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The 8 Best Supplements for Bloating | 2024

Break down the root cause and supplement solutions for bloating.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bloating is a symptom of quite a few gastrointestinal conditions, including SIBO, IBS, and Leaky Gut Syndrome.

  • Stress can have a direct impact on digestion through the Mind-Body connection and lead to bloating and other forms of digestive discomfort. 

  • Probiotics have been shown to reduce bloating as well as relieve many of the conditions that cause bloating.

  • Digestive enzymes help break down foods before they enter the small intestine to prevent bloating. 

  • Certain botanical herbs may aid in digestion to help reduce bloating and improve overall digestion.

Do you ever notice that you feel overly full, bloated, and distended after certain meals? Have you ever tracked which restaurants or types of foods lead to that feeling most often? Or maybe those feelings of bloating come at certain times in your hormonal cycle. Bloating is a relatively common digestive complaint, with women experiencing it more frequently than men, and the most common methods for treatment don’t always address the root cause.

Preventing bloating through improvements in overall gut function is the best treatment plan, although there are certainly options to help reduce it if you’re in an acute episode. I’d like to share the best solutions for digestive support that will not only reduce bloating, but also prevent it in the future.

The best supplements for bloating include probiotics, digestive enzymes for prevention, and herbal remedies like ginger root, turmeric, and peppermint oil, to name a few. Let’s take a closer look at what causes bloating and the data to support the use of these bloating supplements.

What Causes Bloating?

Bloating is among the most common gastrointestinal symptoms and is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, like diarrhea, constipation, indigestion or reflux, abdominal pain, and nausea. There are a number of conditions that can lead to bloating and some of these other symptoms as well, including:

  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) [1]
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) [2]
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) [3
  • Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity [4]
  • Phase of menstrual cycle [5]
  • PCOS [6]
  • Gastritis caused by H. Pylori infection [7]
  • Leaky gut syndrome [3, 8]
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction [9, 10]  
  • Histamine Intolerance [11]

I mentioned that certain foods might also lead to bloating, which may indicate food intolerances [9, 12, 13]. Oftentimes, resolving an underlying issue like one of the conditions named above may relieve, or at least reduce certain food intolerances. However, the process of discovery is very individual. You might find that, once you’ve healed your gut, you can have small amounts of a trigger food on occasion without incident. Or you might find that taking a digestive enzyme before eating that food will prevent a flare-up. You may also find that your body feels its best when that food is completely off the table.

Bloating and the Mind-Body Connection

If you’ve ever experienced a digestive issue while anxious or overly stressed, then you’ve experienced the mind-body connection first-hand. The brain and gut communicate in both directions via the vagus nerve, sending signals between the two. This connection helps explain why sufferers of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders also often experience bloating, difficult bowel movements, nausea, and indigestion.

Though the exact mechanisms that explain these phenomena haven’t yet been identified in the research, the connection is clear. Studies show that stressors can alter the gut microbiome and disrupt healthy microbial balance, leading to excess inflammation in the body, which can eventually cause leaky gut, one of the conditions listed above that may cause bloating [14].

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback, and meditation all help reduce stress levels and relieve stress-induced bloating [2, 15, 16]. 

The 8 Best Supplements for Bloating

It’s understandable to look at the list of potential causes for bloating and feel overwhelmed. The good news is that while there are a few different routes to relief, the first bloating supplement we’ll cover is also the heaviest hitter,  backed by clinical research to address just about every single condition on that list: probiotic supplements. 

It’s also important to note that while this article focuses on herbs and supplements, it’s essential to set a healthy foundation with diet too. Fortunately, you can build a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet that’s personalized to you. That, coupled with the power of one of the following supplements, can help reduce and eliminate bloating.

1. Probiotics for Bloating

It’s difficult to overstate the health benefits of a daily probiotic for overall gut health and digestive system wellness. The beneficial bacteria and fungi found in a daily supplement not only help rebalance gut bacteria and boost the immune system but also lower inflammation and promote a healthy gut lining to reduce leaky gut [17, 18, 19, 20, 21].

Specifically, probiotics have been shown to relieve bloating as well as many of the common root causes of bloating [22, 23, 24, 25, 26]. Let’s revisit some of the conditions from the list above and the research supporting probiotics as part of a treatment plan.


  • One study of 40 patients showed that those who took a combination of S. boulardii and metronidazole (an antibiotic) had more than double the success rate for eradicating SIBO than those taking metronidazole alone [27].
  • Another study showed that a combination of probiotic and antibiotic therapy normalized glucose breath tests for 13 out of 15 patients with both SIBO and Crohn’s disease [28].
  • Probiotics may be a helpful addition to the treatment of hydrogen-dominant SIBO, particularly in people who have not responded to antibiotics [29]. 


  • A large clinical trial showed that probiotics reduced abdominal pain and distension, and improved stool consistency and quality of life in IBS patients [23]
  • High-quality research shows that probiotics improve IBS symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation [22, 23, 24, 25 30, 31, 32]
  • In a meta-analysis [22], subjects were given either probiotics or placebo. Compared to the placebo group, the probiotic group had improved global IBS symptoms, including:
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea or loose stools
    • Abdominal pain & bloating
    • Flatulence


  • A clinical trial found probiotics were as good as the anti-inflammatory drug mesalazine for treating ulcerative colitis [33]
  • A review of clinical trials concluded that combining probiotics and mesalamine yielded the best results for treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis [34].
  • One systematic review found that probiotics did NOT help IBD patients maintain remission; however, the overall data suggest probiotics are helpful in IBD [35].

Celiac and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity:

  • A preliminary study found that Category 1 probiotics (the lacto/bifido category) combined with a gluten-free diet led to greater symptom relief in people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity [36]. 
  • In people who avoid gluten but still experience digestive symptoms, probiotics can reduce symptoms [37]. 

Female Hormonal Imbalance: We don’t have good data regarding female hormones and probiotics, but we can make some inferences based on other research.

  • Research shows that gut dysbiosis can disturb estrogen levels [38], a result of the estrogen-gut microbiome axis. Women’s health conditions associated with unbalanced estrogen levels (for example: PCOS, obesity, endometriosis, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer) are associated with low bacterial diversity in the digestive tract [39].
  • Women with a more diverse gut microbiome show elevated levels of urinary estrogen metabolites, suggesting that the microbiome influences the breakdown of estrogen [40].
  • One meta-analysis confirms that we are on the right path with these inferences [41]. The authors looked at 13 studies involving 855 women diagnosed with PCOS and found that probiotic supplements improved hormonal and inflammatory markers for these women.
  • A research review found that IBS patients (both men and women) have more sexual health problems compared to control groups [42].

Gastritis caused by H. Pylori infection: High-quality research has shown probiotic bacteria to improve standard treatment outcomes for H. pylori infection. In H. pylori treatment, probiotic supplements can:

  • Reduce side effects of standard antibiotic treatment, such as bloating and nausea, and increase patient compliance [43, 44, 45]
  • Improve treatment success by 10-15% compared to antibiotic therapy without probiotics [46, 47]
  • Suppress H. pylori and improve microbiota in the stomach to relieve indigestion [48]
  • When used long-term, probiotics reduce the risk of ulcers, gastritis, and cancer associated with ongoing inflammation from H. pylori infection [49, 48]

Leaky gut syndrome:

  • A recent high-quality study found that probiotic supplements reduced serum zonulin, an indicator of leaky gut [50].
  • Many recent, high-quality clinical studies found various probiotic microorganisms, such as Bifidobacterium longum, B. animalis, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, restored gut wall function and reduced leaky gut in people with IBS, overweight or obesity, and colon cancer [48, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56]
  • For marathon runners and triathletes, another study found that a  probiotic strain called Lactobacillus salivarus, which is native to human intestines, protected against leaky gut caused by frequent endurance exercise [57]

Histamine Intolerance: (These studies looked at overactive allergic response, not histamine specifically. Currently there is no direct evidence on probiotics for histamine intolerance, but there is evidence that probiotics help immune and histamine-related conditions.)

  • A meta-analysis and a more recent clinical trial concluded that probiotics significantly reduced symptoms and clinical markers in patients with allergic rhinitis [58, 59].
  •  Lactobacillus probiotics were shown to improve seasonal allergy quality of life in a randomized controlled trial [60
  • Probiotics were shown to improve non-allergic rhinitis [59]
  • The use of probiotic bacteria for the prevention and/or treatment of allergic disease has shown promising results to date [61]. However, the validity of these findings needs to be confirmed by further randomized controlled trials.

2. Digestive Enzymes for Bloating

Digestive enzyme supplements are designed to boost the initial part of the digestive process by aiding in the breakdown of foods before they enter our small intestine. Digestive enzymes naturally occur in your saliva and stomach. They can be helpful in digesting foods you struggle with—lactase enzyme for lactose intolerance is a good example. The very common Beano is a digestive enzyme supplement that helps you digest beans and other high-fiber carbohydrates or prebiotic foods.

By taking a digestive enzyme blend before you eat each meal, you may prevent bloating related to IBS, lactose intolerance, FODMAP intolerance, and non-celiac gluten intolerance [62, 63, 64]. You may find over time that you no longer need them before most meals and can reserve them for heavier meals or restaurant meals when you can’t always control what’s in the food.

Debloat with Botanical Herbs

There’s less science to support herbal remedies for bloating than probiotics and digestive enzymes. However, certain herbals do have a track record for bloating relief, both in Western scientific research and more ancient traditional medicines. While there may not be vast research supporting some of the herbal remedies, science is slowly beginning to catch up with what some cultures have known for centuries.

I always say that we should be evidence-based, but not evidence-limiting, meaning sometimes the practice is ahead of the science in these cultures. Here are a few suggestions for herbals and one non-herbal that are either backed by science or through thousands of years of anecdotal evidence.

3. Peppermint Oil 

Peppermint oil is a natural antispasmodic, which means it reduces cramps and spasms in the abdomen. You can find peppermint oil in capsule form, which can help mitigate any potential irritation or inaccurate dosing that could come from using liquid essential oils. If you do choose to use essential oils, be sure to follow the dosing instructions or any input from your healthcare practitioner.  

Another simple and effective way to reap the benefits of peppermint is to brew a cup of peppermint tea. Peppermint tea can effectively reduce bloating with very few, if any, side effects. It’s not recommended for those also experiencing indigestion or heartburn, however, as it may worsen those symptoms [65].

4. Chamomile

Chamomile is also an antispasmodic with similar effects to peppermint tea, and without the risk of exacerbating indigestion or heartburn. 

One literature review found that chamomile had therapeutic effects on gastrointestinal disease as well as a range of other conditions like metabolic disorders and allergies [66]. What this means is that, like most of the supplements on this list, supplementing with chamomile may benefit more than one thing. Herbal supplements don’t target one issue the way medications do, which is why it’s important to select a supplement that will best support the holistic picture of your body.   

5. Dandelion Root 

Dandelion Root is used in Chinese medicine to support digestion and healthy liver function. It’s a bitter herb, and bitters stimulate bile production. Much like enzymes, bile helps you digest the foods you eat, namely fatty foods, so dandelion helps support healthy digestion. Dandelion tea may help reduce bloating by aiding in the breakdown of fatty foods before they go to your small intestine. 

It’s also a diuretic, meaning it can reduce water retention that can lead to feelings of bloat. One study found that supplementation of 8 ml (about 1.5 teaspoons) of dandelion extract increased urination (thus reducing water retention) within 5 hours of taking the supplement. However, it should be noted that it only worked the first two times a day—a third use yielded little result [67]. 

With the foundational steps of diet and probiotics in place, you likely won’t need to rely on dandelion more than twice a day, but it may be a good choice to have on hand for the days you can feel the extra water weight hanging on longer than you’d like. 

6. Turmeric 

Turmeric is also used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to reduce digestive gas and bloating as well as offer anti-inflammatory effects. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, which also stimulates bile and supports healthy digestion [68]. Curcumin is often taken as a supplement, and turmeric can be easily incorporated into your diet. 

7. Fennel 

Fennel Seeds may also help with digestion, according to Ayurvedic practices, and even some Western traditional practices. Many digestives are made with fennel to cap off a heavy meal. You might notice the next time you go to an Indian restaurant; that there’s usually a bowl of fennel seeds waiting for you as you exit the restaurant. That’s because fennel has an active ingredient called anethole, a potent herbal anti-inflammatory that aids digestion [69]. 

There’s also evidence that fennel drops can help with menstrual cramp relief. In one study, the participants who took 25 drops of fennel extract every 6 hours had comparable relief to those who took NSAIDs [70]. While this isn’t exactly bloat, we can infer that fennel can support healthy intestinal muscle contractions, which could ultimately benefit bloat. This also may make fennel a great choice for those who experience menstrual cramps and bloat near or during menstruation. 

8. Ginger with Artichoke

It’s likely no surprise to see ginger on a list for GI discomfort. While ginger has long been used for stomach upset and has great evidence for reducing nausea, there’s also some bloat-specific potential. 

One study on athletes found that a combination of ginger and artichoke extract as chewable pills helped relieve bloat, flatulence, and diarrhea [71]. A different randomized controlled trial found that taking two capsules of Prodigest®—a ginger and artichoke supplement—before a meal helped speed gastric emptying compared to placebo [72]. While we could benefit from stronger evidence for ginger and artichoke for bloating specifically (since both of these studies were rather small), there was no record of adverse events, so it may be worth trialing a ginger and artichoke supplement. 

Ginger, on its own, is a potent anti-inflammatory herb, and studies have shown it to be as effective as NSAIDs for menstrual cramps [73]. Similar to fennel, this may be one to try if your bloating worsens during the menstrual phase of your cycle. 

Support Your Digestive Health to Reduce Bloating

Bloating, while common, is both preventable and treatable. The best and first approach is to reduce trigger foods to give your system a break. However, adding a probiotic, digestive enzymes, and supportive herbs can help treat and eventually eliminate bloating over time.

While you’ll take a probiotic supplement daily, the digestive enzymes can support every meal, at least at first, until your symptoms subside. Herbal remedies can be taken as needed. If you’re looking for support on your digestive health journey, we’d love to help. Reach out to our clinic for a virtual consultation, or pick up my book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You to get started. 

The Ruscio Institute has developed a range of high-quality formulations to help our patients and audience. If you’re interested in learning more about these products, please click here. Note that there are many other options available, and we encourage you to research which products may be right for you.

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