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Vital Reds Review: A Detailed Look at Benefits, Ingredients, and Safety

Written by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD 

Last Updated on August 12, 2021

Our Expert Rating:

4.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Support for Claims:3.8
  • Ingredient Safety:5.0
  • Value for the Price:3.0
  • Brand Transparency:4.0

Vital Reds from Gundry MD is a powdered polyphenol blend enhanced with probiotics and herbal extracts. Although it does contain healthful ingredients that could benefit your health, it cannot substitute eating real fruits and veggies.

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Vital Reds Review: A Detailed Look at Benefits, Ingredients, and Safety
Photo by WellnessVerge

Pros

  • Contains antioxidant-rich ingredients
  • May support gut health with probiotics
  • Easy way to increase nutrients in your diet

Cons

  • Might encourage some people to skip eating real fruits and veggies
  • Weight loss claims are supported by limited evidence
  • Expensive

What Is Vital Reds?

Vital Reds is a powdered fruit and vegetable supplement by Gundry MD. It is intended to increase energy levels, improve digestion, and support skin health.

It combines 34 polyphenol-rich “superfruits,” probiotics, plant extracts, fat-burning ingredients, and vitamins and minerals into just one scoop.

The reasoning is that by increasing the nutrient and antioxidant content of your diet by supplementing with these ingredients, you will experience the benefits of improved energy, glowing skin, and better digestion.

Vital Reds powder is designed to be mixed with water or another beverage.

To understand more about Vital Reds, it is important to know about Dr. Steven Gundry, a cardiologist and a “celebrity” self-proclaimed nutrition expert.

He is the author of the best-selling book “The Plant Paradox” and has an extensive dietary supplement line that supports his nutrition theories.

The primary focus of his methodology is improving gut health by avoiding foods that contain lectins.

Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins found in many plant foods, legumes, and whole grains.

Dr. Gundry believes that lectins are harmful to the gut and the microbiome. Therefore, he recommends avoiding many healthful foods to reduce the lectin content of the diet and repair the gut.

According to Dr. Gundry, once the gut is healed, through a combination of a low lectin diet and supplements to improve gut health, all other health issues will, in theory, resolve.

Since Dr. Gundry recommends eliminating many nutrient-rich foods, it makes sense that he would then offer a line of supplements to replace what has been lost with his dietary prescription. This is where Vital Reds comes in.

While those following Gundry’s protocols might benefit from using this product, Vital Reds isn’t just for those following a low lectin diet.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 1 in 10 adults eats enough fruits and vegetables.

Although this product will never substitute a healthy diet, fruit and vegetable powders like Vital Reds have been found to increase antioxidant content in the body and may help improve overall nutrient density in the diet.

This, in turn, could translate to a lower risk of many chronic diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vital Reds

  • What is Vital Reds good for?

    Vital Reds is a powdered fruit and vegetable blend that also contains probiotics, plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals. It is meant to help increase energy, improve digestion, and support skin health.
  • How do you take Vital Reds?

    Just mix one scoop of Vital Reds into 8 ounces of water or your favorite beverage. While you can take Vital Reds as often as you want, exceeding the recommended dose may cause digestive discomfort.
  • How long does Vital Reds last?

    One jar of Vital Reds lasts 30 days if you take one scoop per day.
  • Is there caffeine in Vital Reds?

    No, there is no caffeine in this product.
  • Who should avoid Vital Reds?

    Since Vital Reds is mostly just fruits and vegetables, it is likely safe for most people. However, always speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.
  • Will Vital Reds help me lose weight?

    Vital Reds does contain research-backed metabolism-boosting ingredients that may support weight loss when paired with a healthy diet and exercise. However, don’t expect any miracles from this product if you don’t change your diet or other lifestyle routines.
  • Is Vital Reds good for your heart?

    The polyphenols in Vital Reds may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which can, in turn, improve heart health.

Evaluation of Ingredients

Vital Reds contains over 50 ingredients. The main categories of ingredients include a polyphenol blend of fruit and vegetable powders, a metabolic blend, and probiotics.

While many vitamins and minerals are listed on the nutrition facts panel, they likely come from the fruits and vegetable powders and would not be considered primary active ingredients.

Vital Reds Supplement Facts
Photo by WellnessVerge

One scoop of Vital Reds contains:

Polyphenol Blend, 1760 mg

The Polyphenol Blend contains 34 powdered fruits, vegetables, and seeds. It is well documented that a diet full of fruits and vegetables helps reduce the risk of chronic disease.

But, what about in powdered form? Research has found that even fruit and vegetable powders may have health benefits.

Some studies have evaluated the impact of fruit and vegetable powder on oxidative stress, a trigger of chronic disease.

A 2011 study of 75 smokers found that fruit and vegetable powders were able to reduce some of the oxidative damage caused by smoking, a known trigger for free radical damage.

A 2013 study found that fruit powder, similar to Vital Reds, was able to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in middle-aged women when compared to a placebo.

Fruit and vegetable powders have also been found to strengthen immunity and improve skin health.

Summary:

While it is unknown if fruit and vegetable powders are as beneficial as eating fruits and vegetables, they may still have benefits. Research supports the potential benefits of reducing free radical damage and inflammation and improving immunity and skin health.

Metabolic-Enhancing Blend, 365 mg

The metabolic blend contains 7 thermogenic ingredients designed to help with fat burning and support a healthy metabolism.

The blend includes bitter melon, green tea, white tea, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper fruit, and turmeric. Many of these extracts have anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.

Bitter melon has been found to improve blood sugar and may help with weight management.

But, at this time, most of the research on its benefits is either on animals or has a small sample size.

There is some evidence that the tea extract EGCG may help with weight loss. Both white tea and green tea contain EGCG.

A 2010 review found that consuming tea rich in EGCG may increase metabolism by 4–5% and fat burning by 10–16%.

Cinnamon may have benefits for metabolic health. A 2017 study found that taking 3 grams of cinnamon daily for 16 weeks helped improve blood sugar and reduce waist circumference.

A 2012 study found that consumption of ginger helped increase calorie burn and reduce appetite in a group of overweight men.

A 2019 systematic review of studies found that regular consumption of turmeric helped improve body mass index, decrease body fat, reduce waist circumference, and regulate hormones related to fat metabolism.

Black pepper fruit is likely added to this product for its ability to improve absorption of other nutrients in the blend.

Summary:

While the Metabolic Blend does contain ingredients that may help support a healthy metabolism and fat loss, it is unclear if the dosages in Vital Reds are the clinically studied amounts because the amounts of individual ingredients are not provided. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that the blend will help you lose weight or speed up your metabolism.

Digestive Support Blend, 3 Billion CFUs

The digestive blend is a fairly standard mix of probiotics that includes strains from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus genera, which have been found to be most beneficial to gut health.

These two bacterial genera are the most common in the human digestive tract. They have also been extensively studied for their health benefits as probiotics.

Bifidobacterium helps maintain gut integrity and regulate the inflammatory response. It may also help protect against digestive diseases, such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

Lactobacillus has similar benefits for reducing inflammation and protecting against digestive illness.

Vital Reds also contains prebiotics called fructooligosaccharides. These are carbohydrates that serve as food for the probiotics, helping keep beneficial bacteria healthy in the digestive tract.

Summary:

The specific types of probiotics found in Vital Reds may help improve overall digestive health and lower gut inflammation.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vital Reds contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. These include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, selenium, and chromium.

These are likely coming from the polyphenol blend of fruit and vegetable powders.

B-vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folate, B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid) play a role in energy production but are widely available in many foods.

Selenium and chromium may help with blood sugar regulation and protect against oxidative stress.

Summary:

The vitamins and minerals in this product may help support the overall goals of reducing oxidative stress and optimizing energy production.

Verdict on Claimed Benefits

Below is our summary of the available evidence for the claimed benefits of Vital Reds based on the available research:

  • Supports digestive healthGold Star Evidence
  • Boosts energy levelsModerate Evidence
  • Promotes fat burningModerate Evidence
  • Supports skin health and appearanceStrong Evidence

While there is research to support the claims made by Vital Reds, the use of different “blends” makes it difficult to evaluate if the ingredients are provided in the optimal dosage.

The only claim that can truly be evaluated based on efficacy and dosage is digestive health. The ideal dosage of probiotics is 1 billion CFUs and above, which is present in this product.

For energy and fat burning, which are primarily supported by the metabolic blend, the amount of each ingredient is unclear.

So, while these ingredients do have the potential to boost energy and increase fat burning, this cannot be assumed based on the label.

Antioxidants found in the polyphenol blend support skin health and appearance, but research remains unclear as to the optimal dosage.

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

The dosage of Vital Reds is 1 scoop mixed into a glass of water (8 fl. oz.) or beverage of your choice. It has a berry flavor, which is sweet and enjoyable.

I don’t have any significant safety concerns with this product.

High doses of EGCG may result in liver damage at doses of 800 mg or higher, but there is not enough in just one scoop for that to occur.

Probiotics in the product may sometimes cause digestive problems like bloating and gas.

Vital Reds is soy-free with no added sugars.

The FAQ section for the product states that it has been third-party tested, but I don’t see any information on their website about the type of testing.

As always, you want to speak to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements.

Vital Reds powder mixed with water in a glass
Vital Reds mixes pretty easily with water and has a pleasant earthly taste. Photo by WellnessVerge

Cost and Where to Buy

The best place to purchase Vital Reds is from Dr. Gundry’s website at the following price:

  • One jar (30-day supply): $69.95 ($49.95 as a new customer)
  • Three jars (90-day supply): $199.36 ($134.85 as a new customer)
  • Six jars (180-day supply): $377.73 ($254.70 as a new customer)

Additional discounts are available if you join their Subscribe and Save program. Shipping is free on orders over $60 within the U.S.

Gundry MD does offer a money-back guarantee within 90-days, even if you use all of the products. However, this does not cover shipping and handling to return the product.

How Vital Reds Compares to Alternatives

Like many of Dr. Gundry’s other supplements, Vital Reds is quite expensive compared to its competitors.

There are many fruit and vegetable powders on the market. These products contain a variety of ingredients, but most have some type of fruit and vegetable blend, fiber, and probiotics.

Most of the similar alternatives are less expensive than Vital Reds but have a similar ingredients list. I don’t see a significant difference between these fruit-based powders.

I also don’t see the value of the ingredients of this particular brand over similar alternatives.

A similar product that I have personally used is IVL’s Go Ruby Go. It is primarily a fruit-based powder with probiotics and antioxidants that is also mixed into water. It tastes great and is about half the cost of Vital Reds.

Another alternative option is Divine Health’s Red Superfood Powder. It has similar ingredients but at half the price. While it has fewer ingredients than Vital Reds, there is no specific standard for what these types of products need to contain.

Summary:

There is nothing unique about Vital Reds that would make it stand out from its alternatives, other than the expensive price tag.

The Bottom Line

While the polyphenol and metabolic blends may have some health benefits, Vital Reds is an expensive way to get the nutrients you will easily find eating whole fruits and vegetables.

With the use of “blends,” it is unclear if the dosages provided in this product are enough to result in the purported benefits.

Additionally, drinking your fruits and veggies won’t help you feel satisfied like you would if you ate real food.

However, I am never against people getting more nutrients into their diet. Vital Reds may be an option for a busy person, someone who really doesn’t like vegetables, or someone who just wants to boost their nutrient intake.

So, if you want to pay almost $70 to increase your antioxidants and nutrients slightly, there isn’t any real harm to your health with this product.

Even though Vital Reds is just a fruit and vegetable powder, speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

A Word from Our RD

A better and cheaper approach to increasing the nutrients in your diet would be to challenge yourself to eat 7–9 servings of multi-colored fruits and vegetables daily.

Whole fruits and vegetables provide nutrients, fiber, and satisfaction that cannot be achieved by taking a powder.

The greater variety of plants you can get into your daily diet, the healthier you will be without an expensive supplement.

Fermented foods, like yogurt or kombucha, provide probiotics similar to what is found in this product. These should also be included regularly in your diet.

If you want the metabolism benefits, add some cinnamon to your coffee, turmeric to your food, or sip on tea daily.

Every benefit found in this product can be achieved for a significantly reduced price (and possibly greater benefit) with real food.

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