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Total Restore Review: Does This Leaky Gut Supplement Work?
Last Updated on January 30, 2024
Dietitian Reviewed Natalie Olsen, MS, RDN
We review the pros and cons of the Total Restore supplement for digestive health, analyzing the research behind its ingredients and claimed benefits.
- Total Restore contains ingredients including zinc, N-acetylglucosamine, L-glutamine, and licorice root that have some evidence for addressing symptoms associated with leaky gut, but doses may be lower than studied.
- Additional claimed benefits for energy, curbing cravings, and joint support have less robust evidence based on current research.
- Total Restore is third-party tested for purity and quality. It should be safe for most, but it contains shellfish, so it is not suitable for those with shellfish allergies. It also contains grapefruit, which may interact with some medications.
- With a 30-day supply costing $49.95, Total Restore is more expensive than some similar leaky gut supplements. Reviews are very mixed on actual benefits.
- The 90-day money-back guarantee allows for a risk-free trial if desired.
If you’re dealing with unexplained digestive symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, or other issues, the promises of a supplement like Total Restore could significantly improve your life.
This product is designed to help with a condition known as “leaky gut,” which could contribute to all of these symptoms.
Leaky gut refers to a weakened gut lining that allows the contents of your digestive tract to leak out into other parts of the body. Though a fairly recent discovery, this condition is the subject of much ongoing research.
GundryMD Total Restore is a dietary supplement developed to help improve leaky gut symptoms, including digestive issues and fatigue. It may also support overall health.
This digestive health supplement was developed by Dr. Steven Gundry, a heart surgeon turned integrative medicine doctor specializing in a concept known as “holobiotics.” Holobiotics, according to Dr. Gundry, is the relationship between your cells and the countless healthy bacteria cells that live in and on your body.
To understand Total Restore, we first need to understand Dr. Gundry’s approaches to diet and health.
Dr. Gundry is the creator of the Plant Paradox Diet and the best-selling book of the same name. This diet limits lectins, which are a group of proteins found in plants.
A study on mice showed lectins may damage the gut lining and other body cells and tissues. (1)
According to Dr. Gundry, lectins are a major contributor to leaky gut syndrome, which happens when the lining of your digestive tract is damaged. This allows partially digested materials, bacteria and their byproducts, and digestive juices to leak out of your digestive tract and into other parts of your body. (2)
It’s important to understand that, currently, leaky gut syndrome is not a recognized medical condition, although it is widely acknowledged among functional and integrative medicine doctors. The condition is sometimes referred to as “intestinal permeability.” (3)
Researchers have linked leaky gut to a number of autoimmune disorders, where your immune system launches an attack against its own healthy cells. Additionally, leaky gut syndrome is a sign that you may not have a healthy balance of bacteria in your digestive tract.
These imbalances may accompany digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea.
However, Total Restore is specifically for leaky gut.
It is also claimed to offer other health benefits, like helping to reduce gas and bloating, improve energy and focus, boost mood, reduce food cravings, and support your joints.
Regardless, customer reviews on the product are very mixed. Some people say it has made a big difference for them, while others claim they didn’t feel any different after taking it for a few weeks.
One serving of Total Restore is 3 capsules, and it’s recommended that you take all 3 with your largest meal of the day. If you prefer, you can also take one capsule with each meal three times a day.
Let’s examine what the research says about Total Restore and its ingredients.
Total Restore contains 16 ingredients, including many antioxidants and specific ingredients that target a healthy gut.
The four most important key ingredients in Total Restore, according to the GundryMD website, are:
- Licorice Root Extract
As we review the research, we will focus on these four natural ingredients.
Supports Gut Integrity and Improves Digestive Symptoms
The key purpose of Total Restore is to reduce intestinal permeability or leaky gut.
Improving the integrity of the gut will limit how much material is able to leak out of the digestive tract and into the body, which may help improve digestive symptoms.
This may be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or other gastrointestinal health issues.
There’s no specific ingredient in Total Restore that improves digestive issues like gas, bloating, stomach pain, or constipation.
Several ingredients are antioxidants that may promote better cellular function and reduce inflammation, which can help resolve some of these issues.
Additionally, these problems may resolve naturally as your gut lining becomes stronger and less permeable.
Zinc-L-carnosine, a combination of the essential mineral zinc and the dipeptide (protein building block) carnosine, has been shown to prevent the development of ulcers and lesions in the digestive tract at 150 mg per day, suggesting it can protect against leaky gut. (6)
However, Total Restore only contains 10 mg of Zinc-L-carnosine.
Additionally, there’s a great deal of weaker evidence to suggest that glutamine can improve leaky gut in other, less extreme circumstances as well. (11)
Licorice Root Extract
Licorice root, which is used to make licorice candies, also has a long history of use in herbal medicine. It may help to rebuild the gut mucosa or the inner lining of the digestive tract.
This could help protect against intestinal permeability and reduce the associated digestive symptoms. However, more high-quality human research is needed, particularly on the relationship between licorice root and leaky gut. (12)
Total Restore contains 54 mg of licorice root.
Finally, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (NAG) also helps to protect the gut mucosa. Studies have noted that it can help prevent disease-causing bacteria from attaching to the intestinal lining. In addition, NAG has been used to improve symptoms of irritable bowel disease, which is linked to increased intestinal permeability. (13)
A small study involving 34 people with irritable bowel disease reported NAG significantly decreased symptoms, including pain and diarrhea. The dose used was 6 grams per day for four weeks. (14)
Total Restore contains 142 mg (1.42) grams of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, which is less than what has been used in studies.
Strong evidence supports the use of Total Restore’s key ingredients to reduce gut permeability, especially Zinc-L-carnosine and L-glutamine. However, the doses found in Total Restore are less than the doses shown in some research. As the digestive tract heals, digestive symptoms may also improve.
The L-glutamine in Total Restore may help boost energy and reduce fatigue during exercise for those who regularly train, as it's commonly used as a sports supplement.
One small, high-quality trial of wildland firefighters found that glutamine supplementation reduced reported fatigue and perceived exertion (how hard the study participants felt they were working) during simulated firefighting exercises in the heat. (15)
Another high-quality study found that 20 grams of glutamine paired with carbs during intense exercise helped reduce perceived exertion. (16)
However, we weren’t able to find any studies on glutamine and energy in healthy, non-athletic adults, so these results may not apply to most people. Also, Total Restore contains 213 mg of glutamine, much less than what was used in this study.
Early research suggests that L-glutamine may help reduce food cravings and promote weight loss in people with obesity, but more high-quality research is needed.
Some older studies on animals suggest that glutamine can help reduce food cravings, but we can’t place too much importance on this data because it came from animals and not humans. (17)
Additionally, glutamine supplementation may help promote weight loss in humans, but there have been no high-quality trials on glutamine and body weight yet. (18)
The N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in Total Restore may help promote cartilage production and reduce joint pain. It has been investigated as a potential treatment for osteoarthritis, a condition characterized by “wear and tear” joint pain. However, this supplement contains significantly less of this compound than the amount shown effective in the research.
One small, high-quality trial found that 100 mg of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, when paired with the supplement chondroitin, significantly reduced knee pain and improved knee function in older adults. (19)
Total Restore contains 142 mg of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine.
In people who don’t have knee pain, it may help improve cartilage turnover resulting in stronger joints. However, higher doses of 500–1000 mg per day were suggested for this. (20)
Total Restore, therefore, may not contain enough to provide these benefits.
Total Restore is third-party tested. This means that an independent lab for quality and purity has analyzed the product.
Since supplements aren’t individually assessed by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) before going to market, third-party testing is a good sign that the supplement company is trustworthy.
Additionally, for most people, Total Restore should be safe to take. However, some reviewers have reported that the product made them constipated.
Total Restore contains ingredients sourced from crab and other shellfish, so it should not be taken if you have a shellfish allergy.
You should also speak to your healthcare provider before starting Total Restore if you take prescription medications.
Total Restore contains grapefruit seed extract, and grapefruit is known to interfere with many different types of drugs. It’s unclear if grapefruit seed extract has the same effect, but it’s best to be cautious.
Likewise, it’s a good idea to speak to your healthcare provider before starting Total Restore if you are pregnant, nursing, or if you have any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes.
- Magnesium: 7 mg
- Zinc: 2 mg
- L-Glutamine: 213 mg
- N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine: 142 mg
- Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate: 86 mg
- Grape Seed Extract: 58 mg
- Licorice Roots and Rhizomes Powder: 54 mg
- Wormwood: 50 mg
- Cinnamon Bark Powder: 50 mg
- Maitake Mushroom Extract: 34 mg
- VitaBerry (organic strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, tart cherry, elderberry, and cranberry): 22 mg
- Cloves: 17 mg
- Black Pepper: 17 mg
- Grapefruit Seed Extract: 17 mg
- Marshmallow Root Powder: 10 mg
- Zinc-L-Carnosine: 10 mg
- Berberine: 3 mg
Total Restore costs:
- 1 Bottle (30-day supply): $49.95
- 3 Bottles (90-day supply): $134.85 ($44.95/bottle)
- 6 Bottles (180-day supply): $254.70 ($42.45/bottle)
Shipping is $4.95 for orders under $50. However, if you subscribe, you can save an additional 10% on your order and receive free shipping on all future orders.
GundryMD products are backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee if you purchase through their website, even if they are opened or used. However, you will need to pay for return shipping.
With this fairly generous return policy, you can try a one-month supply with the assurance that you can get your money back if it doesn’t work for you.
The product is also available on Amazon, but the price may differ, and the 90-day guarantee won’t apply.
There are a handful of other supplements for leaky gut available. Most of them contain L-glutamine or Zinc-L-carnosine as a key ingredient. Here are some products that are similar to Total Restore:
KaraMD Vital Restore
KaraMD Vital Restore is formulated for leaky gut and contains L-glutamine in addition to zinc, berberine, turmeric, and slippery elm.
Additionally, unlike Total Restore, Vital Restore does not contain shellfish and is, therefore, OK for people with shellfish allergies.
It is a more budget-friendly alternative to Total Restore, as it regularly costs $34.95 for a 30-day supply. You can buy up to four bottles at once to receive a 20% discount and free shipping, and KaraMD offers a 90-day money-back guarantee.
However, this product’s zinc comes from zinc oxide, which is less expensive but not as well-absorbed by the body as other forms of zinc. (21)
Amy Myers MD Leaky Gut Revive
Leaky Gut Revive contains a combination of ingredients that are meant to “soothe and repair your gut quickly.” Leaky Gut Revive may be a good alternative to Total Restore if you prefer powdered supplements to pills or if you have trouble swallowing pills.
It contains L-glutamine, as well as a blend containing larch arabinogalactan, marshmallow root, licorice root, elm bark, and aloe vera.
This supplement comes in a powder form and can be mixed into any beverage.
A 30-day supply regularly costs $54.97, but you can subscribe to save 15% plus an additional 5% on every 3rd shipment. Shipping is free, and a 90-day money-back guarantee is available.
Ancient Nutrition Leaky Gut
Ancient Nutrition’s Leaky Gut supplement is made with zinc, marshmallow root, astragalus root, cardamom seed, licorice root, and L-glutamine.
If you prefer organic ingredients or like that this product has a probiotic included, Ancient Nutrition Leaky Gut may be the best choice for you.
Additionally, the product contains Lion’s Mane mushroom and the probiotic strain Bacillus coagulans.
Ancient Nutrition utilizes all organic ingredients in this product, and B. coagulans may help to improve leaky gut symptoms. (22)
A 30-day supply of Leaky Gut costs $29.95 regularly, but you can subscribe to save 15% and get free shipping. Ancient Nutrition offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Overview of How Total Restore Compares to Its Alternatives
|GundryMD Total Restore
|KaraMD Vital Restore
|Amy Myers MD Leaky Gut Revive
|10 mg (Zinc L-carnosine)
|50 mg (Zinc Oxide Powder)
|N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine, Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, Grape Seed Extract, Licorice Roots and Rhizomes Powder, Wormwood, Cinnamon Bark Powder, Maitake Mushroom Extract, VitaBerry (organic strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, tart cherry, elderberry, and cranberry), Cloves, Black Pepper, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Marshmallow Root Powder, Zinc-L-Carnosine, Berberine
|Turmeric Root Powder, Slippery Elm Powder
|Larch Arabinogalactan, Marshmallow Root Powder, Licorice Root Powder, Slippery Elm Bark Powder, Aloe Vera Leaf Powder
|Total amount of ingredients per serving
|0.8 g (783 mg)
|2.1 g (2,050 mg)
|5.8 g (5,750 mg)
|How to Take
|3 capsules once daily with your biggest meal of the day (or 1 capsule three times a day with a meal)
|3 capsules once a day with 8 fl oz of water
|Mix 1 scoop of powder in 8 oz of your favorite beverage
|Contains grapefruit and shellfish
|Contains aloe vera leaf
|Price (30-Day Supply)
|$49.95 / 90 capsules
|$34.95 / 90 capsules
|$54.97 / 178.5 grams jar
|Cost per Serving
|Adjusted Cost per 1 Gram
|Sugar-free, no artificial ingredients, Non-GMO, gluten-free
|Vegan, Non-GMO, gluten-free
|Non-GMO, gluten-free dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, no artificial sweeteners
|Shop on GundryMD
|Buy from KaraMD
|Shop Amy Meyers MD
Total Restore is a leaky gut supplement containing several ingredients that help reduce gut permeability, improve digestive symptoms, increase energy levels, and more.
Overall, this product may be worth trying if you are experiencing symptoms of leaky gut, as long as you understand that it’s not a guaranteed fix.
There is evidence to support the ingredients in this supplement for improving gut integrity, but more research is needed to support its other claims of boosting energy and reducing food cravings.
Consumer reviews on Total Restore are pretty mixed, but you may find success with the supplement if you take it consistently alongside a healthy lifestyle.
Remember, you can get a refund if you’re unhappy with your purchase due to the company’s 90-day money-back guarantee.
A Word from an RD
“If you believe you have a digestive problem, it is always best to speak to your doctor before taking any supplements. The underlying cause must be identified and addressed by dietary and lifestyle changes or medical treatment.
One way to improve gut health with lifestyle changes is to eat a diet rich in fiber and probiotics from fermented foods, like yogurt or kombucha. In addition, a registered dietitian can guide you through an elimination diet to help identify foods that may be a trigger for you.”
At WellnessVerge, we only use reputable sources, including peer-reviewed medical journals and well-respected academic institutions.
- Plant Lectins Activate the NLRP3 Inflammasome To Promote Inflammatory Disorders - PubMed:
- Partners in Leaky Gut Syndrome: Intestinal Dysbiosis and Autoimmunity - PubMed:
- The Leaky Gut: Mechanisms, Measurement and Clinical Implications in Humans - PMC:
- Interaction between the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system - PubMed:
- The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview - PubMed:
- Effectiveness of polaprezinc for low-dose aspirin-induced small-bowel mucosal injuries as evaluated by capsule endoscopy: a pilot randomized controlled study - PubMed:
- Zinc carnosine, a health food supplement that stabilises small bowel integrity and stimulates gut repair processes - PubMed:
- A Review of Zinc-L-Carnosine and Its Positive Effects on Oral Mucositis, Taste Disorders, and Gastrointestinal Disorders - PMC:
- Efficacy of glutamine-enriched enteral feeding formulae in critically ill patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - PubMed:
- The Effect of Amino Acids on Wound Healing: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Arginine and Glutamine - PubMed:
- Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: from bench to bedside - PubMed:
- Licoflavone B, an isoprene flavonoid derived from licorice residue, relieves dextran sodium sulfate-induced ulcerative colitis by rebuilding the gut barrier and regulating intestinal microflora – ScienceDirect:
- N-Acetyl-glucosamine influences the biofilm formation of Escherichia coli - PubMed:
- N-Acetylglucosamine for Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease | Natural Medicine Journal:
- The Effect of Acute Glutamine Supplementation on Markers of Inflammation and Fatigue During Consecutive Days of Simulated Wildland Firefighting - PubMed:
- Carbohydrate and Glutamine Supplementation Attenuates the Increase in Rating of Perceived Exertion during Intense Exercise in Hypoxia Similar to 4200 m - PubMed:
- The effect of glutamine and dihydroxyacetone supplementation on food intake, weight gain, and postprandial glycogen synthesis in female Zucker rats - PubMed:
- Oral Glutamine Supplementation Reduces Obesity, Pro-Inflammatory Markers, and Improves Insulin Sensitivity in DIO Wistar Rats and Reduces Waist Circumference in Overweight and Obese Humans - PubMed:
- Effects of N-acetyl glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplementation on knee pain and self-reported knee function in middle-aged and older Japanese adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - PubMed:
- Effect of N-acetylglucosamine administration on cartilage metabolism and safety in healthy subjects without symptoms of arthritis: A case report - PubMed:
- Zinc Absorption by Young Adults from Supplemental Zinc Citrate Is Comparable with That from Zinc Gluconate and Higher than from Zinc Oxide - PMC:
- Oral spore-based probiotic supplementation was associated with reduced incidence of post-prandial dietary endotoxin, triglycerides, and disease risk biomarkers - PubMed: