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9 Science-Backed Vitamins For Bloating & Gut Health

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Bloating is a digestive symptom that makes your stomach feel full and distended. Mild bloating isn’t necessarily a health issue but could still impact your quality of life. 
  • Reducing and preventing bloating through dietary changes, like eating slowly, minimizing or avoiding carbonated drinks, and modifying your fiber intake is possible.
  • Some supplements may benefit gut health, and many are found in the foods you eat.

Bloating is relatively common—it’s estimated to affect 18% of adults worldwide at least once weekly.

The tightness across your belly can detract from the pleasant sensation of fullness after eating. 

Some dietary strategies may reduce bloating, such as eating slower, chewing thoroughly,  staying hydrated, personalizing fiber intake, and taking probiotics.

These suggestions are some of the many potential approaches to help reduce or prevent bloating, which your dietitian can review with you. 

Keep reading to learn about vitamins and minerals that support gut health and could indirectly reduce bloating.

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Do Supplements Help with Bloating?

Micronutrients, also called vitamins and minerals, are organic compounds that support all areas of your health, including immune function, energy regulation, and digestive health.

Your body can naturally produce some vitamins (like vitamin D), but others must come from your food and diet. 

Although micronutrients are essential for your health, little research shows they will cure bloating. 

However, an exception might be someone with a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Taking a supplement could raise these levels and improve digestive health, potentially easing bloat. 

What Causes Bloating? 

Bloating can be caused by: 

Identifying potential causes of bloating is vital for developing an effective and personalized treatment plan.

Your physician might recommend medications, antibiotics, supplements, or dietary changes to help you find relief. 

1. Vitamin D

Your body creates Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

However, many people can’t spend time outdoors year-round and require a supplement. 

Evidence suggests vitamin D supplements may reduce digestive symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including the reduction of a distended belly. 

Vitamin D strengthens the gut barrier that protects you from harmful bacteria that could make you sick or experience digestive problems.

Your doctor may recommend a safe dosage for you to take, but most adults need a minimum of 600 IU (international units) daily. 

You can also get vitamin D through foods such as sardines, trout, salmon, UV-exposed mushrooms, and fortified products.

2. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient readily available in animal meats and by-products, but low B12 levels can leave you feeling tired and moody. 

People with chronic digestive illnesses (like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) are at higher risk for low vitamin B12 levels due to their reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food. 

A B12 anemia may worsen digestive symptoms, like diarrhea (commonly accompanied by bloating.)  

Although vitamin B12 won’t cure bloating, it can help promote a healthy digestive system.

Your doctor can recommend a safe dose. 

3. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are food that nourishes probiotics (health-promoting microorganisms in your digestive tract.)

Fiber-rich foods, especially asparagus, garlic, onion, honey, banana, barley, soybeans, and seaweed, are naturally high in prebiotics. 

Maintaining diverse, high levels of healthy microorganisms is vital for digestive function and symptom management, like reducing bloating. 

However, taking a large dose of prebiotics can worsen or cause bloating because they produce gas during digestion.

If you choose this supplement, follow the instructions carefully to avoid unwanted side effects and coordinate with your registered dietitian for extra support. 

4. Probiotics

Probiotics are health-promoting bacteria that live throughout your gastrointestinal tract.

They help with digestion and immune function and are constantly being researched for other health benefits. 

Each bacterial strain of probiotic serves a particular function in your gut.

A probiotic for IBS could reduce bloating, a common symptom of the condition.

Evidence-backed brands include Align, Bio K+, Floradapt, and Nature’s Lab. 

Although probiotics are incredible—they can’t heal your gut alone.

To get the best results, you should also make dietary and lifestyle changes that support a healthy digestive system, like increasing exercise and eating whole foods as often as possible. 

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5. Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is one of the most recognizable micronutrients.

It’s naturally found in fruits and vegetables and supports immune function by strengthening your defenses against harmful pathogens and bacteria that could make you sick. 

Additionally, vitamin C can reduce inflammation and support healthy colonies of intestinal bacteria due to its antioxidative properties.  

Inflammation in your digestive tract can alter bowel function, leading to diarrhea or constipation, gas production, and bloating. 

Most people don’t need a vitamin C supplement if they regularly access fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables.

Ask your doctor if a supplement is necessary because taking too much vitamin C could be harmful. 

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that reduces inflammation.

Food sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, seeds, and nuts. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin often found in higher-fat foods and certain oils.

Like vitamin C, vitamin E helps maintain a strong gut barrier to reduce the chances of digestive infections.

Most people get enough vitamin E through food, but people living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of a deficiency and may benefit from a supplement. 

7. Zinc

Zinc helps with wound healing, immune function, and cell signaling, just to name a few of its many vital roles.

It delivers all these health-protecting effects by working with your intestinal bacteria.

However, if blood zinc levels are low, your healthy gut microorganisms may decrease and become less diverse, leading to changes in the function and health of your gut. 

Most people can satisfy their zinc requirements through food by eating certain meats, seafood, seeds, nuts, and dairy products. 

Like other vitamins mentioned on this list, your physician may recommend a supplement if you’re at high risk for or experiencing a zinc deficiency.

These deficiencies can be common in older people and anyone with digestive conditions that hinder nutrient absorption. 

8. Magnesium

Magnesium has become very popular over the last decade because of its potential to help manage several health concerns:

You may be surprised to see magnesium involved with so many bodily functions, but it’s one of the most abundant minerals in the body. 

For gut health, bloating is often experienced alongside constipation.

Magnesium oxide supplements may help you go to the bathroom because of their laxative effects.

Once your stools become more regular, you may experience less bloating. 

9. Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are supplements that can help your body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and reduce or prevent digestive issues like bloating or indigestion. 

Some people living with chronic health conditions like cystic fibrosis, lactose intolerance, or other digestive disorders may benefit from these supplements.

Follow the timing instructions carefully to get the best results.  

Knowing What Vitamins to Take for Bloating

With many digestive issues, determining the underlying causes of your symptoms is essential to developing a personalized treatment plan. 

If you have a digestive disorder that interferes with nutrient absorption, you may have vitamin deficiencies that could prolong bloat or cause other health problems. 

Getting seen by your doctor or a gastroenterologist and getting specific blood tests can help determine abnormal levels.

Your doctor can suggest supplements and dosages to correct any deficiencies.

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Risks of Taking Supplements

Some supplements can be dangerous for your health when consumed in large amounts or taken unnecessarily.

Additionally, some supplements can interact with prescribed medications—potentially stopping their effectiveness and causing harm.

Here are some critical notes about the vitamins recommended in this article: 

  • Vitamin D can cause toxicity if over-supplemented—always follow your doctor’s dosage recommendations and monitoring. 
  • Vitamin B12 has no known toxic limit, and your healthcare team will monitor your levels and adjust your supplement if your dosage is excessively high. 
  • Prebiotics can worsen bloating and cause other issues when consuming a high dosage—you may need to taper down to minimize side effects. 
  • Probiotics are live organisms and aren’t safe for severely ill and immunocompromised people. 
  • Vitamin C supplementation may increase the risk of kidney stones and digestive symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, or cramping.  
  • Vitamin E supplements can interfere with certain medications, including anticoagulants, some statins, and chemotherapy treatments. 
  • Zinc may cause gastric distress if over-supplemented, potentially resulting in loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Magnesium can cause diarrhea when over-supplemented and may lead to toxicity.  
  • Digestive enzymes can cause digestive symptoms if over-supplemented—always follow the dosage instructions.  

Aside from recommending dosages, your doctor and pharmacist can provide important details to help you get the most from your supplements.

This includes timing and clarifying if they should be taken with or without food or other medications and supplements.  

Other Tips for Promoting a Healthy Gut

Your gut can be sensitive to changes in stress, medications, what you eat and drink, how you move your body, and the quality and quantity of your sleep.

To promote gut and whole body health, you should: 

  • Eat a fiber-rich diet that includes whole foods as often as possible. 
  • Sleep for seven to eight hours every night.  
  • Be physically active every week by completing aerobic and strength exercises. 
  • Decrease stress through meditation and fun hobbies. 
  • Reduce or quit smoking (including e-cigarettes and vapes) for long-term health benefits.
  • Moderating or eliminating alcohol consumption.   

Takeaway

Bloating is when your stomach feels tight, full, and enlarged.

The intensity can vary; some people feel slightly uncomfortable, while others have intense pressure or pain. 

To treat bloat, follow a balanced diet rich in micronutrients that support gut health.

Micronutrient supplements may be particularly helpful if you have nutrient deficiencies. 

Other strategies include using probiotics, increasing physical activity, reducing stress, and quitting smoking. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

A gut health dietitian is a nutrition expert and healthcare professional.

They offer individualized nutrition advice to decrease bloat and help you feel your best. 

You may not know what to expect if you’ve never met a dietitian. Here are questions to ask:

  • Which foods cause me to bloat? 
  • Do beverages cause bloating? 
  • What can I eat to decrease or prevent bloating? 
  • Can supplements help with bloating? 

Find a dietitian through Nourish to understand how nutrition changes can improve gut health. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What micronutrients are best for bloating?

Micronutrients that support overall gut health may decrease unwanted symptoms like bloating. 

  • Vitamin C. 
  • Zinc. 
  • Vitamin D. 
  • Vitamin B12. 
  • Vitamin E.

What micronutrient deficiencies cause bloating?

Micronutrient deficiencies can disrupt your gut health and cause bloating.

People at high risk for deficiencies should pay close attention to: 

  • Zinc. 
  • Vitamin D. 
  • Vitamin B12. 
  • Vitamin E.

Can digestive enzymes help with bloating?

Digestive enzymes are an oral supplement that may help your body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein more efficiently.

People with chronic illnesses may benefit from these products and experience less bloat after eating.

References

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