Best supplements for gut health and digestion

From probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes and fibre supplements - here's your guide to supporting your gut health.

Gut health supplements

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Choosing one of the best supplements for gut health can significantly help our overall well-being, as our gut influences everything from our mood to our immune system. A well-functioning gut can help us digest food and absorb nutrients, but just like any other part of our body, it requires the right nutrients to function optimally, and that's where the best supplements may come into play.

Our gut health is a dynamic and crucial aspect of our overall health, playing a pivotal role in everything from nutrient absorption to immune system support and even our mental health. However, various factors can impact our gut health negatively. These include a diet lacking diversity, high sugar intake, excessive alcohol consumption, and chronic stress. When our gut health is compromised, we may experience a range of symptoms. These can include digestive issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, food sensitivities, unexplained weight changes, fatigue, skin irritations, and mood swings. Pay attention to these signs, as they might indicate that your gut health needs support. For a little more insight, check out our guide on how to improve gut health.

The best supplements for gut health at a glance:

Best overall probiotic: Symprove Daily Essential Probiotic - Buy now on Symprove
Best probiotic with digestive enzymes: Artah Enhanced Synbiotic - Buy now on Artah
Best supplement for inflammation: Nutrition Geeks Turmeric Tablets - Buy now on Amazon UK

Among the best supplements for gut health, the best probiotics are an excellent place to start. These beneficial bacteria work harmoniously with our bodies to support a healthy gut and it is similar to how our body processes fermented foods. Probiotics aren't the only players in the game, though. Digestive enzymes can also be helpful. They help break down our food into its parts, enabling us to absorb its nutrients. While our bodies naturally produce these enzymes, factors such as chronic stress, certain medications, and illnesses can impact our digestion.

In our pick of the best supplements for gut health, we've explored a range of products that combine these essential elements - probiotics, powders, tinctures, and digestive enzymes - along with specific vitamins and minerals beneficial for different life stages, such as the best supplements for perimenopause or menopause. So let's get into it.

Disclaimer: Always talk to your GP before starting a new supplement regime.

Best supplements for gut health

Best probiotics for gut health

Best overall probiotic

Symprove
Price: £79.99 (subscription from £39.99/month)

www.symprove.com

Symprove stands out as a unique, water-based supplement that delivers four strains of live, active bacteria to the gut, fostering a healthy microbiome. Its water-based nature sets it apart from other products, as it bypasses digestion, allowing more live bacteria to reach and colonize the gut. Each 70 ml serving of Symprove introduces 10 billion bacteria to your gut, making it an excellent starting point for your gut health journey. Available in three flavours - mango and passionfruit, strawberry and raspberry, and original - it caters to diverse taste preferences.

Our review: "I have just completed four weeks of Symprove, and I have to say it has honestly made quite a difference already. Symprove recommends completing a 12-week programme to assess the full results. However, after four weeks, I feel more energetic, my visits to the bathroom have been more regular and consistent, and I do not feel as bloated after eating meals. I have had gut health problems for just over five years and have over fifteen food intolerances and IBS. I have been looking for probiotics that work for me for a while now– and this is the first time I have seen clear results.

"The probiotic comes in a liquid form and contains live bacteria to help support a healthy gut microbiome. I take it as soon as I wake up and wait around fifteen minutes before eating or drinking anything. The first week I experienced mild bloating, nothing irregular for me, but after the second week, I started seeing improvements.

"Once the bottle is open, it will last around seven to eight days and must be kept in the fridge. Each bottle is for a week’s use, so one box will be for a month's usage. I will continue the 12-week programme, and I recommend this to those with more severe gut issues, individuals with food intolerances, or those who would like to try probiotics in liquid form rather than in a capsule."

Pros

  • It is a water-based formulation rather than capsules
  • Highly rated and endorsed by many health practitioners and celebrities
  • The 12-week programme is good for those looking to test results
  • Contains four unique strains of live-activated bacteria

Cons

  • Difficult to travel with as must be refrigerated

Best probiotic with digestive enzymes

The Artah Enhanced Synbiotic is designed to bolster your microbiome. It combines scientifically researched probiotic strains, digestive enzymes, and unique polyphenolic prebiotics derived from cranberry and pomegranate, making this probiotic one that not only offers essential prebiotic support but also incorporates the benefits of potent plants. The included digestive enzymes assist in breaking down food and facilitating nutrient absorption too.

Our review: "These are some of the cleanest and most effective probiotic capsules on the market. They contain polyphenol prebiotics rather than fibre-based prebiotics, which can sometimes lead to bloating. When travelling, I heavily relied on these capsules as not only did they keep my gut happy but aided with digestion which is necessary when you eat foods that your body is not used to. They were not bloating and kept my immune system in top shape while being on the go."

Pros

  • Supports diverse and healthy microbiome, improves digestion and IBS symptoms
  • Aids post-antibiotic recovery
  • Includes probiotic strains and cranberry PACs for sexual health
  • Contains digestive enzymes
  • Comes in a glass jar

Cons

  • The glass jar and refill pack cost the same - though the latter does have reduced CO2 emissions

Best vegan probiotic

Gut Health
Price: £26.99

drvegan.com

If you are looking for a brand that aligns with your vegan values, then DR. VEGAN Gut Works is a distinguished formula that blends clinically tested probiotics and prebiotics to foster comprehensive gut health, alleviate IBS and bloating, and support digestion, mental health, and immune health. It features inulin and six strains of live cultures, including Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus. The effectiveness of this formula lies in inulin, a type of dietary fibre that promotes the growth of gut-friendly bacteria, making this a potent prebiotic and probiotic.

Customer review: "I was having trouble going to the toilet and I suffered with IBS. After I started taking Gut Works, I feel great. Go every day, no pains. I would certainly recommend this."

Pros

  • Pre and Probiotic
  • High CFU count with 50bn CFU
  • Delayed-release capsule
  • Suitable for vegans

Cons

  • Some may prefer probiotics from animal sources

Best for gut-brain health

Heights
Price: £50 (subscription from £40/month)

www.yourheights.com

Biotic⁺ from Heights is a high-impact probiotic supplement designed to support gut, immune, and brain health. Each capsule contains 20 billion CFUs of seven clinically studied strains, plus zinc, ensuring comprehensive benefits. It's formulated for daily use, guaranteeing a minimum of 20 billion CFU - 200x more live bacteria than best-selling over-the-counter alternatives.

Customer review: "After suffering for many months of bloating, indigestion and just not feeling great, I finally found something that instantly made me feel better."

Pros

  • Biotic⁺ includes seven highly researched strains, ensuring its effectiveness
  • Vegan and Non-GMO
  • Suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences and needs
  • Convenient for storage and travel

Cons

  • Auto-renewal might not be preferred by all users

Best everyday probiotic

Bio Kult
Price: $9.75 (was £19.98)

Bio-Kult is made with beneficial bacteria designed to complement the natural flora in your digestive system. With 14 strains of live bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bacillus subtilis, and 11 more, Bio-Kult is a great solution for maintaining a healthy gut microbiota.

Customer review: "I recently started taking Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain for Digestive System Capsules. I was hoping for general help with dysbiosis and to rebalance my gut. Would recommend."

Pros

  • Contains 14 strains of live bacteria
  • Convenient capsule form
  • Doesn't need to be refrigerated

Cons

  • Contains milk

Best powders, capsules and tinctures for gut health

Best powder supplement for skin and the gut

The WelleCo's Super Elixir Daily Greens pouch is a comprehensive superfood supplement that works wonders for the skin and the gut. This vegan powder leverages the power of over 40 superfoods to nourish your body and mind. This daily elixir, mixed with water, juice, or plant milk, replenishes essential nutrients and fosters a sense of balance and vitality. Created by Dr. Simone Laubscher and supermodel Elle Macpherson, this potent powder targets beauty, digestion, immunity, and inflammation, all while being free from synthetics. It contains L-glutamine that protects the gut lining and healthy greens. Plus, Psyllium Husk softens stools and helps with constipation.

Our review: "This is a seriously impressive product that is easy to integrate into your diet. I prefer powders and liquid supplements to tablets and capsules to avoid contact with microplastics, and this powder not only has amazing medicinal properties but tastes lovely too. I enjoy it in this WelleCo chocolate smoothie recipe, or I just add it to water as a shot."

Pros

  • Contains a wide range of superfoods for optimal nutrition.
  • Suitable for various dietary preferences.
  • Contains L-Glutamine
  • The powder form is great for putting in smoothies or even in water
  • Refillable pouch uses minimal packaging
  • Free from synthetics and made from all organic natural ingredients

Cons

  • Best suited for women
  • Contains cereal with gluten

Best digestion supplement for healthy weight loss

g herbal weight
Price: £24.50 (subscription from £20/month)

gherbal.com

The G Herbal WEIGHT supplement improves digestive health by maximising nutrient absorption, reducing gastrointestinal inflammation and blocking fat-producing enzymes. Made from a blend of Indonesian herbs including Curcumin to help regulate your metabolism, and Xanthorrhizol to aid digestion. G Herbal ingredients are cultivated in volcanic soils that act as natural fertilisers, rich in macronutrients and minerals. Simply take 2 capsules per day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Our review: “I’d been struggling with feeling sluggish and bloated, with no energy to work out, but I was also trying to lose a little bit of weight before my wedding day and overall feel better about myself. I liked the fact that this supplement is all-natural, and helps to improve overall gut health. The tablets are tasteless and easy to swallow, I just kept the packet beside the kettle so I’d remember to take it daily. Over a month I noticed a difference, I felt and looked slimmer and my skin had a healthy glow. I also found I felt less hungry than usual and was able to cut down my portion sizes without feeling like I was dieting. If you’re looking to feel healthier in yourself then I’d recommend giving these a go.”

Pros

  • Helps improve digestion and boost metabolism
  • Makes you feel less bloated

Cons

  • Small packet size, no larger ones available

Best supplement for inflammation

Nutrition Geeks' Turmeric supplements harness the natural power of turmeric and ginger as a holistic health remedy. These easy-to-swallow tablets come in post-box friendly and minimal plastic packaging, making them convenient for storage and on-the-go use. The turmeric in these tablets is activated by black pepper, which reduces inflammation and pain. Turmeric has been shown to modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells, enhancing the body's antibody responses. Additionally, ginger soothes upset stomachs and supports healthy digestion, making it an excellent choice for those with digestion and bloating issues.

Our review: "These tablets have been a steady and consistent part of my routine over the last two years. Not only are they great for strengthening your immune system, but turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that supports digestion and helps with bloating and inflammation too. I find them particularly helpful when I am on holiday and indulging, and I feel my digestive system and metabolism could do with a little boost. I like this product in particular as it uses turmeric, black pepper and ginger which are all proven to do wonders in Ayurvedic medicine."

Pros

  • Small tablets
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain reducing
  • Suitable for travel

Cons

  • It can stain your fingers

Best herbal tonic

This herbal tonic from ARTAH is designed to prevent bloating and support digestion. It's a blend of organic ingredients like Wild Yam, Chamomile, Dandelion Root, Artichoke, Lemonbalm, Mugwort, and Gentian. This supplement can be used before meals to stimulate digestion, after meals to alleviate discomfort, or daily to support digestion and metabolism. It's also a great travel companion to combat bloating and is perfect for daily use.

Customer review: "I can't be without this, it's the only thing that stops me bloating and coupled with G.I Fix, it's amazing."

Pros

  • Liquid herbal tonic to take for digestive help
  • Relieves bloating
  • Combats wind and stimulates digestion
  • Supports the liver

Cons

  • Requires 1.5ml pipette each time, so may run out quickly

Best powder for gut health

DIRTEA
Price: £33.99 (was £39.99)

www.natureshealthbox.co.uk

DIRTEA's Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder is a fantastic functional mushroom designed to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and support gut health. This mushroom powder contains compounds called polysaccharopeptides, which have been shown to help repair the lining of the gut, reduce inflammation and help alleviate symptoms of a leaky gut.

Our review: "You only need a small amount to add to hot drinks or smoothies, and it has a very mild taste."

Pros

  • 30 servings with 2000mg per serving
  • Great for immunity and gut health
  • Nice packaging and organic ingredients

Cons

  • Will take time to see the effects

Best magnesium supplement for gut health

Magnesium is the mineral that we are most deficient in. Nutrition Geek's Magnesium Glycinate 3-in-1 Complex is a triple magnesium complex in a capsule with 1800mg of Magnesium (384mg elemental) and is effective for supporting your health in many ways. Taking magnesium glycinate has many potential benefits, including supporting gut health, relieving anxiety, improving sleep quality, increasing energy levels, and reducing inflammation.

Customer review: "My body was clearly lacking magnesium of some sort as I have felt it from the first day. Within an hour of going to sleep, I felt sleepy and I slept right through. So far I'm getting more sleep and feel calmer."

Pros

  • 3 in 1 magsium complex
  • Good for supporting gut health, relieving anxiety
  • Helps with improving sleep quality, increasing energy levels, and reducing inflammation

Cons

  • Not specifically a supplement for gut health

Best powder for strengthening the gut lining

L Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid that is concentrated in muscle tissue and can boost immune cell activity in the gut, helping prevent infection and inflammation. This high-quality, unflavoured powder supplement is perfect for post-workout or IBS. L-Glutamine can also boost immune cell activity in the gut, help prevent infection and inflammation, and soothe intestinal tissue. L-Glutamine deficiency can occur with IBS or physical stress making this a good all-rounder for any with digestive issues related to stress.

Customer review: "Overall this is a good product, I've tried other L-Glutamine powders from other brands and this one does the trick just like any of them.

Pros

  • L-Glutamine helps maintain a healthy stomach and intestinal lining
  • Supports optimal gut barrier function and cell reproduction
  • Powder form

Cons

  • Some may prefer capsule form

Best fibre powder

Psyillium Husk
Price: £8.49

Psyllium Husk, a plant native to India, is known for its rich mucilages, soluble fibres found in its seed husks. These fibres form a gel that promotes healthy stool volume and consistency. With a prebiotic effect, it promotes the growth and activity of bacteria in the intestinal tract. The NaturaleBio's Psyllium Husk is organic and an affordable way to support your gut.

Customer review: "I can't recommend these enough. We are 100 per cent not having enough fibre in our daily diet due to the amount of unnutritious food we eat. A quick Google search on the importance of fibre in our diets will confirm how the lack of fibre can affect our digestion, immune system, brain and overall well-being. Do give these a go; you will thank me later. "

Pros

  • Non-GMO, Vegan, Organic and without preservatives
  • Healthy fibre
  • Good value

Cons

  • Not strictly a supplement

Best digestive enzymes for gut health

Best digestive enzyme for digesting protein

If you have ever seen pineapple paired with pork or other fatty meats - it's for more than taste. Bromelain is a natural digestive enzyme found in pineapple that breaks down protein molecules for easy absorption in the small intestine. Holland & Barrett's Bromelain tablets are designed to aid the digestion of protein-rich foods, so if you have trouble digesting red meat or pork, this is an excellent natural option.

Customer review: "Does the job, combined with MSM, for my aches and pains. Haven't suffered since starting taking pineapple enzyme (Bromelain) and MSM."

Pros

  • Enzymatic digestive care
  • Extracted naturally from the pineapple plant
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

Cons

  • Best for digesting proteins

Best for lactose sensitivity

DIgestive enzymes
Price: $6.41 (was £9.95)

Nature's Aid Digestive Enzyme Complex is a blend of Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Lactase, Cellulose, and Betaine HC. It includes lactase enzymes that improve lactose digestion - so if you have food sensitivities and are looking for some digestive support - this is a good pick.

Customer review: "I have tried other digestive products that are so much more expensive than this and they didn’t work as well as this highly recommend this product."

Pros

  • Includes lactase enzymes, which improve lactose digestion
  • Good value
  • Vegan

Cons

  • If you have another food sensitivities other than lactose, it is best to go for a more targetted digestive enzyme

What is gut health?

Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Each person’s 'gut microbiome' has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their gut. There are trillions of bacteria, yeasts, and viruses that make up the term 'gut microbiome' or 'gut flora'.

While some microorganisms can be harmful to our health, many are extremely beneficial and even essential to our bodies. Looking after your gut health and maintaining the correct balance of these microorganisms can play an essential part in our physical and mental health.

According to Dr E. M. Quigley in his study on gut bacteria in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, having a wide variety of these good bacteria in your gut can enhance your immune system function, improve symptoms of depression, help combat obesity, and provide numerous other benefits.

Registered Nutritionist Emily English (@emthenutritionist), who spoke at the recent launch of Remedy Kombucha Orange Squeeze, said:

“Our gut is responsible for absorbing all the lovely nutrients from our food, while our gut microbiome is also responsible for converting a lot of those lovely fibres and antioxidants into beneficial health compounds, such as short-chain fatty acids and secondary metabolites, which have really great anti-inflammatory and gut-supporting effects.

“It’s also responsible for supporting our immune system; 70 per cent of our immune system is housed within the gut, and it plays a key role in identifying friend from foe, allowing the things that will benefit us to come in, whilst keeping out the things that will make us poorly. Having such proximity to our absorption site, it’s important that we keep a strong and balanced immune system within our gut, which is why looking after our gut health and maintaining a good, healthy microbiome is so important for our immunity. It’s when this balance is tipped that we often see a rise in issues such as auto-immune conditions and skin conditions."

If it's a skin condition you're hoping supplements can support you with, here is our guide to the best supplements for skin that nourish from within.

Healthy gut

How bacterias influence communication between the gut and the brain...

You may have heard that your gut is your second brain, and in many ways, that is true. Our nervous system is an integral part of understanding gut health. Communication between the gut and the brain is controlled by our immune system, our endocrine system (hormones), enteric nervous system (GI tract). It is termed the second brain due to how closely it resembles our central nervous system, which is connected to the brain.

These systems are all under the influence of the bacteria in our gut. The types and quantity of these bacterias, known as our gut microbiome, can be directly impacted by circumstances such as diet, stress, pollution, and medications. The structure of the microbiome is also known to affect one’s susceptibility to food sensitivities and intolerances.

Therefore, because of the enteric nervous system, the microbes located in our gut are able to create and regulate neurotransmitters that impact mood including dopamine (the feel-good hormone) and the precursors to serotonin (wellbeing hormone). Neurotransmitters are communicators, and serotonin is a neurotransmitter that delivers messages to different parts of the body and highly impacts mood and wellbeing. That is why many IBS sufferers also have anxiety and irregular moods.

Buyer's guide: Best supplements for gut health

We spoke to Artah's founder, nutritionist and naturopath, Rhian Stephenson, to get to grips with what to look out for when it comes to supplements for gut health.

What are the top probiotic strains to look for in a gut health supplement?

"There are a variety of strains that I like to use in practice to support gut health. Some of my favourites include Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium breve, and Lactobacillus casei," says Rhian.

How do prebiotics and probiotics work together to support gut health?

"Think of prebiotics like food for probiotics," shared Rhian. "The bacteria use prebiotics as a source of fuel and energy. It's what allows them to survive and multiply."

What are the benefits of taking digestive enzymes for gut health?

"Digestive enzymes are required to help breakdown the food we eat into their component parts so that we're able to absorb its nutrients", says Rhian. "We naturally produce digestive enzymes however, there are a number of lifestyle and medical factors that can negatively impact our digestion."

"For example, chronic stress, post-viral fatigue, IBS, an ultra-processed diet, too much or too little exercise, ageing, and certain medications like proton pump inhibitors, and illnesses like pancreatitis, and diabetes can all have an effect on how efficiently we digest our food. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can help digest food, which may reduce digestive stress, improve nutrient absorption, improve bloating and more."

Stomach pain

Are there any specific vitamins, minerals and probiotics that are particularly beneficial for perimenopausal or menopausal women?

It takes more than probiotics to keep your gut healthy. Rhian breaks it down:

"A Vitamin D3, Omega 3, and a multi-vitamin would be a good place to start. From there, you can personalise. For example, Borage Oil can be a fantastic support for menopausal women, as can a complex that targets blood sugar regulation, like Metabolic Fix." Here are our top menopause supplements.

"Did you know that 95 per cent of serotine is found in the Gastrointestinal tract (GI tract)? Cells in the GI tract transport serotonin outside the intestine to the rest of our body. Serotonin is the key hormone that maintains our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. So, happy gut happy mind!"

Meet the expert:

This article contains expert advice from Artah's founder, nutritionist and naturopath, Rhian Stephenson and registered Nutritionist Emily English. We've made sure to review and evaluate each supplement we have recommended with the help of expert professionals. Always speak with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regime. This will ensure that the supplement is appropriate to you, that you're taking the right dosage for your individual needs, and to ensure it doesn't interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications you may be taking.

Ellen Kinsey was a Senior Health and Wellness Product Writer and has been a part of Bauer Media since 2020. She has left to study Ayurveda in India to expand her knowledge and skills in the health and wellness field, where she plans to continue making journalistic contributions.

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