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How can I maintain a healthy digestive system?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

A healthy digestive system starts with a healthy diet, but there are supplements that can also assist your digestive system. Larch arabinogalactan supplements contain prebiotic fiber that promotes digestive health. Larch arabinogalactan is also clinically proven to naturally activate your immune system.

Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
A healthy digestive system begins with proper nutrition and may include supplementation (as needed) to heal what has become imbalanced. Typically this looks at giving the body nutrients in its organic whole food form, limiting known gastric irritants, improving gut bacteria balance (probiotics and probiotic-rich foods like coconut water, kefir and cultured vegetables), improving motility (naturally and not as a laxative) with magnesium, and L-glutamine and fish oil to reduce inflammation and improve gut lining as "leaky gut" is often a symptom. I also look at vitamin D3 status.
Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology
The gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, is one long muscle and like any other muscle, inactivity makes it weak and flabby. The other really interesting thing about our gastrointestinal tract is that it has a bedtime. Our intestines are most active first thing in the morning and least active at night. So what do so many of us do? Starve ourselves until dinnertime and then dump 1000 calories into a sleepy gastrointestinal tract and lie down an hour later just in case gravity thought it would lend a hand. Our bodies are programmed to need a certain minimum number of calories to survive. If you don't get them in the morning and early afternoon when you need them the most you'll end up consuming them at night -- when you really don't need them and they're likely to sit in your stomach for hours.

So, eat small frequent meals, beginning with a robust breakfast and ending with a strict 7 p.m. dinner curfew.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.