Dr. Rose, M.D. (researcher)
Evan Jerkunica (writer)
Best for: Promotes a Strong, Healthy Gut Lining
90-day money back guarantee when purchased directly from Gundry MD
Transparency disclosure: For each person who buys Total Restore by clicking a link on this page, Probiotics.org receives a small percentage of the sale. We would strongly recommend this product without compensation, but I want you to know all the potential motivations for Probiotics.org writing this review. Transparency rules!
Total Restore is an interesting product. The Gundry MD website describes it as being designed to treat leaky gut and its associated symptoms, and some of the components have been shown to be helpful for that. But Total Restore contains so many beneficial and powerful components that do other things besides treat the gut–including reduce gas and bloating and curb food cravings.
The sheer number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories contained in every pill make it a compelling choice for those wanting to focus on plant-based nutraceuticals. While I was unable to find clinical trials using Total Restore, it seems logical that this product should be helpful.
Dr. Steven Gundry spent more than 30 years as a heart surgeon and head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Loma Linda University. But it was the efforts of one seriously ill patient who was able to reverse his own heart condition through diet that led Dr. Gundry in a new direction. He retired from surgery and has spent more than 15 years doing research in the field of dietary nutrition and the human microbiome.
Many consider leaky gut a problem that results in digestive discomfort, food cravings, low energy, weight gain and more. It’s a condition that arises from “intestinal permeability”–tiny holes that form in the intestinal lining and enable bacteria and endotoxins from the digestive tract to enter the bloodstream.
Dr. Gundry’s research has led him to identify the lectins in fruits and vegetables as the main culprit. He says that the lectins bind to cells in the intestinal wall, and gradually pull the lining of the gut apart.
Glutamine is an amino acid that is abundant in the human body. It is manufactured primarily in the muscles of the body and is consumed mostly by the intestinal epithelium and the kidney. It is referred to as conditionally essential, meaning that the body can usually manufacture enough glutamine to meet its needs except in times of stress, at which point dietary supplementation becomes necessary. Dietary sources of glutamine include beef, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, legumes, and a wide variety of other vegetables.
Physiologically, glutamine is involved in protein synthesis and lipid synthesis. It plays an important role in cellular energy production, nitrogen donation, and acid-base regulation. At a tissue level, it helps maintain the intestinal epithelial lining. It is safe in all age groups; adverse effects of supplemental glutamine have only been reported after parenteral administration.
A recent study by van Zeaten showed that oral administration of glutamine significantly decreased length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality in critically ill patients, but they didn’t say why.A Another fascinating study by Zuhl showed that l-glutamine administration after intense exercise reduced the rise often seen in intestinal permeability (“runner’s trots” or “trotter’s runs”).B
This is a monosaccharide abbreviated GlcNAc. Derived from glucose, it helps form cell walls in bacteria when crosslinked with other polymers and peptides. It is also a component of the hard exterior shells of certain insects and crustaceans. In humans, it combines with glucuronic acid to form hyaluronic acid, a major component of cell walls, collagen, and cartilage. There may be some immunomodulatory effects via inhibition of elastase release from white blood cells.
Glucosamine is widely used for the treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis, although its mechanism of action is poorly understood. According to a study by Kubomura, GlcNAc improves cartilage health as indicated by biomarkers of cartilage growth and turnover.C, D Another paper by the same author showed that glucosamine was chondroprotective, reducing inflammation in the joint and destruction of chondrocytes. More recently, Lee reported that GlcNAc downregulates T-helper cells, reducing the autoimmune aspects of multiple sclerosis.E
This is a magnesium salt of beta-hydroxybutyric acid, a compound normally made by the body in times of stress. It is one of the first ketone-forming compounds to form during times of starvation and intense physical exercise. It serves as a biochemical messenger to tell other cells to speed up their metabolism, and it also serves as a ready fuel source for brain cells.
Diets such as the keto diet rely on BHB to provide energy during severe calorie restriction. BHB rises during uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. Despite high blood sugar levels in diabetes, the cells that are supposed to benefit from insulin are starving from lack of insulin, and they produce BHB.
Administration of BHB has several potential benefits. It has been shown to interfere with inflammation, particularly in the brain where neuro-inflammation leads to depression.F The human body produces cell components called “inflammasomes” that contain the information and components needed to stimulate the whole cascade of events that lead to inflammation. BHB helps to prevent the formation of inflammasomes in all cells, particularly in nerves and the kidneys. Therefore, in addition to depression, BHB has been shown to block retinal damage from diabetes G and cardiac failure from cardiomyopathy.H
The administration of ketone bodies like BHB may help to suppress appetite, explaining part of the effectiveness of the “keto diet.” Interestingly, variations of the keto diet have been prescribed to patients with epilepsy, and one study showed that BHB has anti-seizure activity.I
Grape seed extract is a derivative of whole grape seeds that is rich in proanthocyanidins, the plant-based chemicals that are known to reduce blood pressure and risk of coronary artery disease. Grape seed extract and other foods and beverages high in some types of proanthocyanidins give the sensation of the mouth puckering known as astringency.
Much of the published literature has focused on the effect of grape seed extract on hypertension and metabolic syndrome.J Other recent work has shown that it may be helpful in prevention and treatment of colon cancerK and breast cancer.L It has powerful antioxidant and antibacterial effects as well.M It is considered safe and non-toxic.
Licorice is a perennial legume grown mostly in the Middle East and the US. It is used as a flavoring and a sweetener and has been used since ancient times by herbalists for treatment of GI disorders. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and some claim anti-tumor effects as well. One component of licorice, glycyrrhizin, has been removed for this preparation, presumably to reduce the potential side effects of hypertension and edema.
Recent studies with licorice have explored its effects in neurocognitive disorders. A recent study by Cho showed that three varieties of licorice were effective in reducing the neurocognitive decline seen in a mouse model of inflammation-induced cognitive dysfunction.N
Jung et al found that licorice root extracts helped reduce alcohol-related liver disease, also through its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.O
Yang published a review of all of the purported pharmacologic effects of licorice.P Licorice has been shown by several authors to interfere with several medications and to have estrogenic (anti-testosterone) effects.
WebMD reports that wormwood is often used to give vermouth and absinthe their characteristic flavor. Wormwood has shown positive treatment effects against infections,Q and his used for digestive disorders like dyspepsia, cramps, and anorexia. Some recommend using wormwood to treat fever, memory loss, myalgias, liver problems, and even depression. An in vitro study recently documented anti-tumor and antioxidant properties.R
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of a tree. Its peppery flavor is highly aromatic due to its essential oil component and volatile components. About 75% of the world’s cinnamon is grown in China and Indonesia. It contains cinnamaldehyde and other components including eugenol.
The medicinal use of cinnamon has been controversial. Some suggest that cinnamon reduces blood sugar in diabetics,S although large meta-analysis studies have not found consistent evidence. More current research suggests that cinnamon helps with weight loss in obese individuals.T
The maitake mushroom is prized for its nutty flavor and is often used in Asian cooking. It has also been used for centuries as an herbal medicine, and its pharmacological activity continues to be characterized in contemporary science. The active ingredients in these mushrooms are called glucans, a polysaccharide derived from glucose. According to Wikipedia, glucans are thought to show “anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory, antioxidant, anticoagulant, antiviral, antiproliferative, anti-apoptosis, and anti-tumor properties.”
Studies seem to support these claims: Masuda showed anti-tumor activity by stimulation of dendritic cells and macrophages.U Wesa documented its efficacy in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes in a phase II study.V In a rat model, Xiao showed that maitake extracts improved glycemic control in diabetic rats by reducing insulin resistance.W Finally, Nishihira’s team found enhanced antibody response to the influenza vaccine along with reduced respiratory infection symptoms when given with maitake extracts.X
VitaBerry is a proprietary product that contains extracts from six brightly colored fruits. The brightly colored fruits are known to be high in antioxidants. While clean scientific study using VitaBerry on its own could not be found in the literature, Arent et al studied the effects of giving a nutraceutical cocktail to 25 Division I football players after exercise training.Y The intervention group showed significant reductions in weight, increases in lean body mass, and decreases in inflammatory markers. They surmised that the nutraceutical drink containing VitaBerry positively impacted recovery from exercise.
Cloves are an aromatic flower bud of a tree grown primarily in Indonesia. Its major use is as a spice in several different cuisines. As a medicinal agent, it has been used for centuries as a pain reliever, particularly for dental pain. The active ingredient is eugenol, a colorless aromatic oil that may have anti-inflammatory properties. The data on the use of cloves is not convincing.
Recently clove oil has been studied for use as an anti-inflammatory in strokesZ and liver disease.AA The administration of clove to patients with breast cancer may help in the treatment of that devastating disease.AB Clove oil, along with several other essential oils, has been shown to cause liver injury in some people.AC
Black pepper contains the chemical piperine, available in a highly purified form in the product BioPerine. Piperine imparts at least some of the sensation of heat in pepper and appears to help medically in two ways: It has anti-inflammatory effects as seen in animal models of peritonitisAD and gum disease.AE In this supplement, piperine also helps with the absorption of curcumin (from turmeric).AF
Grapefruit seed extract is a liquid extract derived from not only the seeds, but also the pulp and white membranes of grapefruit. Most commercially available extract in these components is ground together with glycerin. It has been widely sold as a health food supplement to fight infection, but it has not been shown in clinical trials to be effective.
Analysis of grapefruit seed extract shows phytochemicals including flavonoids (antioxidant), Vitamin C (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant), tocopherols (antioxidant), and various other antioxidant chemicals and sterols.
While evidence for its usefulness has not been strong, multiple avenues of research suggest that grapefruit seed extract may help with a variety of conditions. From experimentally induced pancreatitis and hepatitis to various cancers, the extract has shown some promise.AG It is considered safe and non-toxic.
Marshmallow is a shrub found largely in the UK and Europe. It has been used medicinally and as a food source for centuries. The leaves, flowers, and roots have been used to relieve irritation of mucous membranes including sore throats and cough associated with respiratory infections. A study by Deters showed that marshmallow root extract stimulated the growth of epithelial cells, helping them to form a bioadhesive layer for self-protection.AH
Another in vitro study, this performed by Yamada, showed that marshmallow root reduced the complement pathway, possibly pointing to its use in immune and autoimmune disorders.AI Bishr, in a rat model of peptic ulcer disease, showed that marshmallow root helped in the healing of, and protection from, gastric ulcers.AJ Many of the other studies looking at the effectiveness of this product were performed using a cocktail of ingredients.
Zinc L-carnosine is a combination of zinc and carnosine and has been used for decades in Japan for the treatment of gastritis and ulcers. Together, these two chemicals are far more effective than either one alone. Zinc is an element that is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and is involved in DNA and RNA synthesis. Zinc is also used to fight infections such as in the many over-the-counter zinc preparations available.
L-carnosine is a compound that is present in high levels in muscles and nerve cells. It has shown powerful antioxidant properties and helps deliver the zinc to the site of ulcers in the stomach. It is a dipeptide composed of beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is naturally present in muscle and nerve cells and is thought to have antioxidant properties.
Together, this is a powerful combination. Multiple studies have explored its use in neurodegenerative diseases (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease),AK exercise-induced gut permeability,AL and even cancer.AM
Berberine is derived from the bark, roots, and rhizomes of numerous plants such as barbary, turmeric, and Chinese goldthread. It is a strong yellow color and has even been used to dye clothes. Medicinally, it is classified as more of an antibiotic, although it may have other beneficial effects. It may have a positive effect on neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, and infections.AN In particular, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of diabetes.AO
Total Restore is manufactured in the United States in a GMP-certified facility. The product is lactose-free, soy-free, lectin-free, sugar-free, artificial sweetener-free, caffeine-free and gluten-free. Although Gundry MD strives to source the best ingredients, the company does not claim that Total Restore is organic or 100% GMO-free.
Warning: Total Restore contains shellfish. This product is neither vegan or vegetarian. Also, shellfish is a common allergen.
Gundry MD recommends taking Total Restore once a day. Take three (3) capsules with 8 fl.oz. of water–all with one large meal. If you prefer, you can spread out your dosage and take one (1) capsule with each meal. With 90 capsules, you have a one-month supply per bottle.
Before starting a regime of Total Restore, you should consult your physician or healthcare provider. This is especially true if you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive, or if you are taking medication or have a medical condition. If you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue use immediately and consult your healthcare provider.
While Total Restore does not require refrigeration, Gundry MD suggests storing opened bottles in a cool, dry place.
Gundry MD has a 90-day money back guarantee (minus shipping and handling), but only when the product is purchased directly from the company. Amazon has its own policies.
My experience suggests that results vary widely. Most consumers are pleased with the results and say that Total Restore works as described. Some, however, report that they have experienced diarrhea and stomach discomfort, and others say that they have seen no change or improvement.
I have searched the web and checked out several sites with headlines such as Is Total Restore a Scam? It appears that these headlines are clickbait designed to drive traffic to review and affiliate sites. I have not found any evidence of scams so far, but I will continue to do my research.
Total Restore is available only in capsule form. Therefore, there is no taste.
While I’ve used Gundry MD products over the years, I haven’t had any direct experience with the company. That said, I haven’t seen anything to suggest a problem. The company is well-known and posts its customer support information directly on the website. One thing, however, Gundry MD seems to only support consumers that buy directly from the company.
The best way to purchase any supplement is to buy directly from the manufacturer. Once in the Gundry MD system, you typically have opportunities to take advantage to take advantage of volume discounts and special offers. Be prepared, however, for a constant barrage of promotional emails. That said, the vast majority of Amazon buyers are happy with their purchases.
Best for: Promotes a Strong, Healthy Gut Lining
90-day money back guarantee when purchased directly from Gundry MD
Want to buy the best probiotics for you and your health? Then you should click here to download the Probiotics Buying Guide.