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The digestive system, including the stomach, and upper and lower intestines, serves as the central clearinghouse where essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients are absorbed from the foods consumed so that the body's various systems can function properly. Maintaining good health has been proven to be directly connected to the healthy functioning of the digestive system. Certain factors including poor dietary choices, chronic stress, illness and prescription medications containing antibiotics can all challenge the health of the digestive system, which is why it is crucial for individuals to provide digestive support by staying well hydrated, in addition to including dietary supplements containing nutrients that enable the digestive system to do its job. Digestive enzymes are one effective way to provide the digestive system with adequate digestive support to facilitate the complete and proper breakdown of food into nutrients that the body can readily use. These include protease, amylase, lipase, cellulose and lactase. Probiotics also provide excellent digestive support because they promote a healthy balance of microflora in the digestive system, beneficial bacteria that supports healthy digestive function and provides immune system support. B vitamins are essential for healthy digestion because they assist in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into usable energy for the body. These include niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamin (Vitamin B1) , pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, and cobalamin (Vitamin B12). Vitamin C is an antioxidant that aids in the digestive process in addition to preventing the cells from experiencing oxidative damage caused by scavenging free radicals. A sufficient amount of Vitamin D is another essential vitamin for digestive system health. Not only does it help the body absorb calcium, it also lowers the risk for colon cancer and helps to prevent Vitamin D deficiencies that cause a number of inflammatory diseases of the bowel.