Total Restore Review: Is It Safe and Effective?
Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD
Last Updated on April 12, 2022
Total Restore is a dietary supplement designed to heal leaky gut (intestinal permeability). While some of the ingredients might improve digestive health, there are no studies to support the specific blend of ingredients in Total Restore.
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Total Restore by Gundry MD is a dietary supplement designed to help repair leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability.
The company claims that reducing leaky gut will decrease fatigue, digestive discomfort, joint pain, food cravings, and weight problems.
Leaky gut is not a widely accepted medical diagnosis and is more of a lay-person buzzword. (1)
While there is evidence of increased intestinal permeability in some people, it is unclear how this impacts chronic illness. (2)
There is also no known treatment for this condition.
To understand Total Restore and how it works, it is first essential to know a bit of background about Gundry MD.
Dr. Steven Gundry is a cardiologist and the author of the best-selling book “Plant Paradox.” He also has an extensive line of dietary supplements based on his nutritional theories.
A primary focus of his practice is on helping patients restore their health by avoiding foods that contain lectins and support beneficial microbes in the gut. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins found in certain plant foods. (3)
Dr. Gundry believes that some plants are toxic and harmful to the gut and the microbes inside because of their lectin content.
He claims that weight loss and other health problems will also resolve once the gut is healed and lectins eliminated.
Total Restore is one of many products that Dr. Gundry offers to improve gut health in the hopes of addressing other symptoms.
Total Restore is designed to improve leaky gut, a condition more appropriately referred to as intestinal permeability, where small gaps appear in the digestive tract that allows harmful substances to pass through. (4)
When this happens, the theory is that when undesirable substances pass through intact, the immune system that sits outside the digestive tract overreacts. This leads to the development of food sensitivities, fatigue, digestive concerns, and skin problems.
Dr. Gundry believes that a leaky gut is caused by consuming lectins, which is the theory behind his popular book and the reason why he recommends Total Restore.
However, there is limited evidence that consuming lectins is an underlying cause of digestive problems, with a few outlying exceptions. Most toxic lectins are destroyed with cooking. (5)
Most mainstream medical doctors and some dietitians do not believe that a leaky gut is actually the cause of all these underlying ailments.
There is evidence that those with specific medical conditions, like certain autoimmune diseases, may experience increased intestinal permeability. (6)
But it is unclear if the leaky gut is the cause of this illness or if it contributes to the progression of this disease. There is also no known treatment to repair the gut lining if it is “leaky.”
The bottom line is that the jury is still out about leaky gut.
Although most mainstream doctors do not recognize leaky gut as a real condition, many ingredients in Total Restore are supported by research to help improve gut health.
L-Glutamine, 213 mg
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is needed by intestinal cells to maintain integrity, decrease inflammation, and keep gut microbes in the right place. (7)
There is some evidence that supplementation with L-glutamine can increase the number of gut microbes that support normal body weight. (8)
The body can make the L-glutamine it needs in most circumstances. However, during periods of extreme physical stress or injury, it may require increased amounts of glutamine. (9)
L-Glutamine plays a role in supporting gut health, but the body can make all that it needs in healthy people.
N-acetyl D-glucosamine, 142 mg
Glucosamine is a compound naturally found in cartilage and other connective tissues. It plays a role in maintaining joint health.
Glucosamine acts as a barrier between gut microbes and the intestinal wall, which may play a role in intestinal permeability. (10)
N-acetyl D-glucosamine has been found to be able to block certain types of lectins. (5)
N-acetyl D-glucosamine may help support gut wall health and block lectins.
Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, 86 mg
Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (MBH) is a ketone that may help increase energy levels. (11)
Some animal research has found that it may help increase lifespan, although more evaluation in humans is needed. (12)
It may also have protective benefits for the brain. However, MBH does not have any known impact on digestive health. (13)
MBH may have health benefits related to improved energy levels and brain health.
Zinc-L-Carnosine, 10 mg
Zinc L-carnosine (ZnC) is a combination of zinc and the amino acid carnosine.
It has been found to help restore gastric lining and heal the digestive tract due to its anti-inflammatory properties. (14)
Zinc alone has been found to help decrease intestinal permeability in people with Crohn’s disease. (15)
Zinc L-carnosine is a compound that has anti-inflammatory benefits that may benefit gut health.
Plant, Root, and Seed Extracts
Total Restore also contains several different plant, root, and seed extracts. These ingredients may provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Grape Seed Extract, 58 mg
Animal studies have found that grape seed extract may help improve intestinal integrity. (16)
Licorice Root Extract, 54 mg
The licorice root extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
A 2012 study found that it might help improve symptoms of acid reflux and stomach pain. (17)
Wormwood, 50 mg
Wormwood is an herb commonly used in traditional medicine and to make certain types of alcohol.
It has many potential benefits due to its antioxidant activity and ability to stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. (18)
Cinnamon Bark Powder, 50 mg
Cinnamon is an aromatic herb that inhibits certain digestive enzymes resulting in lower blood sugar and improved insulin response after meals. (19)
Specifically for people with type 2 diabetes, it may improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels. (20)
Maitake Mushrooms, 34 mg
Maitake mushrooms are native to Japan. They have been used medicinally for centuries due to their adaptogenic properties, meaning they help reduce the physical effects of stress on the body.
Even though they are common in Japanese culture, research about potential benefits is still emerging.
Organic Berry Blend, 22 mg
This blend contains a variety of antioxidant-rich berries, including tart cherry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, elderberry, and cranberry.
Clove Bud Powder, 17mg
Cloves are a fragrant spice with antioxidant properties and potential health benefits, although most research is based on animal and test-tube studies.
Black Pepper Fruit Powder, 17 mg
Black pepper is a common seasoning that has been treasured for centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties.
Grapefruit Seed Extract, 17mg
However, grapefruit seed extract has no specific benefits for gut health.
Marshmallow Root Powder, 10mg
Marshmallow root is an herbal remedy with many potential health benefits. For digestion, it may help protect against gastric ulcers. (31)
Berberine Bark Powder, 3mg
Berberine is a yellow-colored plant compound that may have benefits for metabolic dysfunction. (32)
These plant, root, and seed extracts may have some potential health benefits. However, there are no studies to support the specific blend in Total Restore.
Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Total Restore based on the available research:
|Supports digestive health||Gold Star Evidence|
|Supports energy production||Gold Star Evidence|
|Helps heal intestinal permeability||Moderate Evidence|
|Supports comfortable joints||Gold Star Evidence|
|Boosts feelings of energy and focus||Moderate Evidence|
|Helps combat out of control junk food cravings||Limited Evidence|
Total Restore’s ingredients like glucosamine, L-glutamine, and Zinc-L-carnosine do have benefits for gut health.
Zinc-L-carnosine may help support gut integrity, but further research is needed.
Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate helps boost energy production.
Maitake mushrooms function as adaptogens, which may help manage the symptoms of stress and maintain a calm mood.
While ingredients like cinnamon may help regulate blood sugar and possibly reduce cravings for junk food, there is no solid research that these ingredients will stop cravings completely.
Glucosamine has been extensively researched for its benefits in helping support joint health.
There are no significant safety concerns with this product, with a few exceptions for people with specific health concerns.
Total Restore contains ingredients made from shellfish. Therefore, it should be avoided by people with an allergy.
Licorice root in high doses may cause high blood pressure and lower potassium levels. The exact amount that can cause this reaction is unknown. (35)
The supplement also contains grapefruit seed extract, which should be avoided for people taking certain medications, like statins.
It is always best to ask your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.
The serving size of Total Restore is three capsules with your biggest meal of the day and 8 ounces of water.
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)
You can save an additional 10% on all products when you join the company’s “Subscribe and Save” program.
Shipping is free on orders over $60.
The best place to purchase Total Restore is directly from Dr. Gundry’s website. The brand offers a money-back guarantee on the product if you are not satisfied with your results after 90 days of use.
Total Restore is also available on Amazon at a lower price, but it appears to be sold only by third parties. Therefore you have no guarantee that you are buying an authentic product on Amazon.
Most digestive supplements focus on a blend of prebiotics and probiotics to help improve gut health. In addition, some digestive products may include L-glutamine, collagen, or licorice root.
Although all of these ingredients have research to support their use, there is no evidence that there is an optimal blend to heal leaky gut or improve digestion. Therefore making a recommendation for the optimal product for leaky gut is not possible at this time.
If you think you want digestive support without using a probiotic, I would recommend a product with L-glutamine and Zinc-L-carnosine, which have evidence to support their benefits.
There are a few options in this category for a lower price point than Total Restore. Amy Myers, MD, carries a similar product with L-glutamine, marshmallow, and licorice root.
This product is less expensive than Total Restore but does not contain Zinc-L-carnosine, which has benefits for digestive health.
Another similar product at a lower price point is Endozin by Klaire Labs, which contains Zinc-L-carnosine and L-glutamine. However, it does not include all the additional herbs found in Total Restore.
Total Restore does have benefits for gut health, but it may be an expensive option for some consumers. There are comparable but less expensive options on the market.
Many of the ingredients in Total Restore do have evidence to support the claims around gut wellness, energy, and joint health.
Using this product may help improve digestive concerns, like bloating and provide increased energy.
However, its primary claim to restore gut integrity is tenuous at best. Taking a supplement to treat a condition that may not be the cause of actual health problems doesn’t make much sense to me.
If you believe you have a digestive problem, it is always best to speak to your doctor before taking any supplements. The underlying cause needs to be identified and addressed by either 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 primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.
- Leaky gut - concept or clinical entity? - PubMed:
- Risk factors associated with intestinal permeability in an adult population: A systematic review - PubMed:
- Lectins as PIant Defense Proteins:
- Alterations in intestinal permeability:
- Do dietary lectins cause disease?:
- Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permeability, and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms:
- The Roles of Glutamine in the Intestine and Its Implication in Intestinal Diseases:
- Oral supplementation with l-glutamine alters gut microbiota of obese and overweight adults: A pilot study:
- Is glutamine a conditionally essential amino acid?:
- The Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate on Gut Microbial Composition: A Systematic Review of Evidence from Animal and Human Studies:
- β-Hydroxybutyrate A Signaling Metabolite:
- D-beta-hydroxybutyrate extends lifespan in C. elegans - PubMed:
- Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults - PubMed:
- A Review of Zinc-L-Carnosine and Its Positive Effects on Oral Mucositis, Taste Disorders, and Gastrointestinal Disorders - PMC:
- Zinc supplementation tightens "leaky gut" in Crohn's disease:
- Grape Seed Extract Eliminates Visceral Allodynia and Colonic Hyperpermeability Induced by Repeated Water Avoidance Stress in Rats:
- An Extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra (GutGard) Alleviates Symptoms of Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study:
- Antibiotics | Free Full-Text | Bioactive Compounds, Pharmacological Actions, and Pharmacokinetics of Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) | HTML:
- Inhibitory activity of cinnamon bark species and their combination effect with acarbose against intestinal α-glucosidase and pancreatic α-amylase - PubMed:
- Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes - PubMed:
- Effect of Dietary Maitake (Grifola frondosa) Mushrooms on Plasma Cholesterol and Hepatic Gene Expression in Cholesterol-Fed Mice:
- Oral administration of soluble β-glucans extracted from Grifola frondosa induces systemic antitumor immune response and decreases immunosuppression in tumor-bearing mice - PubMed:
- Clinical evidence on potential health benefits of berries:
- Health Effects of Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Concentrates: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Interventions:
- Gastroprotective activity of essential oil of the Syzygium aromaticum and its major component eugenol in different animal models - PubMed:
- Compounds from Syzygium aromaticum possessing growth inhibitory activity against oral pathogens:
- Black pepper and health claims: a comprehensive treatise - PubMed:
- Prebiotic Potential and Chemical Composition of Seven Culinary Spice Extracts - PubMed:
- The Effectiveness of Processed Grapefruit-Seed Extract as An Antibacterial Agent: II. Mechanism of Action and In Vitro Toxicity:
- Pharmaceuticals | Free Full-Text | The Therapeutic Potential of Naringenin: A Review of Clinical Trials:
- (PDF) Assessment of Protective Effects of Extracts of Zingiber officinale and Althaea officinalis on Pyloric Ligation-Induced Gastric Ulcer in Experimental Animals:
- Berberine Improves Insulin Sensitivity by Inhibiting Fat Store and Adjusting Adipokines Profile in Human Preadipocytes and Metabolic Syndrome Patients - PMC:
- Treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia with the natural plant alkaloid berberine - PubMed:
- The effects of berberine on blood lipids: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - PubMed:
- Licorice Root: