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Exploring the Benefits of Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis

Exploring the Benefits of Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis


While traditional medical treatments are undoubtedly crucial in controlling ulcerative colitis (UC), the exciting world of supplements can also be a complementary approach. 

If you’re struggling with ulcerative colitis, you’re at risk of becoming malnourished because you won’t eat enough food. You should also watch what you eat, as some foods can make your symptoms worse

So on top of a lacking appetite that goes with flare-ups, you’re also tempted to cut back on how much you eat to ease your symptoms. But your body still needs calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals to help heal– this is where supplements shine. 

In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of supplements for UC and help you embark on a path toward a healthier tomorrow.

Table of Contents

The Role of Supplements in Managing Ulcerative Colitis

While dietary supplements should not be considered a standalone treatment for ulcerative colitis, they can complement standard medical therapies and nutritional modifications. 

Supplements help manage symptoms, reduce inflammation, and support the healing process in the gut. However, it’s still important to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements into your regimen.

Here are some of the leading supplements that can benefit people with UC:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids from nuts, seafood, or fish oil supplements have anti-inflammatory properties. They can help reduce inflammation in the colon and alleviate some symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Consider taking fish oil supplements that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. But don’t forget to consult your doctor for the correct dosage.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for maintaining overall health, and it plays a role in regulating the immune system. Many people with ulcerative colitis have low vitamin D levels, making supplementation important for their well-being.

Have your vitamin D levels tested. If they are low, your healthcare provider may recommend vitamin D supplements to support your immune system and overall health.


Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that support gut health. Some ulcerative colitis patients find relief from symptoms like diarrhea and bloating by incorporating probiotics into their diet.

Choose probiotics specifically formulated for gastrointestinal health. Look for strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Begin with taking a lower dose and gradually increase as tolerated.

Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric contains curcumin, and study shows that curcumin has promising anti-inflammatory properties. Some individuals use turmeric or curcumin supplements to manage inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis.

Consider adding turmeric to your cooking or taking curcumin supplements. The anti-inflammatory properties may help manage colitis symptoms, but you should still consult your doctor for proper guidance.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera boasts soothing properties and can help alleviate inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract. It’s available in supplement form or as a juice.

If you opt for aloe vera supplements, ensure they are high quality. Aloe vera juice can also be soothing but always check for adverse reactions.


The Indian frankincense Boswellia is a resin herbal extract from the Boswellia tree which can help reduce inflammation in the colon. It’s commonly used in traditional medicine to manage digestive issues. 

The Boswellia serrata tree is native to India, North Africa, and the Middle East, and farmers tap the tree to collect its resin. The resin’s rich scent and flavor are very popular as incense. Most people are familiar with its common name — frankincense.

Discuss the use of Boswellia supplements with your healthcare provider. They can guide you on the right dosage and its potential effects on inflammation.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is best known for its soothing properties. It’s currently used medically to alleviate symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal discomfort in ulcerative colitis patients.

Consider slippery elm supplements or tea for symptom relief. Ensure that it suits your condition and doesn’t interact with any medications.


L-Glutamine is an amino acid that has a crucial role in maintaining gut health and is sometimes considered a supplement for individuals with ulcerative colitis.

In the context of UC, the inflamed and damaged intestinal lining often results in impaired nutrient absorption and increased intestinal permeability. L-Glutamine may address these issues by providing essential support to the enterocytes and promoting the overall health of the gut.

Consult your healthcare provider to determine if glutamine supplements are appropriate for you. They can help with tissue repair, but taking the right dosage is essential.

Supplements to Avoid

Exploring the Benefits of Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis 2

While some supplements may benefit ulcerative colitis patients, others can exacerbate symptoms. It’s essential to avoid certain supplements, such as high doses of fiber, iron, and caffeine. They can irritate your digestive system and exacerbate your condition or interact negatively with your prescribed medications. 

Let’s go through supplements you should approach with caution or avoid altogether:

Iron Supplements

Iron supplements are usually administered to treat anemia, a condition resulting from chronic bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which can be a complication of UC. However, taking iron supplements without a confirmed deficiency can lead to constipation and worsen UC symptoms. 

Always ask a healthcare provider if iron supplementation is necessary.

High-Fiber Supplements

Fiber is generally considered beneficial for digestive health, but individuals with active ulcerative colitis should be cautious with high-fiber supplements. High fiber intake can aggravate symptoms, causing more frequent bowel movements and increased discomfort. 

It’s crucial to tailor your fiber intake to your current condition and consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Calcium Supplements

People with UC may have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis due to reduced calcium absorption. While calcium supplements might seem like a logical solution, they can sometimes lead to constipation or kidney stone formation, which are unwelcome side effects. 

Discuss alternative approaches with your healthcare provider for maintaining bone health.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Though not typically considered supplements, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be avoided if you have UC. NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or aspirin, can exacerbate inflammation and potentially trigger flare-ups

Get doctor-recommended alternative pain relief options that won’t worsen your UC symptoms.

Over-the-Counter Antacids

Antacids, which are often used to relieve heartburn and indigestion, can contain ingredients like aluminum or magnesium that can contribute to constipation or diarrhea, both of which are common UC symptoms. 

Discuss the use of antacids with your healthcare provider to choose products that are less likely to worsen your condition.

Self-Prescribed Supplements

One of the most significant supplements to avoid is any that are self-prescribed or not recommended by your healthcare provider. It’s essential to emphasize that what works for one person may not work for another when it comes to UC. 

Self-prescribing supplements can lead to unwanted interactions, side effects, or worsening symptoms. Always seek professional advice and guidance.

While supplements are valuable to your Ulcerative Colitis management plan, they should be chosen and used with great care. Every person’s UC experience is unique, and a tailored approach is essential to ensure the best outcomes and a healthier, more comfortable life.


No, supplements should complement medical treatment, not replace it. Consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.

No, supplements cannot cure ulcerative colitis, but they may help manage symptoms.

Other supplements may have side effects or interact with medications. Reach out to your healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.

Many supplements are available over the counter, but always consult a healthcare professional before using them.

The time it takes to get results may vary from person to person. It’s important to be patient and consistent with your supplement regimen.

Incorporating dietary supplements into your routine should be done thoughtfully and in consultation with a healthcare provider to ensure they are a safe and effective part of your ulcerative colitis management plan.

Supplements = Not a Standalone Solution

Remember that supplements should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan, NOT a standalone solution. Be patient and consistent with your regimen, and always communicate with your healthcare provider about your progress and any concerns.

Incorporating dietary supplements into your routine can be beneficial. Still, it must be done with care and medical guidance to ensure they are suitable and safe for your unique needs and condition.

In addition to dietary supplements, making lifestyle changes can improve the quality of life for ulcerative colitis patients. Managing stress, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly are essential keys to managing the disease.

Are you tired of the constant struggle with inflammatory bowel disease?

It’s time to reclaim your freedom and vitality by reading “The Freedom Blueprint”.

The author eliminated his chronic illness after 18 years.

Discover ground-breaking alternatives to medication and hospital visits, explore new eating habits and learn how to eliminate harmful toxins from your life.

Understand the role of gut microbiota imbalances, pesticides, water quality, and more in aggravating diseases like Ulcerative Colitis.

You don’t have to live in discomfort and distress.


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