Total Restore is a supplement to support optimal gut function sold by Gundry MD. We previously reviewed another supplement by Gundry MD called Bio Complete 3, which we found to be very poorly formulated, so we’re curious if this product is superior.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Total Restore based on published medical research to determine if it’s likely to be effective and safe. We’ll also highlight some questionable health claims made by the brand.
Questionable Ingredient Dosages
At first glance, several of the active ingredients in Total Restore appear extremely underdosed. The product contains 7 milligrams (mg) of magnesium. This is only 2% of the Daily Value (DV), and is such a low dose as to be pointless in our opinion. It’s less than 25% of the magnesium found in a single banana, according to government resource FoodData Central.
The supplement contains 3 mg of berberine, which is an even more absurd dosage. This compound has been studied extensively in animal studies, and a medical review shows that the human equivalent dosage is greater than 1000 mg/day, or over 300x the amount in Total Restore. The same review even states that oral bioavailability is very low in humans even at a dose of 400 mg, which is more than 100x the dose in this supplement.
Marshmallow root powder is another ingredient that appears underdosed. We can’t locate any evidence that this botanical compound is beneficial for gut function in humans in any case, but a meta-study of its effects for reducing cough used doses multiples higher than that in Total Restore.
The lowest human dose in the linked study is 40 mg, and doses up to 300 mg are reported. The dose in Total Restore is 10 mg, so we will consider this another ineffective and underdosed ingredient.
The final ingredient we want to call out for its dosage is VitaBerry, which is a patented berry blend with a 22 mg dose in Total Restore. For reference, one single strawberry is 18 grams (g), which equates to 18,000 mg. One single strawberry has a dose 800x higher than this blend of 6 different berry powders. We find this to be a pointless ingredient inclusion due to the dose.
Active Ingredient Review
L-glutamine is the ingredient in Total Restore with the highest dose, but it also appears significantly underdosed based on medical studies. This compound is typically supplemented for sports performance rather than gut function. A clinical trial on l-glutamine supplementation for improving gut function in overweight adults used a dose of 30 g, which is over 100x the amount in Total Restore.
A separate study broke glutamine supplementation into “low,” “medium” and “high” groups. The “low” dosage was 0.3 g per kilogram (kg) of fat-free mass, which equates to around 50 g for an average weight man. This is a dose over 200x the amount in Total Restore.
The second active ingredient in this supplement is N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine, which is a derivative of glucose. It appears to be used primarily for joint pain rather than gut function. We can’t identify a single medical trial suggesting that this compound is beneficial to the gut function of adults as a supplement, so we will consider it an ineffective ingredient.
Grape seed extract has some potential benefits to gut function in animal studies, but we can’t find proof in human trials that it’s effective. One trial found that grape seed extract at 300 mg/day was effective in reducing body weight in overweight individuals. The dose in Total Restore is only 58 mg, so we’ll consider this another ineffective ingredient.
Licorice root is included in this supplement at a dose of 54 mg. Gundry MD uses the raw powder form of this botanical ingredient, but most of the medical research on this compound uses the extracted form, which is more concentrated.
A medical study found that a 150 mg daily dosage of licorice root was effective in reducing abdomen pain, but the extract form was used, and that dose (even at a more concentrated form) is still 3x the dose of Total Restore.
It seems to us like Gundry MD doesn’t even bother to review medical research on the appropriate dosage of the ingredients they include in their supplements. They simply choose a botanical compound which may be effective, and then add a seemingly random and insignificant amount of it to their overall formulation.
This is arguably the worst product formulation we’ve ever reviewed. While some of the ingredients themselves may be effective, every single ingredient that we reviewed appears to be dosed too low to have a proven effect.
Questionable Health Claims
Like they did with their Bio Complete 3 supplement, Gundry MD makes bold proclamations on their site about the health benefits of Total Restore.
The brand claims that this supplement “boosts feelings of energy and focus, and may even help calm your mood.” They also claim the product helps support food cravings and helps fight unwanted body weight.
There are, of course, zero citations or proof for these claims. It’s just unethical marketing. GundryMD has not funded any medical trials proving their products work, nor do they even link out to any existing medical research suggesting their products work.
Consumers looking to optimize gut function would be better off choosing whole foods rich in probiotics. We know from extensive medical research that dietary patterns affect the microbiome, and influence the ratio of “good” to “bad” bacteria in the gut.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that’s rich in probiotics. It used to be found mainly in international food markets, but now has crossed over into the mainstream and can be found in many commercial grocery stores. We recommend buying kefir sourced from pastured animals, as it will be more nutrient-rich and likely higher in probiotics than a product sourced from conventional animals.
Natto is another healthy whole food option that can help restore the gut. This fermented bean dish is a Japanese cuisine that has been studied in various medical publications, and a medical review found that it increases levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut and regularized stool frequency.