Essential Vitamins for Digestive Health

Your digestive system needs certain vitamins to function properly. Find out which vitamins are best and how to get them.

They’re called “essential” vitamins for a reason: The body needs them to function properly, and the digestive system is no exception. There are certain vitamins that are more important for digestion than others.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and plays a key role in how your nerves, muscles, and immune system function. What’s more, healthy levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer, according to a 2015 study published in Gut.

B Vitamins
These vitamins help your body form red blood cells and get energy from the food you eat. They are water-soluble, meaning you can’t store them away in your fat cells to use later; they need to be a regular part of your diet.
B1. Also known as thiamine, helps your body change the carbohydrates in your diet into energy for your cells and regulate appetite.
B3. Also known as niacin, this vitamin is important for many digestive tract functions, including the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and alcohol.
B6. Also known as pyridoxine, B6 is very important in helping your digestive system process the protein you eat.

Vitamin C
Because it’s an antioxidant, many people associate vitamin C with the immune system and preventing colds, but this essential vitamin also aids in digestion by supporting healthy teeth and gums and helping the body absorb iron.  Vitamin C is found in daily multivitamins and stand-alone supplements, but there are many excellent food sources, including: Citrus fruits, Berries, Peppers and Broccoli.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is involved primarily in boosting vision, bone, and reproductive health, as well as helping the immune system. Colourful fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and other dark greens, as well as liver and milk are rich sources of vitamin A.
Although vitamin A is not directly involved in digestion, some gastrointestinal diseases can leave you vulnerable to a vitamin A deficiency. For instance, vitamin A deficiency is more common among people with Crohn’s disease, according to a 2015 study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. The researchers noted that a lack of vitamin A can worsen the imbalance between the formation and destruction of free radicals in the intestinal mucus lining of people with Crohn’s.

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