Unlock the secrets to managing gut inflammation naturally. Dive into science-backed tips, supplements, and the best vitamins for gut inflammation. Start your journey now!
- Vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B6 are all important vitamins for gut health. Vitamin C can help reduce inflammation, vitamin D can help regulate the immune system, and vitamin B6 can help support the production of digestive enzymes.
- Probiotics are also important for gut health. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help to improve the balance of bacteria in the gut.
- There are a number of ways to get the vitamins and probiotics you need for gut health. You can eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also take supplements.
Gut inflammation can occur for a variety of reasons, and may lead to wide-ranging effects on your mind and body. Luckily there are lots you can do to manage gut inflammation naturally.
Here we reveal the importance of vitamins in the management of gut inflammation. We’ll also share some top tips for dealing with this condition holistically, so you can reduce the impact of this common condition on your health.
Understanding Gut Inflammation
In order to understand about reducing gut inflammation we first need to explain what we mean by the term. The usual definition of gut inflammation is a prolonged inflammatory state within the lower GI tract. When you have inflammation in the gut over a longer period of time, it’s more likely to result in the type of damage that is visible during tests such as colonoscopies.
Usually, a type of inflammatory bowel condition is responsible for this type of chronic gut inflammation. This may be the result of ulcerative colitis or chron’s disease. You can also experience gut inflammation as a result of autoimmune conditions such as coeliac disease. (Source)(Source)
You might also have gut inflammation as a result of other diseases, infections, or lifestyle factors. There is a strong connection between the immune system and your gut health. This is because when your gut health is impaired you are more likely to experience frequent infections as a large part of your immune response is situated in your gut. (Source)
Similarly, if you have a weak immune system for other reasons, your gut health may suffer and you could be more likely to experience gut microbiome disruptions, so the gut-immune system relationship works both ways.
Finally, we cannot talk about gut health without discussing the microbiome. This is because the type and diversity of your gut bugs are highly linked to inflammatory processes in the body. So, having insufficient healthy microbes, or an overgrowth of pathological bugs can create increased inflammation in the gut and the body generally.
This may explain why certain microbiome disturbances can be linked to the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases such as chrons. (Source)
Key Vitamins For Gut Inflammation And Health
There are several key vitamins for gut health and inflammation management. These nutrients can influence your immune function, your inflammation status, and more.
Here are our top picks for better gut health:
We tend to think of Vitamin C when cough and cold season strikes. But, this nutrient has much more to offer than just shortening the length of a viral infection. (Source)
Vitamin C also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory by counteracting the damaging effects of oxidative stress on human cells. (Source)
Vitamin C consumption can also promote the growth of beneficial gut microbes known as bifidobacteria. These beneficial microbes may actually have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is ideal when tackling a condition such as gut inflammation. (Source)(Source)
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are key for our health, and people who consume low amounts of Vitamin C are more likely to have chronic diseases – potentially due to insufficient antioxidant protection. (Source)
Specifically, there appears to be a relationship between IBD incidence and low Vitamin C stores. This is not surprising when we remember Vitamin C’s role as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and gut microbiome optimiser. (Source)
Vitamin D is implicated in both gut health and immune function. Whilst Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immunity in the winter, this vitamin and hormone is also able to positively modulate inflammation within the gut environment. Vitamin D deficiency may promote the severity of conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. (Source)(Source)
Insufficient Vitamin D may even trigger its pathogenesis (creation) in those susceptible. So taking Vitamin D on a regular basis is necessary for both the prevention of gut inflammation and its treatment.
Many of us fail to get sufficient Vitamin D – especially those based in the northern hemisphere over winter. Whilst you can get food-based sources of Vitamin D (think eggs and oily fish) it’s not possible to get enough of this sunshine vitamin over the winter months. Instead, you’ll need to supplement at least 10mcg per day and prioritise safe sun exposure for the rest of the year.
B vitamins are usually considered in relation to their role in energy metabolism and stress reduction. But did you know that B vitamins (such as those you’d find in marmite) are also involved in gut health and inflammation management?
In particular, Vitamin B3 can reduce intestinal inflammation and may even prevent colitis relapses if you are deficient. (Source)
Vegetarians and vegans are at particular risk of insufficient B vitamin intake, so attention to dietary intake through other sources or supplements may be required if you are looking to either prevent or treat gut inflammation.
Supplements For Enhanced Gut Health
Now that we have covered the key vitamins and minerals required for gut health we will move on to specific supplements for enhanced gut well-being. You might not necessarily need to supplement with all of the following so it’s important to figure out what would be most beneficial for you and your particular circumstances.
L-glutamine is a type of amino acid that can repair the gut lining. If you have gut permeability (otherwise known as leaky gut) you can experience a range of localized and systemic symptoms. A leaky gut can occur after infections, following courses of antibiotics or, due to gut dysbiosis issues. (Source)
L-glutamine can support and maintain the gut barrier which can improve digestion and reduce inflammation in both the gut and body generally.
This is because probiotics can help to address any imbalance in your gut microbiome and can increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your intestine. This will help to crowd out your harmful microbes and can reduce symptoms relating to dysbiosis.
Try to choose a probiotic supplement that contains a number of beneficial microbe strains and ideally make sure your probiotic has a high CFU number.
If you have got inflammation you may struggle to digest food well. Choosing an appropriate digestive enzyme can temporarily help you to improve this process.
You can get different digestive enzyme supplements depending on your needs. Some digestive enzymes work to digest proteins, and others work to digest fats and carbohydrates. (Source)
Diet And Lifestyle Factors Affecting Gut Health
When considering gut health, there is a range of factors, both dietary and lifestyle that will influence your symptoms and the severity of your condition. On top of consuming a nutrient-dense diet that is not lacking in any of the Vitamins mentioned earlier, you can also consider the impact of drinks such as coffee and red wine on gut inflammation.
What Is The Best Drink For Gut Inflammation?
If you want to focus on healing gut inflammation, by adding just one daily drink into your gut health routine then adding a high-quality super greens blend is the way to go.
This is because many people fail to get sufficient intake of nutrient-dense greens, and a super greens blend is a very concentrated source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and more.
Drinking a super green blend during a period of gut inflammation is an easily digestible way of getting the nutrients you need whilst supporting a healthy gut from within. Lots of the nutrients and compounds found within super green blends are naturally anti-inflammatory and can help to support your digestive tract and gut lining integrity too.
The Impact Of Coffee On Gut Inflammation
Whilst coffee tends to have a bad rep where health is concerned the reality is that drinking coffee over a long period of time may help to protect you against inflammation and chronic inflammatory diseases. (Source)
Studies have shown that because coffee has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it may have beneficial effects on the digestive tract. This is why some experts believe coffee to be beneficial in cases of inflammatory bowel disease. (Source)
Coffee is also high in polyphenols which also have protective effects against inflammation and cell damage. Coffee also acts as a source of pre-biotics which may nourish beneficial gut bacteria and improve the gut microbiome.
It is possible to have too much of a good thing however as too much coffee may irritate the stomach lining or cause bowel urgency and loose stools.
The Impact Of Wine On Gut Inflammation
Whilst there is probably no harm in having one small glass of red wine a day – in fact, some experts believe this may be helpful for heart health, overconsumption of red wine and other alcohol may promote gut permeability which can worsen intestinal inflammation over time. Red wine is high in a type of polyphenol known as resveratrol however more studies are needed to make a firm conclusion on this matter. (Source)
Intermittent fasting is the name given to short periods of fasting often done on a daily basis which allows the body to have a rest from digestion. A common example of intermittent fasting is the 16-8 diet. Here, people eat within an eight-hour window and fast for the following 16 hours. (Source)
The idea is this gives the body a chance to repair damaged cells and reduce gut inflammation. Fasting for a number of hours can induce a process called autophagy which is when the body clears damaged cells.
However, fasting isn’t for everybody and can be contraindicated in some circumstances. If you are new to intermittent fasting try to consume your food within a 12-hour window and give yourself a 12-hour break from digesting.
Managing Specific Gut Conditions
If you have inflammatory bowel disease there are some specific supplements that may support your condition and reduce your symptoms.
For example, Vitamin D is recommended for patients with IBD because it can reduce intestinal inflammation. The efficacy of vitamin D increases when it’s taken together with calcium. (Source)
You might like to focus on whole food sources of Vitamin D such as cod liver oil, egg yolk, or fortified cereals and you can increase your calcium intake through dairy products fortified milks, and supplements.
Increasing your intake of antioxidant vitamins is also important for inflammatory bowel disease this can include taking vitamins A, E, and K which help to support cell production and can reduce inflammation.
Zinc is also particularly good for leaky gut syndrome and ulcerative colitis too. (Source)
If you have IBS or irritable bowel syndrome – you don’t actually have visible intestinal inflammation. This means when you have an endoscopy of your intestine there will be no visible damage or inflammation as you would expect to see with inflammatory bowel disease.
In this scenario, it’s important to focus on the health of your gut microbiome by increasing your fiber intake gradually and repopulating your gut with beneficial probiotic strains.
Human Tonik Spotlight: Synbio Tonik
As explained throughout this article it’s incredibly important to support your gut health through a combination of both pre and pro-biotics. Many supplements just offer probiotics which is less effective than combining them with the pre-biotics required for beneficial microbes to thrive.
This Synbio Tonik product is a prebiotic and probiotic formula that contains five Billion CFUs and a range of four different probiotic strains. These four probiotic strains are complemented by four different pre-biotic sources to help nourish the specific probiotics included. This means they are much more likely to reach your gut alive and thrive.
Here you can benefit from the prebiotics that specifically encourage the growth of short-chain fatty acids that are required for gut lining integrity and reduced permeability.
Reduced permeability will in turn lower gut inflammation. The range of probiotic strains will also help to crowd out the harmful gut microbes in your intestines reducing gut dysbiosis and lowering inflammatory processes.
Prevention And Long-Term Health
Preventing gut inflammation is as important as treating it. If you are looking to future-proof your health then you might like to consider some of the following strategies for maintaining a healthy gut lining and microbiome.
Consider What May Be Contributing To Gut Dysbiosis
Of course, sometimes taking a course of antibiotics is unavoidable however try to avoid unnecessary antibiotic use as this can deplete your beneficial microbes and contribute to an unbalanced microbiome.
Be Aware Of Overusing Stomach Acid-Reducing Medications
Stomach acid is required to kill off pathogenic bacteria when it enters the GI tract. When you use stomach acid-reducing medications such as proton pump inhibitors you can increase your risk of dysbiosis and in particular small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Instead, try to modify your diet to reduce symptoms of reflux.
Increase Your Intake Of Fiber
Increasing your intake of fiber and prebiotics can help to produce sufficient short-chain fattier assets which help to preserve your gut lining integrity. You can do this by increasing your intake of onions, garlic, asparagus, and green bananas as well as supplementing with prebiotic fibers.
Increase The Diversity Of Your Diet
A diverse microbiome is a healthy microbiome and therefore you should be aiming to include around 30 different plant-based foods per week. This can include eating a range of different grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and of course vegetables.
Support Your Nutrient Absorption Processes
If you are struggling to digest core nutrients because of intestinal inflammation this can result in nutrient deficiencies which can worsen inflammatory processes and affect your gut health.
Taking supplementary digestive enzymes and probiotics can help with nutrient absorption which can prevent chronic inflammation in the future.
In conclusion, it is clear that a combination of a nutrient-dense diet, a high intake of protective polyphenols and antioxidants, coupled with anti-inflammatory agents and microbiome-modulating supplements is the best approach for dealing with prolonged gut inflammation.
Because gut inflammation can result from several different factors it’s important to individualize your treatment protocol. You may need to focus on gut liming integrity or perhaps stabilizing your microbiome may be required. Alternatively, focusing on inflammation reduction and immune health may be more beneficial for your specific condition.
Whilst a food-first approach is always desirable, in reality, many of us can benefit from additional. This may involve the intake of pre and probiotics or supplements of specific nutrients lacking from your individual diet. So, why not make life easy and try Synbio Tonik today?
Julia is a health content editor and nutritionist from Norwich, UK. She has worked as a health coach in private practice and for the national health service. She undertook an MSc in nutritional medicine to deepen her knowledge.
She enjoys producing evidence-based content which inspires people to become healthier and happier.