6 Best Supplements for Gut Health
By: Molly Apel
April 22, 2021
- Your gut is home to a thriving population of gut bacteria. These microorganisms help you get more nutrients out of your food, boost immunity and support regular digestion.
- A healthy gut starts with your diet—but when you want to fill in the gaps and support a rockstar gut microbiome, gut health supplements can help you feel your best.
- Read on to learn about the best supplements for gut health and how to improve gut health naturally.
Turns out, “trust your gut” isn’t just a phrase—it’s also great advice for your overall wellness. Your gut health affects pretty much everything in your body. It’s also affected by almost everything you do to your body. The best supplements for gut health support good gut bacteria, boost your immunity and help you get more nutrition out of your food.
If you’re wondering how to improve gut health naturally, keep reading for details about digestive health supplements that actually work.
The best supplements for gut health
We know that healthy gut bacteria flourish when you eat a diet rich in whole foods—namely, lots of diverse vegetables and not a lot of processed foods and refined sugars. To help keep your gut microbiome at the top of its game, try the best gut health supplements. They help fill in the gaps in your diet, support your good gut bacteria and even strengthen your gut lining.
Your gut is a diverse microbiome with thousands of bacteria living in harmony, working to help your body get nutrition and maintain a line of defense against invaders. Probiotics are good bacteria, and they help build a thriving ecosystem in your gut.
When you look up “how to improve gut health naturally,” you can usually find information about probiotic-rich foods like:
- Yogurt and kefir
- Fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Miso, natto and tempeh
The problem is that these foods don’t work for everyone. If you’re dairy-free, yogurt and kefir are out. If you’re sensitive to histamines, fermented foods are tricky. And if you’re not eating soy, you’re not exactly sipping miso soup, either.
That’s where probiotic supplements come in. These supplements give you the benefits of probiotics, without having to roll the dice with certain foods.
Broadly speaking, when choosing a supplement, make sure your probiotic contains at least one of these beneficial probiotic strains:
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bifidobacterium infantis
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis
- Lactobacillus plantarum
These strains are less likely to increase the production of inflammatory histamines.
Bulletproof tip: Some probiotic supplements are best taken in the morning on an empty stomach. Other supplements, like Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein, make it easy to add a scoop to your favorite beverage and sip your way to daily digestive support.†
Now that we’ve covered probiotics, it’s time to think about what feeds them: prebiotics.
Prebiotic fiber helps nourish your gut microbiota, especially when you can’t eat enough fiber-rich foods. That’s because prebiotics provide the nourishment your digestive bacteria need to do their job. And as a bonus, prebiotic fiber helps you feel fuller, longer.
For a dietary supplement that goes to work specifically for your gut bacteria, try Bulletproof Innerfuel Prebiotic. It contains 17 grams of plant-based prebiotics for gut health and immune support.†
And here’s a bonus: You’ll see something called Larch Arabinogalactan on the label. This is a natural immune-booster derived from the bark and heartwood of the Larch tree that also has free-radical fighting polyphenols, aka plant-sourced antioxidants.
That’s a double benefit because gut health and immune health go hand-in-hand. Talk about a good gut feeling.
Bulletproof tip: Get easy access to more polyphenols in Bulletproof Polyphenomenal: a free-radical defender that contains nine different polyphenol-rich berries and botanicals.†
3. Licorice root
To improve gut health, first you have to have a well-functioning gut lining—aka a nice place for your gut flora to live. Licorice root has beneficial effects on gut health when it has been treated to remove glycyrrhizic acid, a substance that appears naturally in licorice root that is thought to cause high blood-pressure and low potassium levels.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study found licorice root provided reduced pain and nausea, as well as faster healing in patients with ulcers.
You can find licorice root as a tea, powder or supplement, and it’s commonly combined with other functional ingredients to support healthy digestion.
4. Collagen protein
Collagen makes up structures throughout your body, including your digestive tract. You naturally make collagen. But unless you eat a lot of organ meats and bone broth, you probably aren’t giving your body enough amino acid building blocks to produce enough collagen protein. That’s where a collagen protein supplement comes in handy.
Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein contains collagen, naturally, as well as prebiotics, probiotics and zinc carnosine to support a healthy gut microbiome.† Because it’s unflavored, you can mix this beneficial formula into both hot, cold, savory or sweet foods and beverages.
5. Zinc carnosine
This compound form of zinc and carnosine is pretty amazing for gut health. Preliminary studies show that it enhances gut integrity—your stomach’s ability to maintain a strong intestinal lining. 
Zinc is one of those supplements that supports your entire body, and plenty of people aren’t getting enough of it. If you want to eat more zinc-rich foods to support your digestive system, know that zinc carnosine is found in muscle tissues—think beef, turkey, pork and chicken.
Bulletproof tip: Zinc carnosine is one of the key ingredients in Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein.
You can find L-glutamine as a powder or supplement. It’s also found in animal proteins like beef, chicken, fish and eggs, leafy greens and fermented foods.
How to improve gut health naturally
As with all supplements, prioritize whole-food nutrition first. Use supplements to fill in the gaps. Follow these tips to get gut health benefits that start with your diet:
- Eat probiotic foods: Experiment with fermented foods that are rich in probiotic bacteria, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and yogurt. During the fermenting process, bacterial cultures start to thrive in the food, so when you eat them, you’re supplementing with the same microbes found in your gut. Pay attention to how you feel after eating these foods, and back off if you notice signs of stomach upset like bloating or constipation. If that’s the case, a daily probiotic supplement may be gentler on your system.
- Add more fiber: Fiber ferments in your gut and becomes food for your gut bacteria, instead of just passing through. As a general rule, prebiotic fiber and resistant starch feed beneficial gut bacteria, giving them the fuel to thrive. When fiber ferments in your gut, it’s broken down into short-chain fatty acids that fight inflammation and help maintain the health of your gut lining. Here are some tips for getting more veggies in your diet.
- Cut back on sugar and processed foods: Diets high in sugar and preservatives do serious damage to your gut. Some bacteria love sugar, so they multiply—but this can throw off the delicate balance in your microbiome. Cutting out sugar not only means eliminating candy and cookies. It also means less fruit (high in a natural sugar called fructose), low-nutrient carbs and alcohol. These alternative sweeteners make it easier to kick your sugar habit.
- Drink bone broth: Nothing soothes the gut like a cup of warm bone broth. Look for broth from 100% grass-fed beef or free-range chicken for a savory, satisfying snack. Collagen-rich bone broth delivers the essential amino acids your body needs to fortify and rebuild your gut and tissues. DIY with this Homemade Bone Broth recipe.
- Get enough sleep: Healthy guts are filled with unique, diverse combinations of bacteria. That microbiome changes when you don’t sleep enough. Studies have found that sleep loss increases toxins, increases inflammation and negatively changes the ratio of bacteria in your gut, among other bad news.
Gut health and good health pair together. When you have a healthy gut, you’re getting more nutrients out of your food and supporting a strong immune system. Adding some of the best gut health supplements can help fortify your defenses and keep you going strong. Learn more about how to improve gut health.
Join the Bulletproof Revolution
Sign up for early access to sales, product launches, the latest Bulletproof news and more!
This article has been updated with new content.