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Supplements for bloating

7 helpful supplements that help decrease bloating

If you experience bloating, certain supplements could help alleviate the discomfort. This article walks you through 7 supplements to consider.

Evidence-based
This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
We look at both sides of the argument and strive to be objective, unbiased, and honest.
Last updated on November 27, 2022, and last reviewed by an expert on November 24, 2022.

Although many people experience bloating from time to time, feeling bloated regularly can be uncomfortable.

While bloating is usually caused by a buildup of gas in the stomach, it could also be due to other issues, such as constipation, indigestion, or irritable bowel syndrome.

Fortunately, plenty of supplements may relieve bloating and improve digestion to keep you feeling your best.

Here are 7 supplements that may help decrease bloating.

1. Probiotics

Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria found in the gut. They’ve been linked to a variety of health benefits.

Available in both food sources and supplements, some studies have shown that increasing your intake of probiotics may help support gut health.

According to one massive review of 70 studies, probiotics improved bloating and regularity in some people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Another review observed similar findings, reporting that probiotics decreased the severity of several irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, including bloating, gas, and abdominal distension.

Some research suggests probiotics may help treat other digestive issues, including diarrhea and ulcerative colitis.

Summary: Probiotics have been shown to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including bloating, gas, and abdominal distension.

2. Ginger

Ginger is an herb commonly taken as a supplement to relieve digestive distress and treat nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness.

Some research has found that ginger may help prevent bloating, too.

According to one older study, ginger sped stomach emptying rates among people experiencing indigestion, and this effect may help reduce bloating.

Another study showed ginger decreased the severity of abdominal distension in 178 women who underwent cesarean deliveries — also known as C-sections — compared with a placebo.

Moreover, one study in rats found that ginger significantly improved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by decreasing inflammation in the gut.

Summary: Both human and animal studies have shown ginger may help speed stomach emptying, decrease abdominal distension after surgery, and reduce gut inflammation.

3. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is an herbal supplement known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains L-menthol, a compound that suppresses muscle spasms in the intestines to help treat digestive issues.

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One review of 12 studies found that peppermint oil was well tolerated and reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome compared with a placebo.

Another study in 72 people with irritable bowel syndrome showed that taking peppermint oil 3 times daily decreased symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by 40% after 4 weeks.

Additionally, a review of nine studies reported that peppermint oil might significantly improve abdominal pain and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with minimal adverse side effects.

More research is needed to determine whether peppermint oil offers similar benefits for those without irritable bowel syndrome.

Summary: Peppermint oil has been shown to decrease multiple symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including bloating and stomach pain. It’s unclear whether peppermint oil alleviates bloating in those who don’t have irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Cinnamon oil

Cinnamon oil is widely used in traditional medicine to treat various digestive ailments, including bloating.

One recent study showed that taking a capsule with cinnamon oil significantly decreased symptoms of indigestion after 6 weeks compared with a placebo. However, while participants experienced reductions in bloating, the difference was not statistically significant.

Cinnamon also contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, such as cinnamaldehyde and methoxycinnamaldehyde. One animal study found that cinnamon decreased markers of inflammation in mice with colitis, which may help prevent bloating.

Suggested read: Probiotics and prebiotics: What’s the difference?

However, further research is needed to confirm how cinnamon oil affects human inflammation and bloating.

Summary: Cinnamon oil contains several anti-inflammatory compounds and may help decrease symptoms of indigestion, but more research is needed.

5. Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes help break down food’s nutrients into smaller compounds to promote proper digestion.

Although your body produces digestive enzymes naturally, using a digestive enzyme supplement may help alleviate bloating in some cases.

One study showed that digestive enzymes were as effective as prescription medication at treating common gastrointestinal issues like bloating, nausea, and indigestion.

Another study including 40 people reported that digestive enzymes significantly reduced multiple symptoms of indigestion, including bloating.

Certain digestive enzymes, such as lactase, may also help prevent symptoms among people with lactose intolerance.

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that causes issues like gas, bloating, and stomach pain when foods containing lactose — a type of sugar found in milk — are consumed.

Summary: Digestive enzymes may help treat digestive issues like bloating. Specific enzymes, such as lactase, may benefit those with lactose intolerance. Yet, consult a healthcare professional before adding a digestive enzyme to your regimen.

6. Psyllium

Psyllium is a fiber derived from Plantago ovata, an herb grown in many parts of South Asia, Europe, and North America.

Often found in supplement form, it adds bulk to your stools to relieve constipation, a common cause of bloating.

According to one study among 51 people with type 2 diabetes and constipation, taking 10 grams of psyllium twice daily improved symptoms of constipation and decreased blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and body weight compared with those in a control group.

Suggested read: Top 20 foods high in soluble fiber

Another study found that psyllium drew water into stools to ease their passage and prevent constipation.

Furthermore, one animal study showed that psyllium significantly decreased intestinal inflammation, which may help relieve bloating and digestive issues.

Summary: Psyllium fiber may help prevent constipation and reduce inflammation in the intestines, which could help decrease bloating.

7. Vitamin D

When exposed to the sun, your skin cells produce vitamin D — also known as the sunshine vitamin. Unfortunately, very few food sources naturally contain this nutrient, making it challenging to meet your needs.

If you are deficient in vitamin D, taking a supplement can be an easy way to increase your intake — and it may potentially prevent bloating.

One study including 90 people with irritable bowel syndrome found that taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D every two weeks for 6 months led to significant improvements in stomach pain, bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Another study evaluated 44 women with the premenstrual syndrome who were deficient in vitamin D.

It found that taking a vitamin D supplement for 4 months decreased several markers of inflammation and improved premenstrual syndrome symptoms, which often include stomach pain, cramps, constipation, and bloating.

On the other hand, a study of 74 people with irritable bowel syndrome showed that taking 50,000 IU per week of vitamin D for 9 weeks improved symptom severity and quality of life but did not affect bloating compared with those in a control group.

It is important to note that the tolerable upper limit for adult vitamin D supplementation is 4,000 IUs daily.

Additional studies are needed to understand how vitamin D supplements affect bloating, especially among people without a deficiency.

Summary: Some research shows that vitamin D supplements may help reduce bloating if deficient in the nutrient.

Summary

Although bloating can be uncomfortable, many supplements may help you feel like yourself again.

In addition to reducing bloating, some supplements may improve other digestive problems, including gas, constipation, and stomach pain.

Remember that if your bloating doesn’t resolve or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or unintentional weight loss, you should talk with your doctor to see whether additional treatment is needed.

In addition to using some supplements above, you might want to switch your diet to help resolve bloating. Check out this article for some specific foods that may help you beat the bloat and boost your gut health:

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Suggested read: 20 foods and drinks that help with bloating
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