The human gut is a complex ecosystem that can be affected by numerous factors such as age, genetics, stress and diet.1 The gut is made up of a 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells, which are predominately bacterial cells.2 This is often referred to as the gut microbiome. It’s been reported that the better the composition and diversity of your gut microbiome, the healthier your gut will be.1
A healthy gut is important for overall health as it will increase the absorption of nutrients from the diet, potentially reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues and may improve immunity. There are a variety of different ways to ensure that your gut stays healthy and the following article will discuss the different types of supplements that may be beneficial.
Best supplements for gut health
Supplementing probiotics can help improve both the composition and diversity of your gut microbiome. Your gut is made up of both harmful (bad) and health promoting (good) bacteria The more ‘good’ bacteria you have, the healthier your gut will be and a probiotic supplement may help with this. Choosing a probiotic with as many strains of bacteria or live cultures as possible will increase the diversity of your microbiome.
Probiotic supplementation can also have a positive impact on your immunity. The mucosal lining of your gastrointestinal tract is your body’s first line of defence and is an important part of your immune system. It’s been reported that 70% of your body’s immune system is located in your gut and probiotic supplementation has been shown to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of upper respiratory tract infections.1
Probiotics have also been researched for their potential to improve sporting performance. Recent findings have shown that 4 weeks of probiotic supplementation in long distance runners helped reduce the number of gastrointestinal symptoms (bloating, gas, nausea etc). during a marathon.3