What Are the Best Gut Health Supplements?
Our bodies are host to millions upon millions of bacteria, which are collectively known as the human microbiome. Rather than just being passive passengers, these bacteria actively influence our health by secreting certain compounds, decomposing others and interacting with the cells of our body. While bacteria live in virtually all parts of the body, one of the most important places they live is in the digestive system, particularly around the intestines. This is known as the gut microbiome. Your gut health is incredibly important to your overall health, so we are going to talk about gut health supplements to make sure your wellbeing is where it needs to be.
The Importance of a Healthy Gut Microbiome
A healthy gut microbiome has numerous benefits. Most obviously, it helps maintain healthy digestion, which helps the body get the nutrients it needs. However, the gut microbiome is also implicated in the immune system. Newer research also suggests that gut microbiome plays a role in brain health.
The various impacts of the gut microbiome on human health have inspired a whole range of products designed to boost the gut microbiome. However, these products are not all created equal. Not every gut health supplement will be right for every person. So, we have compiled a list of great gut health supplements to give you a sense of what kind of products are available.
Best Gut Health Supplements
1. Align Probiotic 24/7 Digestive Support
Align is arguably the most well-known and most recommended probiotic supplement. It is the only supplement on the market that contains Bifidobacterium 35624, a strain of bacteria that has been engineered by gastroenterologists to be especially effective at managing digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and abdominal pressure from irritable bowel syndrome. While Align is especially helpful for people suffering from a gastric problems, it is less well-studied in people just looking to improve overall digestive health.
2. Nurish by Nature Made Multi Strain Probiotics
Nurish by Nature Made is a great product for people just looking for a boost in their overall health. It contains 12 different strains of common gut bacteria and comes at an affordable price point. Another benefit is that, unlike some probiotics, it only requires a single dose per day. This makes it easy to maintain compared to taking pills several times a day.
3. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women
This product is designed specifically for women, which is important because women have slightly different bacterial strains in their body due to the presence of bacteria in the vagina. Garden of Life includes 16 strains, including L. reuteri and L. fermentum probiotics to boost immune, gut and vaginal health. It also contains fiber for additional digestive benefits.
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4. Nouri Probiotic and Omega Oil
At only five strains, this product contains fewer types of bacteria than some of the products above, but it uses a different delivery mechanism that may work better for some people at promoting good digestive health and a healthy immune system. Nouri probiotic packs the bacteria into a capsule containing omega-3 plant oils. In addition to these oils being a beneficial type of fat, they also protect the bacteria from the harsh acids of the stomach. This may make it absorb more effectively for some people.
5. HUM Gut Instinct
This supplement contains 10 strains of common gut bacteria and is beneficial for diarrhea, mood support and even weight loss in some people. This product is unique because unlike most probiotics, it can be taken on an empty stomach, making it a great choice for people who struggle to stay on a consistent schedule with medications.
Shopping for the Right Products
While the products on this list are a good starting place, there are so many digestive supplements on the market that it can be overwhelming to shop for them. The good news is that most digestive supplement products have few risks, so they are available without a prescription.
The biggest health thing to watch out for when shopping for supplements is the presence of food allergens, like whey or gluten. If you have food allergies, check the labels carefully for these ingredients.
Though supplements are generally safe, you should still be selective when shopping. Compare brands online and look for reputable brands with many positive reviews. Avoid anything that seems suspiciously affordable, and you can also look for labels indicating that the product has been tested by a third-party lab for safety and purity. Labels should also indicate the number of colony-forming units or CFU in probiotic supplements. The higher the CFU, the more bacteria in each dose.
Above all, talk about any supplement changes with your doctor. They can help you decide what to take. You may have to try a few different brands before you find the right product for you, but with a little trial and error, you should be able to find a supplement regime that keeps you feeling great.