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How Do I Choose the Best Digestive System Supplements?

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  • Written By: Marlene de Wilde
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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There are general digestive system supplements as well as specific ones to aid system issues such as indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux and gas. There are many conditions which affect the process of digestion and the choice of the best digestive system supplements depends on what the condition is. Herbal and non-herbal digestive system supplements may be taken in order to activate the digestive system, build up the system with the provision of more nutrition and cleanse the system.

An efficient digestive system, made up of the liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreas, small intestine and large intestine, is necessary for the proper assimilation of food. The digestive process may be adversely affected by medications such as antibiotics, an unhealthy diet, stress, smoking, alcohol and disease. Many of these conditions can be dealt with by making changes in lifestyle choices and taking digestive system supplements.

Digestive system supplements are divided into herbal and non-herbal types. Herbal digestive supplements are popular as they are natural, do not contain any chemicals or preservatives and include ingredients such as anise, camomile, peppermint and milk thistle. Most of these are available as teas, capsules or powders. Chinese herbology also supports the use of herbal supplements for conditions such as gas, abdominal discomfort and bloating as well as detoxification.

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Non-herbal digestive system supplements normally comprise pro-biotic digestive enzymes which come in the form of drinks. A popular general digestive supplement is pro-biotics which contain bacteria that resemble the good bacteria in the stomach. The human digestive tract contains approximately 400 different sorts of pro-biotic bacteria whose role is to combat harmful bacteria and promote digestive health. People take this type of supplement to help with specific conditions such as diarrhea, digestive tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome and to prevent negative side effects through the taking of antibiotics. Others take it every day in order to promote general health.

As many digestive supplements are not under the control of food and safety guidelines, there is no guarantee that many supplements or brands of supplements are effective or even safe. Just because something is natural, it does not mean it does not have any harmful side-effects. Before buying digestive system supplements, ensure that the brand and ingredients are trusted and of good quality. It is also advisable to research the problem and solution or seek the advice of a medical practitioner before taking any supplements.

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ysmina
Post 3

@SarahGen-- Have you tried digestive enzymes?

Anyone can use digestive enzyme supplements as they are mostly safe. They contain digestive enzymes that normally live in our digestive tract. Sometimes, our body doesn't produce enough enzymes or we need more to properly digest food.

I have benefited from digestive enzymes and I use them daily. They really help with the digestion of fresh vegetables and fruits and other whole foods.

fify
Post 2

@SarahGen-- I'm not a doctor but I think that something for gas and indigestion will help in your case. I use an anti-gas medication called simethicone. It's available over the counter and helps with bloating and discomfort. It only works well for mild situations though. If your bloating is severe, then I think you should see a doctor for a more effective medication.

And chronic digestive issues need to be treated by a doctor anyway. You may have a food intolerance or an underlying health problem causing the bloating. Bloating can even be a side effect of some medications.

For temporary, mild digestive troubles, it's okay to try over the counter supplements and drugs. But chronic and severe troubles need the care of a doctor. You should use what your doctor recommends in that case.

SarahGen
Post 1

I'm having some issues with digestion lately. I get very bloated after meals. Sometimes I'm so bloated that it's painful and difficult to breathe. Should I take an over-the-counter supplement for gas?

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