14 Best Supplements for Digestion: Buyer’s Guide 

14 Best Supplements for Digestion: Buyer’s Guide 

The best supplements for digestion are ones that can improve gut bacteria and aid the digestive process. They should be safe, natural, and easy to incorporate into the diet with minimal side effects. They should also have scientific evidence supporting their potential benefits to the digestive system. 

There are many digestive supplements on the market, but not all of them are as effective as the labels claim. You can find the best digestive health supplements by comparing the benefits, ingredients, and potential risks.   

Overall, the best vitamins for digestion are Vitamin D, probiotics, and ginger. These three supplements are easy to incorporate into a balanced diet. They can provide many benefits for people struggling with digestive issues, too. 

1. Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is one of the best supplements for the digestive system. This vitamin’s main feature is helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It also has significant anti-inflammatory properties. 

The main way Vitamin D helps the digestive system is by reducing inflammation in the intestines. Other benefits of Vitamin D include a strengthened immune system, strong bones, and improved brain cell activity. People who use too many Vitamin D supplements may experience side effects like dry mouth, nausea, and in severe cases, kidney failure. 

These vitamins for gut health can come in pill capsules or chewable gummies. For the best results, take Vitamin D shortly after eating a meal. 

A few common brands that sell Vitamin D supplements include Nature Made, Nature’s Truth, and Swanson. The price of Vitamin D supplements can vary depending on the brand and dosage, but one package of Vitamin D supplements is typically under ten dollars. 

Before taking Vitamin D supplements, try to understand the source of your digestive issues. This will help determine whether Vitamin D will be beneficial for your digestive health. 

2. Probiotics 

Probiotics contain live organisms that improve your gut bacteria. You can get probiotics from certain foods like yogurt or by taking supplements. 

Probiotics help your body absorb nutrients and promote regular bowel movements by improving your gut bacteria. They can also strengthen your immune system and even help with weight loss. 

You can get probiotics through a pill capsule, a chewable gummy, or even as a drink. Some people who take prebiotics may experience worsened digestive symptoms such as bloating or diarrhea. However, people who do not exceed the recommended daily dose should experience little to no side effects. 

A few popular brands that sell probiotics are Olly, HUM Nutrition, and Culturelle. The price of probiotics varies, but the more expensive ones will cost around forty dollars. 

Keep in mind that some probiotics may interact with other medications. Be sure to check with a pharmacist or doctor before taking any probiotic supplements. Overall, this is one of the best vitamins for gut health if you have IBS or IBD. 

3. Ginger 

Ginger is a vegetable root native to Southeast Asia. People who don’t like the taste of ginger but want to reap its nutritional value may want to consider ginger supplements. 

Ginger can provide many benefits to the digestive system. Some evidence suggests that ginger supplements can ease bloating, nausea, and gas by reducing blockage in the digestive system. It’s also an antioxidant that can help strengthen the immune system. 

You can get ginger from pills or chewable vitamins. This natural supplement for digestive health does not have any serious risks. However, some people may experience nausea or heartburn if they take ginger supplements on an empty stomach. 

Nature’s Bounty, Dramamine, and NOW Foods are three popular brands that commonly sell ginger supplements. These vitamins for gut health are usually between ten and thirty dollars. 

Many ginger supplements also come with turmeric, which has plenty of respective health benefits. If you are not fond of pills, you can often get ginger supplements from smoothie shots, tea, or eating the raw plant on its own. 

4. Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants. Its main purpose is to help the body heal from injuries and strengthen the immune system. 

This antioxidant can have benefits for digestive health, too. Those with Vitamin C deficiency may experience digestive issues such as heartburn or gas, so taking this supplement can help people maintain a healthy digestive system. 

While most people get Vitamin C from food, it can also come from a pill or a chewable supplement. However, remember that too much Vitamin C can worsen a person’s digestive health. People who take more than 2000 mg daily may experience nausea and diarrhea symptoms. 

A few common brands that sell Vitamin C supplements are Nature’s Bounty, Nature Made, and Emergen-C. These supplements tend to be cheap—a month-long supply typically costs under ten dollars. 

Remember that Vitamin C is a common component of many foods. If you already eat a diet high in Vitamin C, these digestion vitamins may not provide any significant benefits. 

5. Artichoke 

The artichoke is a vegetable that comes from the thistle plant. It is high in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. 

This vegetable can provide several digestive benefits. Long-term use can also reduce symptoms such as nausea, gas, and indigestion. They’re also quite high in antioxidants, so these gut health vitamins can help strengthen the immune system. 

You can get artichoke extract in the form of a pill or a chewable supplement. Be careful not to take more than the recommended dosage since too much can cause indigestion or nausea. 

Swanson, Nature’s Way, and Jarrow Formulas are three popular brands that provide artichoke supplements. These vitamins for gut health are fairly cheap—many are five dollars or cheaper. 

Remember that eating artichokes can provide the same benefits. So if artichoke supplements are not available, incorporating them into a balanced diet can show similar results. 

6. Chamomile 

Chamomile is a flower in the same family as daisies. It’s a common component of teas or herbal medicine. 

This flower can have positive effects on your gut bacteria. Chamomile can also help relax the body, which can, in turn ease discomfort in the digestive system. Other benefits of chamomile include reduced inflammation, relief from menstrual pain, and lowered anxiety. 

You can get chamomile supplements from tea, essential oils, or capsules. For most people, chamomile will not cause any side effects. But if you are allergic to flowers such as daisies, this plant may cause severe allergic reactions. 

Lipton, Swanson, and Traditional Medicinals are three brands that commonly sell chamomile supplements. You can find them at most grocery stores for under ten dollars. 

Keep in mind that chamomile can make you tired, so be cautious when taking it early in the day or before a workout session. 

7. Vitamin A 

Vitamin A can help improve vision, promote cell growth, strengthen the immune system, and more. It’s common in leafy green vegetables, but you can also get it as a supplement. 

Vitamin A does not provide any direct benefits for digestive health. However, many people with digestive issues like inflammatory bowel disease can experience Vitamin A deficiencies. The boost in immunity from this vitamin can also help fight off infections that cause digestive issues. 

If you want an extra boost of Vitamin A in your diet, you can get it in pill supplements or liquid drops. Be careful not to take more than the recommended dosage, as too much Vitamin A can cause symptoms like headaches, blurry vision, and dizziness. In severe cases, it can even lead to death. 

Swanson, NOW Foods, and Puritan’s Pride are a few brands to look for when buying Vitamin A supplements. They typically cost around five dollars. 

Make sure to consider your diet before taking Vitamin A supplements. An excess of Vitamin A does not come with any additional benefits, so if you already have a diet rich in this nutrient, you should not take Vitamin A supplements. 

8. Peppermint Oil 

Peppermint oil is an extract from the peppermint plant’s leaves. People who use this essential oil may experience relief from short-term digestive issues. 

Some people who use peppermint oil can see relief from symptoms like bloating, gas, and nausea. Peppermint oil can also soothe symptoms like headaches and joint pain. 

Those who take oral peppermint oil may face side effects like heartburn or nausea. Additionally, people who use this supplement topically may occasionally experience skin irritation. 

Peppermint oil is available under brands like Public Goods, NOW Essential Oils, and Difeel. The price ranges between five and fifteen dollars. 

Unlike most digestion supplements on this list, you do not need to consume peppermint oil to see its benefits. Be careful when using peppermint oil on small kids, as they are at a higher risk of facing adverse side effects. Also, always make sure to dilute peppermint oil before using it. 

9. Psyllium 

Psyllium is a plant fiber that comes from the seeds of the Plantago ovata, a plant native to the Mediterranean region. 

This digestion supplement is an absorbent laxative. Many people take psyllium to regulate their bowel movements. It can also help your digestive system absorb nutrients more easily. 

Psyllium can either be a powder you mix into a drink or take as a pill capsule. There are usually no side effects that come with psyllium. However, some people may have allergic reaction symptoms such as rashes and itching. Other possible side effects include stomach aches and nausea. 

You can find psyllium under common name brands like NOW Foods, Metamucil, and Himalaya Organic. The cost typically ranges between 10 and 30 dollars. 

Make sure to balance psyllium with plenty of water, as it’s an absorbent laxative that requires water to work properly. Taking psyllium with water can also reduce the risk of side effects. 

10. Prebiotics 

Prebiotics are plant fibers that can increase the bacteria in your gut. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not living organisms. 

Prebiotics function by feeding the bacteria that live in your intestines. As a result, taking prebiotics can potentially regulate your bowel movements. They can also help with appetite regulation and nutrient absorption. Taking prebiotics can also ease discomfort associated with digestive disorders like IBS and Crohn’s disease. 

You can get prebiotics in a pill capsule. These digestive supplements have very mild side effects, namely gas and bloating. However, these are not very common as long as you take the correct dosage. 

You’ll often see prebiotics under brands such as Swanson, HUM Nutrition, and Olly. The price typically ranges from 10 to 30 dollars. 

For the best results, consider using prebiotics along with probiotic supplements. 

11. Slippery Elm 

Slippery elm supplements come from the bark of an elm tree. This tree is native to North America and has a variety of medicinal purposes. 

Slippery elm is an anti-inflammatory supplement. It contains mucilage, which can help regulate your bowel movements. Taking slippery elm supplements can help relieve diarrhea and ease symptoms of IBD and IBS. Slippery elm also has other benefits—for instance, it can treat sore throats and other symptoms of the flu. 

You can get slippery elm as a pill supplement or a lozenge. Side effects of slippery elm are very rare. However, taking too much of this digestive supplement may potentially cause nausea. 

Swanson, Nature’s Way, and NOW Foods are a few common brands that sell slippery elm. This is a fairly affordable supplement for digestive health; it usually costs no more than ten dollars. 

Slippery elm has been part of traditional North American medicine for centuries, so there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest its efficiency. 

12. B Vitamins 

B Vitamins comprise eight essential vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cyanocobalamin. 

This vitamin’s purpose is to break down carbohydrates and help the body absorb nutrients. Thiamin, in particular, can help with appetite enhancement. B Vitamins allow the body to use energy and can help form red blood cells. 

You can get B vitamins for stomach health from pill capsules. Too much Vitamin B can cause side effects like nausea, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, or tingling in the hands and feet, so make sure to only take the recommended dose on the label. 

Nature Made, Spring Valley, and HUM Nutrition are some brands you’ll often see when buying B Vitamins. These vitamins for colon health usually cost between ten and twenty dollars. 

Because there are many different B Vitamins, you should take all of them to get the full effect. You can usually find capsules that include several or all types of B Vitamins. 

13. L-Glutamine 

L-glutamine is an amino acid that provides a variety of benefits. While it’s most commonly found in meat products, you can also get it as supplements for digestive health. 

L-Glutamine helps the body build proteins. It is an anti-inflammatory component that can help manage symptoms of IBD. It can also boost your immune system and help treat conditions such as leaky gut or ulcers. 

You can get L-Glutamine in pill capsules or chewable gummies. Be sure to use the correct dosage; using too much L-Glutamine can cause abdominal pain, headache, nausea, and muscle pain. 

A few brands that provide L-Glutamine supplements include Puritan’s Pride, Spring Valley, and Life Extension. The price typically ranges from five to twenty dollars. 

L-Glutamine deficiency is common in IBS, so taking this supplement can be beneficial if you have this condition. Avoid taking L-Glutamine if you’re at a high risk of cancer, as this supplement can sometimes increase tumor growth. 

14. DGL (Licorice) 

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL licorice, is a supplement that comes from the licorice root. DGL licorice has a wide variety of medicinal purposes. 

One benefit of DGL licorice is that its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the digestive tract. It can also increase mucus production, which may relieve heartburn. Some evidence suggests that DGL licorice can even help heal gastric ulcers. 

You can get DGL licorice as a chewable supplement or a pill capsule. DGL licorice has very few side effects, but in rare cases, high doses of this digestive supplement can lower potassium levels. 

A few brands that sell DGL licorice supplements are Traditional Medicinals, Nature’s Way, and Swanson. The price will normally range from five to ten dollars. 

The FDA does not regulate DGL licorice, so the doses and claims on the packaging may not always be accurate. Also, you should avoid this supplement if you’re pregnant because it can increase your risk of preterm labor. 

What Is a Digestion Supplement? 

A digestion supplement is a concentrated dosage of an ingredient or vitamin that can potentially improve one’s digestive health. 

People who struggle with digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, or Crohn’s disease may benefit from digestive health vitamins. Digestion supplements can also provide benefits for people struggling with temporary digestive issues.  

What Is the Importance of Digestion Supplements? 

Digestive health supplements can be very beneficial for people struggling with digestive issues. The supplements featured in this list can help improve gut bacteria, ease intestinal discomfort, and promote healthy bowel movements. 

A healthy digestive system is important for a person’s wellbeing. Those who suffer from untreated digestive issues can experience a lot of discomforts, so taking vitamins to help with digestion can improve one’s quality of life. 

Healthy digestion can help people absorb nutrients from the food they eat. Additionally, untreated digestive issues can increase one’s risk of conditions like colorectal cancer. So by taking digestion supplements, you can protect your health in the long term. 

Here are some digestive supplement guidelines to keep in mind before trying vitamins for digestive health. 

Who Can Take Digestion Supplements? 

The digestion supplements featured on this list are generally safe for most people. While they may not be equally effective for everyone, the chances of them causing any harm are very slim. Just read the ingredients carefully since many vitamins for gut health can contain common allergens. 

However, some vitamin supplements are not ideal for young children which is why you should follow the digestive supplement guidelines. The standard doses of many supplements may be too large for smaller bodies. In addition, relying too much on dietary supplements can make it difficult for children to expand their diets. It is best to ask a pediatrician for advice before giving digestion supplements to a young child. 

When Should I Take Digestion Supplements? 

It is best to take digestion supplements after eating a meal. The time of day does not matter so long as you are not taking it on an empty stomach. 

This is because many digestion supplements, such as Vitamin D need to absorb fat to work properly. So for the best results, try eating a high-fat meal or snack such as nuts or yogurt before taking supplements for digestive health. 

How to Choose the Best Supplement for Digestion? 

There is no single best supplement for digestion. Every digestive system has different needs, so the best vitamin for your digestive health may vary. 

Here is how to choose the best supplement for digestion. 

  1. Consider your unique digestive needs. 
  2. Consider any health risks you are currently facing and research whether supplements could increase those risks. 
  3. Take a look at your everyday diet. Is anything missing? If so, a supplement could help fill in those gaps. 
  4. If you are still uncertain, seek advice from a medical professional. A general practitioner may be able to help, but a gastrologist is your best bet. 

You should also know the difference between digestive supplements vs. digestive enzymes because these can serve two different purposes for your digestive health. 

Where to Buy the Best Supplements for Digestion 

Supplements for digestive health are fairly easy to find—you can often find them at grocery stores. However, grocery stores typically sell more common supplements such as Vitamin D or Ginger. If you are seeking something like DGL licorice or slippery elm, slightly more obscure, you may want to search online or browse at a store specializing in nutrition. 

Are Digestion Supplements Affordable? 

Yes, digestion supplements are typically affordable. However, the cost can add up quite a bit if you plan on using several different digestive supplements. 

Depending on your reason for taking digestion supplements, some insurance companies may help cover the cost. 

Is Taking Supplements for Digestion Necessary? 

No, for most people, taking digestion supplements is not necessary. They can come with several benefits, but the average person can usually maintain a healthy digestive system with a balanced diet and plenty of exercises. 

However, if you struggle with digestive issues regularly, taking supplements for digestive health may be a potential step towards a better quality of life. 

Does Taking Supplements Make You Bloated? 

Yes, certain vitamin supplements can cause bloating as a side effect. Bloating is especially likely if you take larger doses than you should. It can also happen if you don’t drink enough water when taking supplements for digestive health. 

If you are struggling with bloating after taking vitamins that help with digestion, you may want to lower your dosage or try different digestive vitamins altogether. 

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Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.