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4 Types of Supplements for Digestive Health

February 04, 2020 3 min read

4 Types of Supplements for Digestive Health

When people start thinking more seriously about their health, diet and exercise are generally top of mind. One of the main obstacles people face is learning to settle into a routine, especially if health has been neglected for a while. So setting small, achievable goals and making gradual changes over time help build healthy habits that can last a lifetime. One way to help meet these initial goals and ease into a routine is through the use of supplements.

Supplements with pure, science-backed ingredients help with many facets of health and well being, including:

  • Weight management
  • Digestive health
  • Heart health
  • Joint, bone and muscle health
  • Skin and hair health

Because of the extensive amount of research and general interest in their wide range of benefits, digestive supplements are often the go-to for people looking to improve their overall health.

1. Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements are increasingly common, generally have more research behind them than other supplements, and many strains of probiotics have a good body of science to back up their benefits on the digestive system.

The theories behind why probiotics work are focused on the microbiome—the living organisms that live inside of your digestive tract. A healthy microbiome can help boost immune systems, may be directly related to anxiety, depression and overall mood, and may help people regulate theirmetabolism and weight more easily.

Theimportant things to look for in a probiotic are: The CFU count (the more, the better, generally at least 30 billion), that the product is shelf-stable, and that the organisms are protected in a capsule that will allow them to survive the journey through the stomach. It’s also important to check the types of strains on a probiotic to ensure it suits your needs (e.g. digestive support vs. weight loss).

2. Probiotics with Prebiotics (Synbiotics)

Not all probiotics take into consideration the fact the actual probiotic organisms need food to survive (prebiotics). Prebiotics are eaten by probiotic organisms, which helps them thrive once they’ve colonized the digestive tract. In some organic digestive supplements, you can findprebiotic blends that contain chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke root, among others ingredients that probiotics love to feed on.

Because of their inclusion of prebiotic blends, synbiotics are generally more effective than regular probiotics, as long as they meet the same criteria discussed above.

3. Supplements with Capsaicinoids

Supplements that contain capsaicinoids (the chemical compound that gives peppers their heat) are beneficial for digestive health because of the impact they have on metabolism. While capsaicin is generally used for fat burning, the same biological mechanism helps the stomach digest food better and convert it into energy more quickly.

Capsaicinoids aren’t typically found by themselves as a supplement; they’re usually contained as part of a supplement blend. A popular (and clinically studied) form of capsaicinoids is called Capsimax.Capsimax is often used in supplements that are designed forweight loss andfat burning.

4. Digestive Enzyme Supplements

Digestive enzymes work a little differently than antacids or other digestive supplements. Instead of providing new gut flora like probiotics, or reducing the acid in your stomach like antacids, digestive enzymes aid the body’s natural digestive process. One of the main benefits of taking digestive enzyme supplements is to help replace some of the digestive enzymes we stop producing as we get older.DigeSEB, for example, is a proven and effective digestive enzyme blend to help with digestion and nutrient absorption.

DigeSEB is often included in various types of supplements,like collagen, to help them more easily absorb into the body.

Conclusion

There are several supplements for digestive health available in the crowded supplement space, all with different purposes, levels of purity, availability of research and cost. The best supplements for digestion can help with everything from bloating, IBS and diarrhea to weight loss, improved mood and more.

Be sure to check labels and be sure the supplement you’re thinking about using is formulated to help you achieve your wellness goals, and always consult with your primary care physician if you have any questions. In general, it’s best to look forsupplements that have patented and science-backed ingredients, multiple functions and are sourced ethically and sustainably.

Seth Garland - Content Writer, Physician's Choice