Just about everyone has experienced the occasional symptoms of gas, bloat and indigestion. Although not pleasant, these symptoms can easily be triggered by commonly consumed foods and occasional overindulgence. But if you’re one of the many individuals struggling with repeated digestive symptoms or even chronic digestive disturbance, then you know firsthand how challenging and life altering it can be.
Those struggling with ongoing digestive issues may be surprised to learn that natural supplements, such as herbs and probiotics, can actually be effective for mitigating symptoms of gas, bloating and irregularity. But what exactly do digestive supplements do and how exactly do they decrease symptoms?
How Do Supplements Help The Gut?
Some of the best digestive health supplements can improve digestive capacity, promote regularity and support healthy microbial flora, thereby improving recurrent digestive ailments. There are many ways to improve the function of the gut with natural supplements. Many natural supplements do so by utilizing antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immune modulating action within the GI tract.
Nutrients for Gut Health: Mastic Gum
The herb Mastic Gum is a great example of a nutrient that exhibits antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory action in the gut. Mastic gum is actually not an herb per se, but is instead a compound known as a resin. This highly medicinal resin is concentrated from the sap of the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), found on the Greek island of Chios. This highly prized natural medicine has been used to aid in wound healing, for pain relief and as a gut remedy for thousands of years.
Mastic gum performs several unique actions on the gut. It contains compounds including triterpenic acids and triterpenes which exhibit antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties1. When mastic gum enters the gut, it’s antimicrobial compounds work to expel overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria that can trigger common digestive symptoms. Mastic gum is also a natural prebiotic fiber, meaning that it helps to feed beneficial bacteria in the gut. This dual action gives mastic gum the ability to eradicate pathogenic bacteria, while also promoting growth of beneficial bacteria, in turn restoring a healthy flora.
There is a significant amount of research to support the use of mastic gum in the treatment of several types of gastrointestinal disorders. One randomised control trial of the herb found it to significantly reduce symptoms of heartburn and stomach pain in those with indigestion². There are several studies on its use as in H. pylori, a bacteria commonly found in the stomach that can cause ulcers. One particular study showed mastic gum to help eradicate H. Pylori with only 2 weeks of use3.
Mastic gum has also been found to be beneficial for managing symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis. It has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing stomach pain, cramping and diarrhea and significantly decreased markers of inflammation, including C-Reactive Protein, in those with IBD4,5.
Nutrients for Gut Health: Bromelain
Bromelain, a naturally occurring compound found in the stem of pineapples, is another supportive digestive health nutrient. Bromelain has strong anti-inflammatory and enzymatic activity that promotes beneficial digestion and optimal immune function6. Inflammation in the GI tract can be triggered by many things, such as a poor diet and dysbiotic microbial flora. This inflammation can lead to a host of symptoms including reflux, stomach pain, diarrhea and loose stools.
Bromelain’s natural enzymatic activity helps to break down food in the intestines, aiding in the digestive process and allowing for increased nutrient absorption. When taken away from food, bromelain’s powerful anti-inflammatory action works to lower inflammation and irritation in the gut lining. By decreasing GI inflammation, bromelain can help to heal inflamed and irritated tissue and promote healthy mucosal barrier function6.
Nutrients for Gut Health: Probiotics
Probiotics, found in fermented foods and nutritional supplements, are frequently used to support a healthy digestive process. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that naturally inhabit our gastrointestinal tract. These microbes can easily become out of balance due to medications, poor diet and even stress, leading to unfavorable GI symptoms. Beneficial probiotic bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) and bifidobacterium bifidum (B. bifidum), are two types of probiotics commonly found in the gut and multiple studies show they support a broad range of GI function.
L. acidophilus has been shown in research to reduce abdominal pain and discomfort in those with IBS7 and can improve intestinal inflammation associated with H. Pylori8. One study on L. acidophilus found the bacteria to reduce common GI side effects associated with antibiotic use9, while another demonstrated significant improvement in symptoms of chronic diarrhea10.
B. bifidum probiotic bacteria is commonly found in the colon of breast fed infants, and tends to decrease in numbers with age. Several disease states have been associated with having a lower level of B. bifidum in the gut, including diabetes, allergies and obesity11.
B. bifidum has strong antiinflammatory action in the gut and also throughout the body. A randomized control trial on B. bifidum found that the probiotc decreased the inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein in subjects with ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and psoriasis12. Another study on B. bifidum showed the probiotic contributing to a decrease of symptoms associated with IBS including pain, bloating and urgency13.
Restore Function Naturally
Clearly, digestive supplements can be useful for improving gut health and reducing the severity and impact of a wide variety of symptoms. You might be wondering if there is a way to get all of the benefits of these digestive nutrients in one place. Luckily there is, and it’s a digestive health supplement called Active Restore.
Formulated by a team of doctors, scientists and researchers, Active Restore is an all-natural formula containing the digestive powerhouse nutrients Mastic Gum, Bromelain and the probiotic strains L. acidophilus and B bifidum, in one convenient blend. Active Restore’s nutrients work in synergy to eradicate overgrowth, decrease inflammation and support a healthy immune response.
Natural supplements like Active Restore can be a way to integrate the benefits of natural nutrients along with the effectiveness of modern digestive treatments. Medical doctor, licensed naturopathic physician and chronic disease practitioner, Dr. Mark Laursen states “I truly believe that Active Restore represents the perfect balance of western and eastern health practices, combining a natural, holistic approach to health with clinically verified research.”
Digestive health supplements can be a safe and effective way to improve the health of your gut. Nutrients such as Mastic Gum, Bromelain and probiotics have been shown to successfully decrease symptoms of bloat, gas, indigestion and irregularity in those with common digestive disorders. Utilizing Active Restore as part of your digestive protocol can help to dramatically transform your gut, while promoting more vibrant health.
- Paraschos, S., Magiatis, P., Mitakou, S., Petraki, K., Kalliaropoulos, A., Maragkoudakis, P., Mentis, A., Sgouras, D., & Skaltsounis, A. L. (2007). In vitro and in vivo activities of Chios mastic gum extracts and constituents against Helicobacter pylori. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 51(2), 551–559. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00642-06
- Dabos KJ, Sfika E, Vlatta LJ, Frantzi D, Amygdalos GI, Giannikopoulos G. Is Chios mastic gum effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia? A prospective randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Feb 3;127(2):205-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.11.021. Epub 2009 Dec 2. PMID: 19961914.
- Dabos KJ, Sfika E, Vlatta LJ, Giannikopoulos G. The effect of mastic gum on Helicobacter pylori: a randomized pilot study. Phytomedicine. 2010 Mar;17(3-4):296-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.09.010. Epub 2009 Oct 29. PMID: 19879118.
- Kaliora, A. C., Stathopoulou, M. G., Triantafillidis, J. K., Dedoussis, G. V., & Andrikopoulos, N. K. (2007). Chios mastic treatment of patients with active Crohn’s disease. World journal of gastroenterology, 13(5), 748–753. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v13.i5.748
- Al-Habbal MJ, Al-Habbal Z, Huwez FU. A double-blind controlled clinical trial of mastic and placebo in the treatment of duodenal ulcer. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1984 Sep-Oct;11(5):541-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.1984.tb00864.x. PMID: 6395994.
- Pavan R, Jain S, Shraddha, Kumar A. Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review. Biotechnol Res Int. 2012;2012:976203. doi: 10.1155/2012/976203. Epub 2012 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 23304525; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3529416.
- Sinn DH, Song JH, Kim HJ, Lee JH, Son HJ, Chang DK, Kim YH, Kim JJ, Rhee JC, Rhee PL. Therapeutic effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus-SDC 2012, 2013 in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Oct;53(10):2714-8. doi: 10.1007/s10620-007-0196-4. Epub 2008 Feb 15. PMID: 18274900.
- Yang, Y. J., Chuang, C. C., Yang, H. B., Lu, C. C., & Sheu, B. S. (2012). Lactobacillus acidophilus ameliorates H. pylori-induced gastric inflammation by inactivating the Smad7 and NFκB pathways. BMC microbiology, 12, 38. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2180-12-38
- Witsell DL, Garrett CG, Yarbrough WG, Dorrestein SP, Drake AF, Weissler MC. Effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus on antibiotic-associated gastrointestinal morbidity: a prospective randomized trial. J Otolaryngol. 1995 Aug;24(4):230-3. PMID: 8551535.
- Xiao SD, Zhang DZ, Lu H, Jiang SH, Liu HY, Wang GS, Xu GM, Zhang ZB, Lin GJ, Wang GL. Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of heat-killed Lactobacillus acidophilus LB in patients with chronic diarrhea. Adv Ther. 2003 Sep-Oct;20(5):253-60. doi: 10.1007/BF02849854. PMID: 14964345.
- Arboleya, S., Watkins, C., Stanton, C., & Ross, R. P. (2016). Gut Bifidobacteria Populations in Human Health and Aging. Frontiers in microbiology, 7, 1204. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01204
- Groeger D, O’Mahony L, Murphy EF, Bourke JF, Dinan TG, Kiely B, Shanahan F, Quigley EM. Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 modulates host inflammatory processes beyond the gut. Gut Microbes. 2013 Jul-Aug;4(4):325-39. doi: 10.4161/gmic.25487. Epub 2013 Jun 21. PubMed PMID: 23842110; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3744517
- Guglielmetti S, Mora D, Gschwender M, Popp K. Randomised clinical trial: Bifidobacterium bifidum MIMBb75 significantly alleviates irritable bowel syndrome and improves quality of life–a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 May;33(10):1123-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04633.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21. PMID: 21418261.