My Top Five Supplement Recommendations To Improve Your Digestive Health

My Top Five Supplement Recommendations To Improve Your Digestive Health

People contact me constantly asking what are the top supplements that I can recommend for people to use to improve their overall digestive health. It is hard for me to recommend these supplements to everyone, but these are supplements that I believe will help the majority of people with digestive woes. This list is more of supplement preparations and less of individual supplement recommendations. Most of the time it is not ideal to buy a supplement with many different herbs or supplements combined, but for some people, these supplement combinations work wonders for their digestive issues. Here are the top five supplements that I have recommended to clients with the most success.

Top Five Supplements to Improve Your Digestive Health

Motilpro

Motilpro from Pure Encapsulations is a great supplement to help increase motility, improve gastric emptying, relieve nausea, and help relieve symptoms of chronic constipation and SIBO-C. Motilpro contains vitamin B6, ginger extract, acetyl-L-carnitine, and 5-HTP. Vitamin B6 and ginger can help relieve nausea. Ginger increases gastric motility and supports proper bile release into the small intestine, improve fat assimilation and digestion. Aceytl-L-carntine helps improve neuronal health of brain and colon and improve the MMC. It also increases acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter for proper muscle contractions, nerve conductivity, and motility in the gut. Finally, Motilpro contains 5-HTP which increases serotonin production in the brain and gut that can help encourage proper motility by inducing proper MMC function and muscle contractions in the digestive tract. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

I do have some slight concerns with recommending Motilpro to everyone. It should not be used if you are taking any supplements or medications that increase serotonin, because it can lead to a serious medical condition known as serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are, shivering, elevated temperature, muscle spasms, diarrhea, headache, and mental issues. 8

Atrantil

Atrantil is a relatively new supplement that may help people suffering from SIBO-C or methane dominant SIBO. It contains tannins, saponins, and peppermint oil. The supplement reduces archaea overgrowth in an attempt to relieve chronic constipation and restore motility. I have had success recommending this supplement to people suffering from SIBO-C and for most, it seems to help. I wrote a prior blog on the supplement here, that includes and interview with the supplements maker Dr. Kenneth Brown and the mechanism of action of each ingredient.

Urban Moonshine Digestive Bitters – Orange

Digestive bitters supplements are a mixture of herbs that vary depending on the brand. Digestive bitter supplements can be used to help stimulate digestion and help the body make natural digestive enzymes. Digestive bitter herbs help stimulate digestion and improve gallbladder function and gastric emptying.

Gentian is a bitter herb from a plant native to China and is used in most digestive bitter formulas. Gentian has been shown to help ease gallbladder issues and indigestion. The herb helps increase appetite, stimulates the production of digestive juices, increases pancreatic activity, and boosts blood supply to the digestive organs. Gentian is also known to stimulate the flow of bile. 9 10 11

Dandelion increases kidney function and detox and is a source of potassium. Fennel has mild antimicrobial properties. Burdock is eaten in Asian cultures and stimulates bile. Yellow dock works similar to aloe vera in its gut soothing and laxative properties. Ginger increases bile production and stomach emptying, may slow the third wave of the MMC in some people. Angelica root is eaten in Norway and has antimicrobial effects similar to berberine. The orange peel has some D-limonene in it which is why I recommend the orange flavor specifically. 12 13

Most of the herbs used in digestive bitters are to stimulate acid production and bile. They are fine short-term, but I do not recommend long-term use of herbs unless strongly needed. Some herbs that are used in food preparation like ginger or cayenne are probably fine for long-term use. Finally, if you are suffering from severe gastritis, ulcers, ALDH2 genetic deficiency, liver problems, or yeast overgrowth I would avoid the supplement because of its use of alcohol in the tincture.

Pyloricil

More and more people I coach are suffering from upper gut overgrowth including H. pylori. Pyloricil is one of the best supplements to combine natural antimicrobial agents to help reduce upper gut overgrowth.

Mastic gum is an evergreen shrub closely related the pistachio and is native to Greece. It is used in a lot of Greek food. In medicine, has been shown greatly to inhibit H. pylori growth in the upper gut because of its isomasticadienolic acid content. Mastic gum can also coat ulcers and protect them from further irritation. 14 15

Zinc carnosine protects the stomach lining from an opportunistic H. pylori infection, and NSAID damage that causes ulcers. 16

Bismuth has weak antimicrobial properties in the upper gut and binds with LPS produced by Gram-negative bacteria to eliminate them from the body and reduce inflammation.

Berberine is not a systemic antibacterial, but it is known to have strong antibacterial properties when it comes into direct contact with the bacteria, so it works well in the upper gut. Berberine supports healthy mucus flow and increases IgA antibodies in the mucous to reduce overgrowth. 17 18

Berberine interferes with any medication that uses the cytochrome p450 pathway for metabolism. Berberine has been known to interfere with anticoagulants (heparin and warfarin), as well. Berberine can also reduce blood glucose levels so take with food. It also inhibits the aldose reductase pathway so avoid sorbitol and other sugar alcohols while taking it to protect your vision. Large doses of berberine can be harsh on the stomach mucosa, so discontinue if it causes gastritis or worsens it. Check with your doctor if you are on any medication before you use berberine to make sure it is safe. 19 20 21

GI Revive

GI Revive is the supplement that I have had the most success in recommending for people with upper gut digestive issues. It works well in reducing upper gut overgrowth, relieving inflammation, reducing histamine overreactions, protects the mucosa, and helps repair upper gut tissue (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.)

Supplements That Reduce Overgrowth

  • Zinc carnosine 22
  • MSM 23
  • Cat’s claw 24
  • Chamomile 25
  • Aloe vera 26

Supplements That Reduce Inflammation

  • DGL 27
  • Zinc carnosine28
  • Aloe vera29
  • Cat’s claw30
  • Citrus pectin31

Supplements That Help Protect the Mucosa

Supplement to Reduce Histamine

  • Quercetin 43

Supplements That Help With Repairing Tissue

  • Zinc carnosine44
  • L-glutamine45
  • NAG46

As you can see a lot of the individual supplements in GI Revive help to facilitate proper upper gut digestion. The only issues I can see with using the supplement are:

  1. If you have hydrogen sulfide reducing overgrowth or bad reactions to sulfur (CBS mutations), the MSM in the supplement may cause issues. Increased anxiety, headaches, brain fog, and inflammation may occur from hydrogen sulfide leaking into the bloodstream. 47
  2. Some uppergut bacteria may use glutamine for replication. If glutamine supplementation causes you to have increased anxiety, headaches, brain fog, bloating, or inflammation, do not use GI Revive.
  3. If you have Candida or yeast overgrowth, NAG can increase its growth. 48
  4. If you have a COMT mutation, quercetin can worsen it. 49

Even though this supplement does have its limitations to the people I have suggested to take it, most have seen remarkable improvement. If you are having upper gut issues for most, it is definitely worth trying for relief.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18403946
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016669/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10793599
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17130022
  5. http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/basics/gi_nervous.html
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2215852
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272651/
  8. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/5hydroxytryptophan-5htp
  9. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  10. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  11. http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/articles-on-herbs-and-health/gentian-a-bitter-pill-to-swallow/
  12. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  13. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  14. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  15. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  16. Dr. Brownstein, David. Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies that Do!, Medical Alternative Press, 2007.
  17. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  18. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  19. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  20. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24236461
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856764/
  23. https://www.google.com/patents/EP2493464A1?cl=en
  24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20881342
  25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
  26. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24597562
  27. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/licorice
  28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856764/
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16610053
  30. http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/3/nu_catsclaw/page-01
  31. http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2014/10/why-some-people-need-modified-citrus-pectin/page-01
  32. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/licorice
  33. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  34. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  35. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  36. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856764/
  38. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887003/
  39. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  40. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  41. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing, 2010.
  42. Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Herbal Healing, Avery Publishing, 2012.
  43. https://selfhacked.com/2014/08/01/deal-histamine/
  44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1856764/
  45. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369670/
  46. http://www.maureenwilliamsnd.com/articles/gastrointestinal.html
  47. http://www.townsendletter.com/FebMarch2015/sibo0215_2.html
  48. http://pathway.candidagenome.org/CALBI/NEW-IMAGE?object=GLUAMCAT-PWY
  49. https://ihateticks.me/2014/11/17/the-comt-polymorphism/
5 Comments
  1. I’ve just started with Motilpro, taking 2 pills, 3 times a day in between meals but get pretty bad abdominal pain and diarrhea. How do you recommend taking it?

  2. Could enzyme inhibitation occur when these drugs/supplements are combined(Xifaxan,Flagyl,Berberine ,Neem) if they are sharing metabolism which compete for the same enzyme receptor site making Xifaxan less effective and creating potential toxicity. If Xifaxan in vitro induces CP450,Flagyl inhibits , and Berberine interferes with any drug that uses CP450 for metabolism is Xifaxan best not combined with Berberine and are they sharing the same CYP3A4 (CP450) isozyme ?

  3. hi john
    ive read that sulforaphane (found in broccoli) can help with a certain type of h. pylori
    have you heard about that and can you lay out your impression?

    thank you

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