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.