Categories
Food Gut Product Reviews

Big Supplement List (Gut)

Combine ingredients wisely for an effective, sustainable gut supplement program.

List of products:

1

Colostrum

2

Herbal ANTIMICROBIALS

3

OTHER
ANTIMICROBIALS

4

Probiotics

5

Prebiotics

6

Bee Products

7

Enzymes

8

Apple Cider Vinegar
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1

Colostrum

  • Symbiotics Colostrum Plus

Colostrum makes a strong foundation — and a potent first step — for any gut health protocol.


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(Find on iHerb)

(For a better deal — I fully recommend the powder, after years of taking the capsules).

SYMBIOTICS
Colostrum Plus

U.K. citizens — Here’s a quality colostrum available in your country: INVIVO Bio.Revive Colostrum.

One of the most gentle yet impactful supplements available, colostrum affects the gut in multiple positive ways — with low risk of intolerance.

Colostrum boosts immunity, fights pathogens, feeds beneficial flora, and regulates the speed of motility in the gut.

  • Lactoferrin (powerful against viruses and bacteria)
  • Insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1, IGF-2) which help your tissues grow and recover
  • Immunoglobulins — (Antibodies, used to fight pathogens — IgA, IgG, IgM)
  • Prebiotics — Healthy fibers that selectively feed “good” gut flora
  • Proline-rich-polypeptidesShort proteins that boost immunity, increase cognitive performance, regulate cellular redox, and can even play a role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s

Colostrum is incredible for both constipation and diarrhea, as well as when fighting off an illness. Most products recommend a higher dose to knock out a bug when sick.

Colostrum is safe for nearly all people, with the only exception being those with sensitivity to dairy. That said, many lactose-intolerant folks have no issues with colostrum.

2

Herbal Antimicrobials

Extracts & oils with antimicrobial properties.
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Triphala
  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Mimosa Pudica

Antimicrobial herbs create hostility in the gut against microbes, reducing pathogen counts and boosting immunity. Rotate through herbs to prevent excessive killing.


Oregano

OREGANOL
Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is a powerful full-spectrum natural antibiotic with antioxidant properties.


Cinnamon

OREGON’S WILD HARVEST
True Cinnamon

Cinnamon oil has potent antimicrobial properties against virtually all pathogens, even in drug-resistant strains.


Triphala

PLANETARY HERBALS
Triphala

Triphala is an ancient Indian blend of three ingredients: two fruits and a berry.

  • Amla — (berry)
  • Bibhitaki — (fruit)
  • Haritaki — (fruit)

Peppermint

HEATHER’S
Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a gentle antimicrobial, with varying rates of effect against different species of bacteria.


Ginger

NATURE’S WAY
Ginger Root

The main active ingredient in ginger is gingerol, which has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.


Garlic

ZHOU
Garlic

Garlic has powerful antimicrobial properties that affect the full spectrum of microbe — including bacteria, yeasts/fungus, protozoa, and viruses.


Turmeric (Curcumin)

JARROW
Curcumin

Curcumin is a legitimate antimicrobial compound with far-reaching benefits for the entire body.

Against bacteria, curcumin has the most severe effect against H. Pylori, but also has broad-spectrum antibacterial effects.

Curcumin is being considered as an antiviral drug, and has broad-spectrum antifungal effects — most especially against Candida.

Curcumin and turmeric are known to be anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and good for the liver, blood sugar, diabetes, and fat storage.

3

Other Antimicrobials

Compounds with antimicrobial properties.
  • TUDCA
  • Thorne SF722
  • Lauricidin
  • Digestive Enzymes
  • Systemic Enzymes

(section in progress)

Double Wood TUDCA

TUDCA is best known as a liver supplement (and a great one, at that), but it also directly improves the microbial balance of the gut.

TUDCA is a compound found in bile, but humans only make tiny amounts of it. On the other hand, bear bile is extremely rich in TUDCA, and for centures bear bile was used as a health tonic. Thankfully, it’s not necessary to hunt bears for their bile any longer.

TUDCA’s effect on the liver is beneficial for the gut. Bile ducts are gently, yet powerfully cleaned and nourished — improving liver health and bile flow to the gut. Bile is notoriously antimicrobial, meaning TUDCA improves the gbut microbiome indirectly, too, by making the gut hostile to pathogens via increased bile flow.

The UDCA stands for ursodeoxycholic acid and it’s a powerful compound in its own right. The “T” in TUDCA stands for taurine — a key amino acid that cleanses the liver and aids in digestion on its own. Therefore TUDCA provides the many benefits of UDCA while also those of taurine.

Liver health is essential for gut health, and the best first step toward both liver and gut health might be the powerful, yet quite tolerable, healing effects of TUDCA.

Thorne SF722

(Undecylenic Acid)

Lauricidin

Monolaurin

Digestive Enzymes

All enzymes are antimicrobial, increasing hostility in the gut against microbes.

PURE ENCAPSULATIONS
Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are the array of enzymes released when food enters the digestive system.

They are designed to specifically break down carbs, proteins, and fats.

Pancreatin is a commercial name for these three enzymes:

  • amylase
  • protease
  • lipase

These three enzymes are foundational to human digestion. Supplemental pancreatin is sourced from pigs and will have different ratios from human pancreatic juices.

This does not mean pancreatin is of no benefit to digestion, just that it is not a perfect replacement for human pancreatic enzymes.

“PPE [pancreatin supplements from pigs] do not provide a full substitution of the lipolytic enzymes present in HPJ [human panctreatic juices].”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31288050

Other enzymes are often included in digestive enzyme products: cellulase (breaks down cellulose, or plant fiber), and lactase (breaks down the milk sugar, lactose). Invertase breaks down sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose. Beta-glucanase breaks down beta-glucans, a sugar found in plants (oatmeal, barley), and the cell walls of microbes (making this enzyme an antimicrobial and anticancer compound).

All in all, digestive enzymes can slightly improve the risk of maldigestion, ramp up gut hostility during digestion, and increase the absorption of nutrients. They may especially play a minor role when gut health is truly struggling and food is not well digested.

Sometimes, enzymes can increase energy in the body to the extent that they interfere with sleep. Enzymes can also deplete minerals in the body, particularly sodium and magnesium. Enzyme products also tend to advertise large doses per capsule — when smaller doses would be more tolerable and effective.

If you have any negative symptoms, such as insomnia — or feel that sodium or magnesium levels are being depleted — reduce the dose or frequency or stop taking enzymes altogether. Discontinue enzymes if any pain is noticed after taking.

Systemic Enzymes

All enzymes are antimicrobial, increasing hostility in the gut against microbes.

BRAGGZYME
Systemic Enzymes

Systemic enzymes not only benefit the gut, but also enter the bloodstream and break down microbes, toxins, metabolic waste, and junk protein.

The benefit of systemic enzymes to the gut shouldn’t be overlooked, though. In fact, this is a critical component of why systemic enzymes seem to improve symptoms, performance, and quality of life so much.

The most popular systemic enzymes are all considered proteolytic — which means they break down proteins. This term is often used interchangeably (with “systemic”) to describe systemic enzymes, though it isn’t a perfect translation.

Systemic enzymes are quite popular — and for good reason. Taken exclusively on an empty stomach, they function in a more alkaline environment (the intestines and bloodstream) rather than an acidic environment (the stomach).

Attacking pathogens without the interference of food entering the digestive tract allows systemic enzymes to make significant headway — cleaning up the gut and bloodstream, and lowering inflammation as a result. Many folks notice more energy, better brain function, less joint pain, and improved mood as a result of systemic enzymes.

The most popular systemic enzymes are:

  • Serrapeptase — (from silk worms)
  • Nattokinase — (from Japanese natto)
  • Trypsin — (pancreatic enzyme)
  • Chymotrypsin — (pancreatic enzyme)
  • Bromelain — (from pineapples)
  • Papain — (from papaya)

It’s best to take these enzymes in a blend, together, to benefit from all of them simultaneously.

Too, the benefits of enzymes are possible in smaller doses than are often supplied in products. High doses can be jarring to a weaker system, and aren’t necessary. These products are often formulated to “impress” the average person — when the needs of those struggling with chronic digestive issues are very different.

As with any gut supplement, it’s common for a person’s response to systemic enzymes to be highly individual. Formulas change frequently — with the new ingredients being less effective than the old. Keep your wits about you; If you know why a product works you can be better suited to finding a replacement if a product changes or becomes unavailable in the future.

4

Probiotics

Repopulate the gut microbiome with broad-spectrum microbes.
  • GutPro
  • Garden of Life – 85 Billion

Continually introduce good microbes. Then feed them with prebiotic fibers.


Probiotics

GutPro has been recommended to me by clients for several years, but I always balked due to the higher cost and online-only availability.

I’m glad I tried it, because this may be the highest-quality probiotic on the market.

With zero fillers (it’s literally the probiotics and nothing else), the formulation is designed to produce as little histamine or lactate as possible, minimizing negative reactions in those with hypersensitivities.

Negative reactions are still possible with any probiotic (GutPro acknowledges this on their website), so finding the right product for you is what’s most important. However, GutPro is likely one of the most tolerable and helpful products available.

When the powder form is purchased, customers receive a fair price (lower per serving than most other high-qauality probiotics) and option to pick the dose that works best. Microdosing is easy with GutPro powder. Be sure to get the dosing spoons, as well.

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GARDEN OF LIFE
Raw 85 Billion

(Women)

(View on iHerb)

(amazon)

GARDEN OF LIFE
Raw 85 Billion

(Men)

(View on iHerb)

This product meets many criteria for quality and has delivered excellent results for both me and endless numbers of clients over the years.

  • Species Diversity — There are 31 strains in this blend, which is an extremely (perhaps remarkably) high number for a probiotic product. Results are always hit-or-miss when you go searching for “that one strain” that you need more of. Too, single strain products can cause imbalance over time (just like with nutrients). High diversity also reduces the likelihood of a bad reaction, due to diversification. Too, a healthy gut typically has more diverse species of microbes.
  • Vitamins, Minerals & Enzymes — Low-dose nutrient blends can be a major positive in poor gut health. Each time you take one of these pills, you’re getting not just the probiotic army, but a light dose of virtually all major nutrients and minerals you’d expect from a multivitamin — and in natural, non-synthetic forms. I would expect the small number of enzymes to possibly detract from the effectiveness of the probiotics, but this does not seem to be a concern, based on results.
  • Prebiotics — There are modest additions of potato starch and acacia fiber, which are both well-known prebiotics. This improves the effectiveness of the probiotics even when this product is taken alone on an empty stomach. It’s still optimal to take well-tolerated prebiotics with any probiotics, even if the probiotic contains some prebiotics.

It is perfectly acceptable to take one pill per day as a maintenance dose — meaning one 90-capsule bottle product can last 3 months. When we take probiotics with prebiotics, the numbers of the beneficial species can double in as little as fifteen minutes. This can be an efficient way of making probiotic supplementation more cost-effective.

The ability to take a single pill — rather than the full, 3-pill dose — also allows the user to test for tolerability when first starting the supplement.

After nearly a decade of taking probiotics and working with clients, this product clearly comes out the winner. Better results have been consistently achieved with this product than any others — even the outrageously-priced expensive brands like Metagenics (and other functional medicine probiotics).

Chewable Probiotics

Many, many folks struggle to swallow pills — especially when dealing with gut health issues that general weakness and/or nausea.

In these cases, a chewable probiotic can be nothing short of a life-saver.

I’ve had excellent results with this product, even if folks who struggle to tolerate gut supplements.

NOW Berrydophilus

(View on iHerb)

If tolerance is commonly an issue, let chewable tablet dissolve in mouth slowly.

5

Prebiotics

Feed beneficial microbes in your gut.
  • Apple Pectin
  • F.O.S.
  • G.O.S.
  • H.M.O. (Layer Origin)
  • Inulin & Chicory

Prebiotics are always more safe and effective in multiple smaller doses rather than one larger dose.

  • When tolerability is confirmed, combine multiple prebiotics for maximum benefit.
  • Take prebiotics with another compound that will ensure optimal fermentation in the gut (such as antimicrobials or probiotics).

Apple Pectin

SOLGAR
Apple Pectin (Powder)

(View on iHerb)


NOW Apple Pectin 700mg (Pills)
(iHerb)

  • 700mg is a slightly large dose. 500mg would be safer for beginners.
  • Tiny doses may be required in gut dysbiosis.

Apple pectin is a gentle prebiotic fiber that is quite well-tolerated and has many, many benefits for the gut.

Apple pectin can increase (and even double) butyrate levels, feed beneficial microbes and — surprisingly for a prebiotic fiber — actually reduce the number of harmful bacteria.

Apple pectin also increases the concentration of short-chain fatty-acids, acetate, propionate, and bicarbonate. Somehow, it also seemed to lower lactic acid in the stool (some folks struggle with lactic acid).

Importantly, the beneficial effects of apple pectin were not achievable simply by eating apples, apple juice, or apple puree — apple pectin alone was required.

When the apple pectin was removed from the diet, the improvements in gut began to retreat, suggesting that consistent pectin supplementation is a good idea.

A good, small starting dose for most is 250-500mg, with a large dose range being 1.5g/day. For severe gut dysbiosis, try 50mg (even a tiny, tiny pinch), or delay usage until gut health improves.


F.O.S.

SOURCE NATURALS
F.O.S.

(Fructo-oligosaccharides)

Fructooligosaccharides are a natural fiber that occurs in foods.

FOS can be produced by breaking down inulin (usually from chicory root).

FOS is not absorbed into the bloodstream, and does not contribute to caloric intake or energy metabolism directly. However, FOS is metabolized by microbes into pro-metabolic short-chain fatty-acids (SCFA) and carbon dioxide.

Its effect on human health is as a prebiotic — selectively feeding beneficial microbes.

FOS may even suppress the growth of various pathogens such as clostridium and salmonella.

Taken properly, FOS can be a powerful tool to reshape the health of the gut microbiome. FOS is generally well-tolerated, except in certain more severe cases of gut dysbiosis, IBS, Crohn’s, etc. In these situations, FOS should be a later experiment, explored after other steps are in place (such as fixing the circadian rhythm, daily therapeutic light,


G.O.S.

JARROW
G.O.S.

Bimuno

(Galactooligosaccharides)
(iHerb)

JARROW XOS + GOS

GOS is a fiber produced after lactose is digested, directly feeds beneficial microbes, and could be critical in the developing newborn gut microbiome.

Oligosaccharides resembling GOS occur naturally in human milk and may be one of the factors that protect human infants from gastrointestinal pathogenic bacteria.

In infants, the supplementation of formula with a mixture of GOS and fructo-oligosaccharides can modulate bowel function and stool characters in the same direction as does breast-feeding.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2607002/


H.M.O.

LAYER ORIGIN
Human Milk Oligosaccharides

H.M.O. uses human milk oligosaccharides to improve the gut microbiome and relieve symptoms associated with IBS.

I formerly recommended Holigos. However, Layer Origin claims to have a product that is 99% pure, whereas Holigos only claimed 95% purity.

I personally notice a better effect — particularly a cognitive boost — when taking Layer Origin’s H.M.O. I believe it’s a better product.

Infants consuming a formula with 2′-FL and LNnT had significantly fewer parental reports of bronchitis, reduced incidence of lower respiratory tract infections, reduced use of antipyretics and reduced use of antibiotics compared to infants fed a formula without HMOs (human milk oligosaccharides).

https://jennewein-biotech.de/en/products/human-milk-oligosaccharides/lacto-n-neotetraose/

Inulin, Chicory

CAFE DU MONDE
Chicory & Coffee

Inulin is the primary fiber in chicory root, long prized for its gut health benefits.

Chicory root has been shown to improve liver bile flow and fat digestion — with increases in short-chain fatty-acid (SCFA) production.

Many of the benefits of chicory root are attributed to inulin, although other helpful compounds are certainly in play, such as chicoric — which can improve blood sugar levels.

Inulin and chicory are longer-chain fibers and, therefore, may cause trouble in situations where gut health is weak. Coffee can have some minor benefits for the gut microbiota and can help relieve constipation — and makes a delightful pairing with chicory’s rich taste in this traditional New Orleans-style beverage.

Inulin is the least tolerable prebiotic on this list.

It is not recommended in situations where gut health is sensitive to fiber. Instead, start with something more tolerable, such as pectin — or non-supplement approaches like the circadian rhythm, therapeutic light, and environmental health.

6

Bee Products

Antimicrobial + Prebiotic + Nutrients.
  • Manuka Honey
  • Raw Honey
  • Bee Pollen, Propolis & Royal Jelly

Medicinal honey research is undergoing a substantial renaissance.


Raw Honey

NATURE NATE’S
Raw, Unfiltered Honey

Honey is shockingly antimicrobial.

Yet, honey also contains prebiotics (oligosaccharides) which feed beneficial microbes — making honey a near-perfect food for gut health.

Honey is known to increase the populations of beneficial bifido- bacteria strains, while white sugar had no effect.

Researchers were able to completely eradicate antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the skin via topical medical-grade (standardized) honey.

When honey enters the digestive tract, it simultaneously feeds beneficial microbes, kills harmful pathogens, and provides nutrients and energy to the body.

Honey is even a complete food, providing micronutrients, amino acids, Vitamin C and B-vitamins — and encourages the intestinal absorption of these nutrients while discouraging pathogenic activity.

Flavonoids, polyphenols, and organic acids also contribute to the digestive, immune, and metabolic benefits of honey.

Research in animal models even suggests that not only does honey provide calcium, but it improves calcium absorption into the body.

Honey is praised and valued in nearly every ancient religious and wisdom tradition as both a food and a healing topical balm and internal medicine — with known hunter-gatherer tribes utilizing it as 20% (and more) of daily calories, while commonly living into their 80s.

Honey even seems to directly interfere with cancerous cells:

“[Honey] has significant anticancer activity against human breast and cervical cancer cell lines.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167897/

Locally-produced honeys possess excellent antibacterial activity comparable to the commercial honeys.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/#b53


Manuka Honey

Y.S. ECO
Manuka Honey

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837971/

Manuka honey has every benefit of raw — and more.

Known for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant qualities, manuka honey has been used for centuries to heal wounds and improve oral health.

When compared to normal, local varieties, manuka honey has significantly more antimicrobial effects.

Manuka honey can even stimulate macrophages to release compounds such as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 — which are critical for combatting microbial infections and wound healing.

The higher the UMF rating of manuka honey, the more potent the antimicrobial properties.

The only downside to manuka honey, for most locations around the world, is its expense — and higher UMF ratings can be extremely costly. On the bright side, even lower-UMF content seems to have profound antimicrobial activity.

I recommend buying what you can afford — don’t worry about achieving the highest UMF ratings. My results with various affordable manuka honey have been stellar.

Manuka honey has been widely researched and its antibacterial potential is renowned worldwide. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly, & Propolis

BEE FARMS
Triple Complex

There are over 2500 articles on PubMed concerning the benefits of propolis.

“Propolis has been reported to have various health benefits related to gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, and gynecological, oral, and dermatological problems.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549483/

Twelve different flavonoids, along with most vitamins and some enzymes are present in propolis.

Over 185 organic compounds have been found in royal jelly.

Royal Jelly may even protect the skin from UVB-induced damage by improving collagen formation in the skin. Royal jelly also contains the unsaturated fatty-acid (10-HDA), which may have antitumor and antibacterial activity.

8

Apple Cider Vinegar

Antimicrobial acids + Prebiotics + Nutrients
  • Bragg’s ACV

BRAGG’s
Apple Cider Vinegar w/Honey

Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular — and for good reason. Its beneficial effects are many.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is known as a digestive tonic, and it can actually help overweight people lose weight. It also leads to more satiety after a high-carb meal and improves blood sugar stability. ACV may also lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce oxidative stress.

A main benefit of apple cider vinegar is its acetic acid. Acetic acid is highly antimicrobial and its attributes align almost perfectly with the broad-spectrum benefits of apple cider vinegar. ACV’s acidity also may allow minerals to be absorbed more effectively, and improve the acidity of the stomach after a meal — leading to increased immunity from opportunistic pathogens.

Take 1 tbsp (15 mL) in a glass of water 1-2x/day before meals or on an empty stomach.

Is ACV a cure-all? No, nothing is. Instead, apple cider vinegar is a powerful tool, and one component of a well-rounded gut regimen.

Conclusion

Miracles don’t happen with any individual supplement.

Very, very few people will find a gut supplement that restores amazing gut health on its own.

Instead, gut supplements must be combined — with each other and with a greater approach (the circadian rhythm, therapeutic light, good air quality, gentle movement, & wise nutrition) — to achieve the best effect.

It’s important that we understand 1) how the gut works and 2) what restores its function over time:

  • Increasing hostility to pathogens.
  • Constantly reintroducing beneficial microbes and giving them proper nourishment through diet and prebiotics.

When these factors are in play, great things can happen and gut health can be systematically restored.

This completes Big Supplement List (Gut).
To continue, select Supplement Timing.

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The information on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness. All information is presented for educational purposes.