Vitamins to help with digestive health
Our digestive system is responsible for deriving energy from food, absorbing essential nutrients and eliminating waste products, and just like other body processes, it relies on vitamins and other nutrients to do its job properly. Some of the vitamins involved in maintaining digestive health and function include:
- B group vitamins – Most of the B vitamins play an important role in releasing energy from the foods we eat and converting it into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the form of energy used by the body’s cells. For example:
- Vitamin B1 is involved in the reactions that release energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
- Vitamin B3 is needed for fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Vitamin B5 plays a vital role in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Vitamin B6 helps the body metabolise proteins, fats and carbohydrates to release energy.
Some B vitamins also play additional roles in digestive health. For example vitamin B1 is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid the acid responsible for breaking down food in the stomach.
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A helps maintain the integrity of cells that line the digestive tract and function as a barrier against harmful pathogens.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is needed to promote the absorption of calcium from the small intestine.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C enhances the intestinal absorption of iron.
Along with vitamins, various minerals are important for healthy digestion too, for example:
- Iron is required for efficient energy production in both carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
- Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of glucose and production of energy.
- Zinc helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
To ensure your body gets everything it needs for digestive health, you could consider a comprehensive daily multivitamin and mineral supplement.
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Published June 6, 2014
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