. 

Vitamin D

The body uses vitamin D, a crucial fat-soluble vitamin, for a variety of purposes. Vitamin D supplements are frequently taken by people to maintain strong bones and boost their immunity. An increasing amount of research points to vitamin D as possibly being involved in gut microbial balance and inflammation reduction. 

A 2007 study found that deficiency in vitamins has been linked to a number of illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease. A few recent studies have also suggested that vitamin D administration may help to maintain healthy gut function and may avoid intestinal inflammation. 

Given the limited availability of vitamin D in many foods, taking supplements might be beneficial in ensuring daily intake of sufficient quantities.

Digestive enzymes

The majority of healthy individuals generate the enzymes required to break down protein, fat, and carbs. For extra assistance, certain individuals might require a supplement, nevertheless. For instance, a common ailment called lactose intolerance occurs when the body is unable to create enough lactase, which is an enzyme needed to break down the sugar in dairy products. 

People with lactose intolerance who don’t have enough lactase feel gas, bloating, and cramps after consuming dairy products; however, these symptoms can be lessened by taking lactase enzymes with dairy products. 

Digestion enzymes can aid in gut healing, but they are not a panacea. The first thing to do is to discuss your symptoms with your doctor if you’re having persistent stomach discomfort, gas, bloating, diarrhea, or other symptoms.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being