Supplements for Your Gut
Note: Supplements may react negatively with your current medications. Your care plan should be catered to your individual health. We recommend that you consult your primary care provider before making any changes to your care plan.
While a healthy diet is the key to gut health, supplements can aid in balancing your gut’s microbiome.We usually don’t refer to our guts as a biome, but bacteria and archaea do dwell in our gut, and their maintenance is paramount for maintaining gut health. According to Dr. Raphael Kellman, “As we age, the biodiversity of our gut microbiome decreases, which can put us at an increased risk of a number of conditions, including cognitive decline and conditions associated with it, like Alzheimer's disease.” We’ve compiled our favorite gut-accessible gut supplements so you, too, can keep your microbiome happy and healthy!
There is no way we can talk about gut health without talking about probiotics. Probiotics contain live microorganisms that aid in propagating good bacteria in your gut. Not only do probiotics improve overall digestion, they are also shown to lessen symptoms of depression and improve heart health. Probiotics are relatively easy to consume and come in common foods you can find in your local grocery store. Yogurt is an accessible way to consume probiotics, but make sure that the yogurt you purchase is “live with active cultures” , as probiotics can be killed off in the manufacturing process. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, pickles, buttermilk, and kombucha are also readily available probiotic options. If these food options do not work for you, probiotics can easily be taken in supplement form.
Prebiotics are essential for maintaining good bacteria in your gut. They can be found in fibrous foods or resistant starches. Resistant starch is not digestible by the body, so instead, it becomes food for the bacteria in your digestive system. Foods like garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and apples are common fruits and vegetables that contain prebiotics. Prebiotics are also readily available in supplement form if that better suits your healthcare plan.
Tight junctions in the GI tract keep unwanted particles from passing through the lining into the bloodstream. If these junctions, and subsequently the GI tract, are damaged, these particles can pass through and cause an “immune response”. L-glutamine is an amino acid that can heal these tight junctions and maintain the GI’s lining. L-glutamine is prevalent in foods commonly found in our diets, such as eggs, beef, tofu, white rice, and corn. However, if you do not want to add these foods to your diet, L-glutamine is also sold in supplement form.
These supplements, if right for you, can change your gut health for the better, naturally and effectively.