Total Restore Review: Concerning Ingredient Doses?

Total Restore Review: Concerning Ingredient Doses?


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Total Restore is a dietary supplement used to improve gut health which is sold by the brand Gundry MD. The brand claims that this supplement can help to promote a healthy gut lining and reduce gas and bloating.

But does Total Restore contain ingredients proven to have these effects or are these just marketing claims? Does the supplement contain any unhealthy additive ingredients? Are the active ingredients effectively dosed? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Total Restore?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we share our concerns about this supplement's ingredient doses.

We'll also analyze the ingredients in Total Restore based on medical research to give our take on whether it's likely to be effective or not, and share real, unsponsored user reviews of the supplement.

Strange Ingredient Doses 

Total Restore underdosed ingredients

We consider some of the ingredients in Total Restore to be extremely underdosed. The ingredients shown above are not all of the active ingredients in this supplement; just the ones we consider to have the strangest dosages.

Total Restore provides 7 milligrams (mg) of magnesium. This is 2% of the Daily Value (DV), or less than 10% of the magnesium content in one small banana according to the USDA.

Berberine is a medicinal chemical compound derived from plants, and has been shown in some medical research to improve gut health. However the berberine dose in Total Restore is only 3 mg.

A 2020 medical review on berberine and gut health found that the ingredient may be effective, but the only dosage cited was from an animal trial using over 1,000x the amount that's in Total Restore for an equivalent human dose.

VitaBerry is a patented berry blend with a total dose of 22 mg. This equates to an average ingredient dose in this blend of 4 mg.

According to the USDA, one single strawberry is 18,000 mg. One single strawberry provides 4,500 times the strawberry dose as exists in Total Restore.

Sometimes supplement manufacturers will include minuscule doses of exotic active ingredients to make the Supplement Facts label look impressive. The doses shown above are highly questionable in our opinion, and we cannot locate any medical evidence that these ingredients at such low doses improve gut health.

Ingredient Dose Analysis

Total Restore other active ingredients

The remaining active ingredients in Total Restore are shown above.

L-glutamine is the highest-dosed ingredient in this formulation, but we also find it to be significantly underdosed at only 213 mg.

A clinical trial on l-glutamine supplementation and gut function used a dose of 30,000 mg, which is over 100x the amount in Total Restore.

A separate clinical trial published in the Nutrients journal categorized glutamine supplementation into “low,” “medium” and “high” groups. The “low” dosage was 300 mg per kilogram (kg) of fat-free mass, which equates to a dose over 100x the amount in Total Restore.

Grape seed extract was shown in an animal study to favorably influence gut bacteria and reduce inflammation, but like the previously-cited study, the dose used was 300 mg per kg daily, or over 100x the amount in Total Restore for a human-equivalent dose.

Licorice root is included in this supplement at a dose of 54 mg. A 2012 clinical trial found that licorice root extract reduced indigestion at a 150 mg dose, but extracts are significantly more concentrated than raw plant material like what's included in Total Restore.

We are unable to identify one single ingredient in this formulation that we consider likely to be effective for improving gut health or microbiome function at the included dose.

We consider every active ingredient in this supplement to be significantly underdosed based on clinical research, and Gundry MD fails to cite any medical studies on their product page suggesting that these ingredients are effective at the included doses.

Total Restore is one of the worst-formulated dietary supplement we've ever reviewed on Illuminate Health in our opinion. At least MCT Wellness (another Gundry MD supplement we recently reviewed) contained a few active ingredients that we considered to be effectively dosed.

Real User Review

A YouTube creator named "Beauty For Ashes Tv" shared her experience taking Total Restore for weeks:

Highly Questionable Health Claims

Total Restore highly questionable health claim 1

There are several health claims on the Total Restore product page that we consider highly questionable, and we want to highlight two such claims.

As shown above, Gundry MD claims that Total Restore "helps to reduce 'junk food' cravings." There is no citation for this claim and we have not seen any medical evidence of this claim.

It looks based on the markers at the end of the sentence that this claim is cited, but the citation just leads to a statement that "Every individual is unique" and not to any clinical studies proving the claim to be accurate.

Total Restore highly questionable health claim 2

Gundry MD also claims that licorice root can help the gut lining, again without providing any proof.

This header references licorice root extract, but as we highlighted in the ingredient review, Total Restore does not contain licorice root extract, but instead contains licorice root. 

We recommend that consumers entirely disregard any health claims made by brands that fail to provide any proof of such claims, and we consider it a red flag that Gundry MD lists "licorice root extract" when marketing this product while their Supplement Facts label instead lists licorice root.

Will Total Restore Cause Side Effects?

Gundry MD does not appear to have funded any clinical trials testing Total Restore, so it's impossible to say definitively whether or not the supplement is likely to cause side effects. However, we can make an educated guess based on the ingredients.

We do not consider Total Restore likely to cause side effects based on its ingredients. All of the active ingredients in Total Restore are non-toxic and well-studied, and this supplement contains non-toxic and safe inactive ingredients.

If anything, we consider most of the ingredients in Total Restore to be underdosed, as documented in previous sections, and an ingredient that's underdosed is less likely to cause side effects than an ingredient that's effectively dosed or included at too high of a dose.

Our Clean Gut Health Picks

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ contains 100% soluble fiber, which was described as "one of the most important nutrients for the gut microbiota" in a clinical review published in the Molecules journal.

Bulletproof Express 3-in-1 Probiotic is our top value probiotic supplement, because it costs only $1.20 per serving at the time of updating this article.

Probiotics "can improve in the immune, gastrointestinal...health systems in healthy adults" according to a 2019 medical review.

VSL#3 is our top premium probiotic pick, because this probiotic supplement has been studied in 25 clinical trials, and a 2020 meta-study on VSL#3 concluded the following:

"...many studies demonstrated that VSL#3 has a beneficial effect on obesity and diabetes, allergic diseases, nervous systemic diseases, AS, bone diseases, and female reproductive systemic diseases."

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Customers Rate Total Restore

Total Restore is sold on Amazon, which is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion. The supplement has been reviewed over 6,500 times on Amazon and has an average review rating of 4 out of 5.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "pblove" who claims the supplement cured some of their digestive ailments:

"I was getting acid reflux every night so couldn’t sleep and was taking heartburn medicine every night. I was having stabbing pains in my stomach from gas and was taking gas pills multiple times a day. I’m not a napper, but felt like I needed to lay down for 2-3 hours every single day from extreme fatigue... Within 3 days of taking total restore I was no longer taking heartburn or gas meds...This has been a game changer for me!!!"

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "william braswell" who claims the supplement is useless for consumers without stomach issues:

"I did not think I had any digestive issues but when I read the hype I thought maybe I do and don’t realize it. What caught my eye was the statement that leaky gut can cause numerous other problems. It claims to also help with energy level, focus, mood, junk food craving, and joint pain. It did nothing. I followed instructions and took it by the label for two months, nothing. So if you don’t have stomach issues save your money."

Where to Get the Best Price

Total Restore is sold at various online retailers.

Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of updating this article:

Brand website: $69.95 (free shipping, link)

Walmart: $60 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)

Amazon: $39.79 (free shipping, third-party seller, link to Amazon listing)

This supplement is currently retailing for more than 40% cheaper at Amazon than the brand's website, but the Amazon listing is from a third-party seller, so it may be safer to purchase directly from the manufacturer.

Total Restore Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of Total Restore in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Contains research-backed active ingredients
  • May support optimal gut health
  • Free shipping from brand's website

Cons:

  • Highly questionable active ingredient doses
  • Doesn't appear to be clinically tested
  • Questionable health claims on brand's website
  • Hard to find unsponsored customer video reviews
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not consider Total Restore likely to improve gut health, as we are unable to identify one single active ingredient that we consider to be effectively dosed based on a review of clinical research. This product's manufacturer does not cite any medical studies on its product page at the time of updating this article proving Total Restore to be effective.

Total Restore is one of the worst-formulated dietary supplements we've reviewed on Illuminate Health in our opinion.

Gundry MD makes a number of uncited and questionable health claims on the Total Restore product page, and we urge the brand to either cite these claims or remove them.

For consumers intent on trying Total Restore, the supplement is far cheaper on Amazon than on the brand's website at the time of updating this article.