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How Do I Choose the Best Vitamins for the Digestive System?

A. Pasbjerg
By
Updated: May 17, 2024
References

While getting enough of all essential nutrients is critical to your overall health, there are certain vitamins that play a key role in maintaining your digestive health. Some of the most critical ones are the B vitamins, of which there many, including folic acid, niacin, and thiamine. These vitamins support the breakdown of different types of food you eat, as well as a number of other important digestive functions like regulation of appetite and eliminating wastes. The other two best vitamins for the digestive system are vitamins C and D, which are essentials for keeping your teeth and gums strong so they can start the digestive process. You can look to incorporate foods containing these vitamins into your diet, or if that is not sufficient, you may want to take a supplement to ensure adequate levels.

Due to their role in the breakdown of the nutrients in food, you should make sure you are getting enough B vitamins for the digestive system. Thiamine, or vitamin B1, and biotin, also called vitamin H or B7, both help the body to process carbohydrates, as does niacin, or vitamin B3. Biotin and niacin both play a role in breaking down fats; niacin helps in the processing of alcohol as well. Protein digestion is aided by pyridoxine, or vitamin B6, as well as biotin.

There are several other reasons to take B vitamins for the digestive system as well. Thiamine works to maintain a healthy appetite as well as the nerves that help support your digestive tract. Niacin contributes to your digestive process by keeping the tongue and the surfaces of the organs healthy. Biotin helps remove the wastes produced by protein digestion, and folic acid is thought to help protect against colon cancer. Shortages of certain B vitamins can also negatively impact your digestive system; a deficiency of vitamin B2, or riboflavin, can lead to sores and swelling in the mouth, while a lack of niacin can cause pellagra, a condition which leads to vomiting and diarrhea.

The other main vitamins for the digestive system that you should include in your diet are vitamins C and D. This is because both are vital for maintaining strong gums and teeth, which are necessary for the first step in digestion — chewing. Vitamin D is important because it helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary to keep teeth healthy. Vitamin C also contributes to tooth and gum health, and has the additional benefit of helping your body absorb iron during digestion.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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A. Pasbjerg
By A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a WiseGeek contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Dec 26, 2013

I take enzymes when I have digestive trouble. There are various different products on the market with different digestive enzymes. Some work on dairy, some on protein and others on carbs. I don't always have problems with dairy, but once in a while, my stomach acts up and dairy causes cramps and excess gas. When that happens, I take a few capsules of digestive enzymes and I'm back to normal in no time.

I don't take anything else for my digestive system. But I do eat healthy and consume a lot of fiber rich foods. Aside from the vitamins mentioned here, fiber is the most beneficial thing for the digestive system. It feeds beneficial bacteria in our stomach and intestines so that they can work efficiently.

By fify — On Dec 25, 2013

@ZipLine-- Probiotics are not vitamins, they are beneficial bacteria and they are great for the digestive system. I take one daily and my bloating is practically gone. It also encourages regular bowel movements and strengthens the immune system.

Some probiotic supplements have to be refrigerated to stay active. If they are not, they lose their effectiveness. But there are also probiotics now that don't require refrigeration. You could also just eat yogurt, which naturally has probiotics.

By ZipLine — On Dec 25, 2013

I've been hearing a lot about probiotics for digestive health. I know that there are probiotic supplements in tablet and capsule form. But are they effective? Has anyone tried them?

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a WiseGeek contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
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