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What vitamins are good for digestion: Vitamins and Dietary Supplements That Can Impact Your GI Health

Vitamins and Dietary Supplements That Can Impact Your GI Health

The digestive system was once thought to be a pretty rudimentary and simple body system. But, over the last two decades or so, we have learned so much about the incredibly complex and delicate system that we like to affectionately refer to as our gut. And all this new information is a good thing. It’s helped us understand how GI health affects the rest of the body and its relationship between the immune system, mental health, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, endocrine disorders, and even cancer.

In order to maintain excellent overall health, it’s important to keep your gastrointestinal health up to par. We all know that the body needs good, nutritious food to function well, and the gut is no exception. While a balanced diet is the first step toward a healthy gut, there are also some vitamins and supplements that can help support GI health.

Supplements can support the process of digestion with the benefits of:

  • Better absorption of nutrients.

  • Ensuring you do not end up with diarrhea or become constipated.

  • Preventing pain or discomfort that can occur during the digestion process.

Vitamin D

If you’re only going to take one supplement, let it be vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, but it’s estimated that nearly 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. This proves especially true for people located further from the equator and includes those who live in the greater Boston area.

While vitamin D is essential to many of the body’s functions, it is especially important to GI health, helping the body absorb calcium, easing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Disease, and is even linked to preventing many kinds of cancer including colon cancer. It is possible to get vitamin D naturally from foods like oily fish and egg yolks, from fortified foods like cow’s milk and orange juice, and from regular sun exposure. However, most people don’t eat enough of these foods or have enough time in the sun to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D.

As an adult, look for a supplement with 1,000 IU of vitamin D2 or D3. Most multivitamins don’t provide enough vitamin D, so it may be better to opt for a standalone vitamin D supplement to ensure you are getting an adequate amount.

B Vitamins

There are 8 B vitamins, a few of which are especially important to your GI health. Just like vitamin D, the B vitamins can be found in food sources as part of a balanced diet. Foods like dairy,

  • meat,

  • eggs,

  • beans,

  • leafy greens,

  • seafood, and

  • whole grains

All contain B vitamins. But also, like vitamin D, most people don’t get enough B vitamins from food alone. It’s a good idea to take a supplement, at least of the following B vitamins, to support your gut health.

  • Vitamin B2- helps keep the lining of your digestive tract healthy, helps break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, converts nutrients into energy.

  • Vitamin B3- helps break down fats, carbohydrates, and alcohol. Lack of B3 causes pellagra and severe vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Vitamin B6- helps process protein.

  • Biotin- helps the body produce healthy cholesterol, processes carbs, proteins, and fatty acids, and helps eliminate waste.

  • Folic Acid- linked to lower levels of colon cancer.


Your gut is filled with millions of bacteria. Don’t worry, it’s the good kind of bacteria. But sometimes, due to things like illness, poor diet, or taking antibiotics, the balance of good and bad bacteria can be disrupted. Probiotics are live microorganisms that keep the bacteria in your digestive system in balance. Taking a daily probiotic has several benefits and has been proven to reduce the symptoms of GI health issues like irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea.

Dietary Fiber

Fiber found in whole foods should be your first choice. But, if you feel you still aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, and your digestion still isn’t improving, you may want to consider adding in a fiber supplement. Be careful not to add too much fiber too quickly as it can cause more GI issues such as gas, bloating, and cramping. Gradually increase your intake over a few weeks to give your body time to adjust to the change.

There are many reasons why you might want to take supplements for your GI health, but it’s important to seek advice from a gastrointestinal health professional who can analyze your situation and make an informed diagnosis.


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

  2. The 3 Best (and Worst) Supplements for Gut Health

  3. Improve your digestive health with these 3 essential vitamins

  4. https://www. mindfood.com/article/top-vitamins-for-gut-health/

  5. https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/essential-vitamins-for-digestive-health.aspx

4 Essential Vitamins for Digestive Health

They’re called “essential” vitamins for a reason: The body needs them to function properly, and the digestive system is no exception.

There are certain vitamins that are more important for digestion than others. You can usually get all the vitamins you need by following a balanced diet, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Read on to learn which vitamins are the most important for healthy digestion and how to incorporate them into your eating habits.

B Vitamins

These vitamins are found in proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, and dairy products, as well as leafy greens and beans, and help your body form red blood cells and get energy from the food you eat, the NIH explains. B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning you can’t store them away in your fat cells to use later; they need to be a regular part of your diet.

Essential B vitamins for the digestive system include:

  • B1. Also known as thiamine, B1 helps your body change the carbohydrates in your diet into energy for your cells and regulate appetite.
  • B3. Also known as niacin, this vitamin is important for many digestive tract functions, including the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and alcohol. A niacin deficiency can result in a disease known as pellagra, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhea.
  • B6. Also known as pyridoxine, B6 is very important in helping your digestive system process the protein you eat.
  • Biotin. This B vitamin helps your digestive system produce cholesterol and process proteins, carbohydrates, and fatty acids.
  • B12. Also known as cobalamin, B12 plays a role in the nervous system, the production of blood cells, and the body’s use of folic acid and carbohydrates, according to the ACS. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia, the NIH cautions.

Most Americans get enough B vitamins from food, but supplements may be helpful for some people. Speak with your doctor about any supplements you are considering before you begin taking them.

Vitamin C

Because it’s an antioxidant, many people associate vitamin C with the immune system and preventing colds, but this essential vitamin also aids in digestion by supporting healthy teeth and gums and helping the body absorb iron, according to the NIH.

Vitamin C is found in daily multivitamins and stand-alone supplements, but there are many excellent food sources, including:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Fortified cereal

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and plays a key role in how your nerves, muscles, and immune system function, according to the NIH. What’s more, healthy levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer, according to a 2015 study published in Gut.

There are three ways you can get vitamin D, the NIH explains:

  • Sun exposure
  • Vitamin D-rich foods, such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk and cereal
  • Supplements

You may need a vitamin D supplement if you have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease, which is often associated with low vitamin D levels, according to a 2014 study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Other people who are at a greater risk for a vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Older adults
  • Breast-fed infants
  • People with dark skin
  • People with a liver disease or cystic fibrosis
  • Obese people or those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery

If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and food, talk to your doctor about a supplement. Keep in mind that you may already be taking a supplement that contains vitamin D. For example, many calcium supplements also contain vitamin D, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is involved primarily in boosting vision, bone, and reproductive health, as well as helping the immune system, according to the NIH. Colorful fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and other dark greens, as well as liver and milk are rich sources of vitamin A.

Although vitamin A is not directly involved in digestion, some gastrointestinal diseases can leave you vulnerable to a vitamin A deficiency. For instance, vitamin A deficiency is more common among people with Crohn’s disease, according to a 2015 study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. The researchers noted that a lack of vitamin A can worsen the imbalance between the formation and destruction of free radicals in the intestinal mucus lining of people with Crohn’s.

Mary Elizabeth Dallas contributed to this report.

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Everything you need to know about the intestinal microflora

Relatively recently, in medical circles, there was a statement that the human body, emotions, mood, health and actions are ruled by … bacteria! Their habitat is the intestines. The audience instantly divided into 2 camps. Some argue that bacteria really have the ability to control us, and substantiate their opinion with facts, others recognize this as complete anti-scientific nonsense and, paradoxically, also give arguments. Let’s try to understand and understand what microflora is, why it is needed, how bacteria control us, why they are called the second brain, and how to help bacteria make control effective.

What is the intestinal microflora

The intestinal flora is what a person receives from the moment of birth and develops over the first 7-10 years. Over time, the set of microorganisms becomes more diverse and consists of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, fungi and E. coli. All of them live in a friendly neighborhood not only with each other, but also with pathogenic microflora, not allowing it to multiply and cause harm to the body.

It is believed that pathogenic microflora is no more than 15% of the total mass of bacteria. In total, scientists have about 100 trillion protozoa in our intestines, weighing an average of 1.5 kilograms.

Normally, with nutrition and lifestyle, a person is able to maintain a successful symbiosis of his settlers for a long time. Understanding this process will help to significantly improve the quality of life and health.

What is the intestinal microflora responsible for


One of the most important functions of intestinal bacteria is participation in the process of digestion of food. This is such a giant plant for cleaning grains from chaff. When all incoming food, proteins, fats and carbohydrates are broken down under the influence of enzymes, the work of which activates the intestines. The intestines are the final, but the most time-consuming and time-consuming part of the digestion process. It is there that, with the help of the microbiome, the process of sorting useful substances from unnecessary garbage is launched. The quality of food sorting and the amount of nutrients that are absorbed and assimilated in the intestines depend on how healthy the intestines and the entire digestive tract are.


One in the field is not a warrior – a phrase that successfully characterizes the work of the intestines. The less “good” bacteria in it, the more space goes to the “bad” ones. Beneficial bacteria in the process of life suppress the growth of pathogens of infectious diseases, thereby maintaining the protective functions of the whole organism.


When the body’s defenses are strong, the disease will not go away. And an important role in this is played by immunity, whose birthplace is the intestines. How does this happen? Intestinal bacteria stimulate the synthesis of immunoglobulins – special proteins that increase the body’s defenses against dangerous infections. Immunoglobulins inhabit the intestinal wall, with a sufficient amount of which pathogenic microorganisms do not penetrate. Also, beneficial bacteria contribute to the maturation of the system of phagocytic cells (nonspecific immunity), capable of absorbing and destroying pathogenic microbes.

Vitamin synthesis

Friendly bacteria living in the intestines are vital for the synthesis, storage and supply of vitamins to the body:

  • Vitamin B-12
  • Folic Acid / Vitamin B-9
  • Vitamin K
  • Riboflavin / Vitamin B-2
  • Biotin / Vitamin B-7
  • Nicotinic acid / Vitamin B-3
  • Pantothenic Acid / Vitamin B-5
  • Pyridoxine / Vitamin B-6
  • Thiamine / Vitamin B-1

Among them are those that are not produced anywhere else in the body. This mission is entrusted to bacteria. B vitamins are essential for human life. They keep the nervous system in order, participate in metabolic processes, help to resist stress and depression. If the microflora is disturbed, the synthesis of vitamins does not occur properly and unpleasant consequences cannot be avoided. In addition, no courses of vitamins will help. You will not experience a positive effect simply because they will not be absorbed in the intestines.

How intestinal microflora helps to lose weight

Another focus of attention of scientists and researchers is the dependence of a person’s weight on the diversity of microflora. So, recent studies by American scientists have confirmed this fact. During the experiment, sets of intestinal bacteria from human twins were placed in the intestines of sterile mice. In one set, the twins were thin; in the other, they were obese. Microbes taken from lean twins caused weight loss in mice, and bacteria from overweight twins made mice obese. But after a while, when the mice were put in one cage, the obese mice began to rapidly lose weight.

Scientists have made the assumption that microflora is able to control eating habits, requiring certain products from a person that will promote the growth of either pathogenic or “thin” bacteria. The best diet for some bacteria is fats and they require them constantly again and again, for others sugar is vital. It is on the dependence of nutritional needs and the diversity of bacteria in the intestines that scientists have put forward the theory that intestinal settlers tend to take over humans and manipulate the chemical composition of the environment for their own purposes and benefits. This, in turn, can mean manipulation of our behavior (nervous if we do not eat sweets) by influencing hunger centers with the help of nerve impulses, the desire to eat this or that product, to this or that food, or the feeling of disgust from certain products .

Why the balance of microflora is disturbed

This balance is very fragile and easily affected by external influences. And this happens for several reasons:

  • taking antibiotics
  • eating disorders
  • sugar and alcohol abuse
  • poisoning
  • taking certain hormonal drugs
  • diseases of the digestive system
  • stress
  • taking certain medications – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Signs of microflora disorders

  • Stool disorders – constipation, diarrhea, irregular stools, bloating, colic, pain
  • Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract – the appearance of heaviness, heartburn, belching, weight gain.
  • Dehydration – the appearance of brittleness and dryness of hair and nails, skin,
  • Intoxication of the body – nausea, painful complexion, acne and acne.
  • The presence of an unpleasant smell when breathing, an unpleasant smell of feces
  • Changes in the nervous system – fatigue, drowsiness, lack of mood, decreased performance.
  • Dizziness and headaches

How to restore the intestinal microflora

The process of restoration of microflora is not fast. It is important not only to adjust the diet, but also to actively help the body “build up” the microbiome – to choose the right preparation containing pre- and probiotics correctly.


RioFlora Immuno

Hilak Forte





Bonus: can microbes control human behavior

This hypothesis is now becoming very popular and, indeed, has a number of direct and indirect grounds for this. The intestine is called the second human brain and the bacteria living in it are really able to control a person at the level of the nervous system.

At the moment, humanity knows a lot about our body, but not everything. Research in the field of intestinal microflora and its impact on the health and quality of the body is in its infancy, but is attracting more and more attention from the scientific world. So in the course of studying the human microbiome, the existence of a strong relationship between the state of bacteria and the work of the immune, nervous and endocrine systems was confirmed. Some scientists believe that bacteria may secrete certain signaling molecules that affect the activity of the decimal cranial nerve, which runs from the intestines to the brain, or the vagus nerve may be involved in this process.

It is impossible to say how long it will take to fully understand a person, but you can be sure that we have come to extremely important discoveries, which, in the future, will solve many health problems, help find the key to incurable diseases and totally change the habitual life.
Be healthy!


Gastrointestinal health is critical to overall health, as we’ve written about before (read more about the link in this article). But how can we help our digestive system function flawlessly and protect us from problems like constipation, bloating or heartburn? One of the key ways we constantly emphasize is regular meals rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. But regular and healthy eating is a very broad concept, so in this article we will try to be more specific. We have prepared a guide for you on what foods to include in your diet for a healthy digestive system!

Why is a healthy digestive system so important?

Our digestive system is a complex, strong yet very sensitive ecosystem that contains about 80% of our immune cells. If we do not take care of the gastrointestinal tract, or load it with an unhealthy lifestyle, fatty and fried foods, alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and other unhealthy habits, we can weaken the body’s immunity. The easiest way to boost your immune system is to help it function at its best. Only in this way will she protect us from disease and make sure that in case of illness we recover quickly.


Exotic avocado fruits are very useful. Many mistakenly attribute them to vegetables. Avocado is a fruit with many health benefits. The fruits are rich in high quality unsaturated fatty acids. While fruits are mostly carbs, avocados are full of healthy fats. Due to its excellent composition, experts consider it one of the most valuable food products.

Avocado is highly nutritious and an excellent source of many vitamins needed for a healthy and strong immune system. These include vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and folic acid. 77% of the calories in avocados come from fat, making it one of the fattest plant foods. But it’s not just fat. Most of the fat in avocados is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is the main component of olive oil and is thought to have positive health effects, including promoting circulatory health.

In addition to the unique composition of fatty acids, avocados are rich in fiber, which is lacking in the diet of most people. 100 g of avocado contains 7 g of fiber, which is on average 28% of the recommended daily intake.

Due to its exceptional composition, the avocado is quite common in various cuisines. Therefore, we have included it in our menus so that you can evaluate the beneficial effects of this fruit on health.


Broccoli is a vegetable from the cabbage family, which includes cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. All of these vegetables are known for their beneficial effects on health. Broccoli is high in nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. Plus, it has more protein than most other vegetables. Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked, but most studies show that gentle steaming will provide the most health benefits. 100 g of broccoli contains 65 g of vitamin C, which is an average of 90% of the recommended daily allowance for fiber. Broccoli is rich in many plant compounds that have a positive effect on health. The most common is sulforaphane, one of the most studied herbal compounds in broccoli, which is given great importance for its possible protection against certain types of cancer.

Thanks to its benefits, broccoli is quite common on our menu. “Green power”, containing many vitamins, rightfully tops the list of superfoods.


Fish, especially seafood, is a welcome ingredient in every menu. The ideal would be to eat fish two to three times a week, and at least once it must be fish rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is exactly the blue fish (as it is called because of the blue, sometimes emerald tint on the back), which is available to everyone today. In our menu you will find recipes with sardines, tuna, salmon; you can also try mackerel, sprats or anchovies. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own, so they must come from food. They have been associated with many positive health effects, mainly vascular protection, anti-inflammatory effects, and building brain structures in children. In addition, blue fish is a source of easily digestible protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

Fish is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the healthiest. From a nutritional point of view, fish is a valuable food product. Experts often say, “The fatter, the healthier.”

Grapefruit and tangerines

Grapefruit is highly desirable in the daily diet, as it is rich in nutrients. The beneficial properties of this fruit are associated with a high content of vitamin C and flavonoids. It also contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has a beneficial effect on the digestive system. Grapefruit is a real “bomb” of substances that act preventively, and the best ally in strengthening immunity.

However, some precautions must be taken when consuming grapefruit. At the moment, 85 drugs are known to interact with grapefruit, so people who take medication daily should check with their doctor beforehand.

Perhaps we all know from childhood how useful citrus fruits are. This group, in addition to grapefruit, includes tangerines. Thanks to the content of vitamin C and flavonoids, tangerines stimulate the immune system, and in addition protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. So enjoy your tangerines when they are in season!


Pumpkin is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which we need daily, as well as other important nutrients. It can be prepared in many ways: boiled, baked, mashed or risotto. The possibilities are endless and the health benefits are enormous. Pumpkin is an excellent source of carotenoids, which the body converts into the active form of vitamin A, which supports the normal functioning of the immune system, as well as skin and eye health.

Red cabbage

It tastes like white cabbage, but purple cabbages are richer in plant compounds that have health benefits, such as strong bones and heart health. Red cabbage is low in calories and a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C, K, and B6. Just one cup of shredded cabbage contains about 56% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Red cabbage is an excellent source of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds that help protect cells from damage. This natural antioxidant includes vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoid antioxidants such as anthocyanins and kaempferol. Red cabbage often contains more of these substances than white cabbage. According to studies, the levels of antioxidants in “purple” cabbage are about 4.5 times higher than the levels of antioxidants in green cabbages.


This is a low-calorie vegetable that is extremely rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, making it an excellent component of a healthy diet. Fresh raw bell peppers consist mainly of water (92%). The rest is carbohydrates and a small amount of proteins and fats. One medium-sized red pepper provides about 190% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this vital nutrient. Other vitamins and trace elements in sweet peppers: vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin A, folic acid and potassium. Peppers contain many beneficial antioxidants that protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts belong to the cabbage family and are closely related to white cabbage, cauliflower, savoy cabbage and broccoli. Brussels sprouts are not in vain called “smart heads”: there are few calories, but a lot of fiber, vitamins and trace elements. It is high in vitamin C and vitamin K. Brussels sprouts have many health benefits, including an impressive amount of antioxidants. One study showed that when participants ate about two cups (300 grams) of Brussels sprouts a day, their cellular damage from oxidative stress was reduced by 28%. Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, which is important for digestive health, and research suggests that adequate fiber intake can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Many people dislike Brussels sprouts because of the rather pungent smell and loose, mushy texture. But the reason for this is usually that the cabbage is boiled for too long. Experts assure that just five minutes in boiling water is enough for Brussels sprouts – this way it remains crispy, easily digestible, green, and the intensity of the smell will decrease.

Brussels sprouts, as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can help provide the body with the antioxidants the body needs to maintain good health.


Quick and easy to prepare, and the digestive system loves it. Rich in fiber and low in calories. Due to its neutral taste, polenta can be paired with various foods and served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is nutritious and easy to digest. By itself, cornmeal is not a sufficient source of nutrients; however, when eaten with other foods, it definitely has its place in a healthy diet. The type of corn that cornmeal and polenta are made from is different from the sweet corn on the cob you like to eat in the summer. It is a “starchy” type of field corn rich in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, which means they help you feel full longer and provide a long-lasting energy boost.

The yellow corn grits used to make polenta are an important source of antioxidants, compounds that help protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage. Thus, they can help you reduce your risk of certain diseases. The most important antioxidants in yellow corn grits are carotenoids and phenolic compounds.

Corn and corn flour are gluten-free, so polenta can be a good choice if you are on a gluten-free diet. However, it is always a good idea to review the ingredients list carefully: some manufacturers may add ingredients that contain gluten, or the product may be manufactured in a facility that also processes gluten-containing products, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.


Mushrooms come in many shapes, sizes and colors; among them there are poisonous, and there are useful and tasty. You can’t go wrong when it comes to a mushroom diet: they are fat-free, low in sodium and calories, and have no cholesterol at all. But in mushrooms there is a lot of fiber, vitamins and trace elements. The nutritional value depends on the type of mushroom, but in general they are a good source of antioxidants, B vitamins, copper, potassium, and beta-glucans.