Digestive health affects more than just your gut. When functioning properly, your digestive system helps your body process the foods you eat, provides energy, clears toxins, protects you against disease, and even affects your mood. However, gastrointestinal issues are common for most people at least some time in their life, and for many, the symptoms may occur at least a few times each month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that digestive diseases (all types) affect 60 to 70 million people resulting in nearly 50 million visits to healthcare facilities each year and more than 20 million hospitalizations. Digestive diseases included in the report include everything from hernias to GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), chronic constipation, Irritable and Inflammatory Bowel, Ulcerative Colitis, and Chrohn’s Disease, in addition to other illnesses.
While some of these diseases can be life-threatening if left untreated, for many people, their gut health issues are more an embarrassing annoyance – an annoyance with symptoms they would rather not discuss. So instead, they turn to over-the-counter remedies, often nutritional supplements, to address their issues. In addition to lifestyle and diet, these supplements can help support a balanced microbiome and protect the stomach lining.
This article compares two products in the natural products space purported to do just that, GutMD from 1MD Nutrition and Total Restore from Gundry MD. We first provide an overview of the companies that manufacture these products and the doctors credited with formulating them. We then deep dive into those formulations, comparing ingredients, dosages, and their proprietary, trademarked compounds. Next, we’ll see what consumers have to say about the products and the benefits they have experienced -or not. Finally, we’ll do a pricing comparison, including the cost-per-serving, and let you know where you can access the products.
For those seeking a quick answer as to which is better, in this instance, we go with the GutMD product from 1MD. We love Dr. Gundry and respect his expertise in gut health; however, of those ingredients clinically shown to address gut health, the 1MD product has significantly higher dosages of proven compounds and a lower price per serving.
We hope you’ll read our complete comparison of GutMD vs. Total Restore as we document additional considerations.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: The Companies
In a recent press release, 1MD Nutrition was described as a nutritional supplement brand powered by Los Angeles-based Scale Media. Scale Media is a direct-to-consumer, tech-driven marketing company in the health and wellness space. Other brands in the Scale portfolio include Hair La Vie, Live Conscious, Tru Alchemy, and Essential Elements. Founded in 2013, the company’s proprietary eCommerce and digital marketing strategy have scaled these concepts into multi-million-dollar businesses. In addition to 1MD’s offerings in digestive health (eight products including GutMD), the company markets heart, joint, men’s, bone, immune, and eye health products. Products are doctor formulated through associations with specialists in each area and manufactured in a federally registered, cGMP-compliant, NSF-certified facility. Clinical studies support the ingredients in 1MD products, and the company ensures that dosages are at the appropriate clinical trial amounts.
Dr. David Kahana formulated GutMD. He is board certified in Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, and Medical Nutrition and is President of the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. Impressive.
The company’s mission, as stated on its website, is “helping people live longer, healthier lives through the powerful integration of advanced science and nature.”
Gundry MD employs a similar direct-to-consumer eCommerce strategy marketing its products almost exclusively on its website and various landing pages. The company was founded by Dr. Steven Gundry, one of the world’s pre-eminent heart surgeons. In 2002 he opened the Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs and, in the ensuing years, has become a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world’s top experts on digestive health and the microbiome.
GundryMD.com markets skin and hair care products, dietary supplements, books, magazines, and food. Gundry MD’s supplements offerings are extensive, focusing on digestive health products. Dr. Gundry researches and formulates these supplement products, using trademarked and proprietary ingredients frequently. Manufacturing takes place in a cGMP-compliant facility, and all products are subjected to independent, third-party testing for quality and purity.
The Gundry MD reason for being is “to help dramatically improve human health, happiness, and longevity through my unique vision of diet and nutrition.”
GutMD vs. Total Restore: About The Supplements
GutMD is a doctor-formulated dietary supplement in vegetable capsule form designed to support the health and function of the digestive tract by supporting the gut lining and promoting the correct intestinal bacteria balance. The product contains only three ingredients, Glutamine (an amino acid), Tahl Gum (acacia fiber), and Gut Guard, a patented Licorice Root Extract. The three components work together synergistically to reduce discomfort from digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and indigestion. We delve more deeply into each of these compounds, their dosage, role in the product, and clinical support of their efficacy in a later segment.
GutMD is non-GMO and free of gluten, shellfish, soy, dairy, and preservatives. In addition, 1MD supports the GMP-certified product with a 90 -day money-back guarantee.
Recommended dosage – per the company website, “three (3) capsules, once a day, on an empty stomach with a full glass of water, or as recommended by a healthcare professional. Wait one hour before eating.”
Total Restore from Gundry MD joins 24 Strain Probiotics, PrebioThrive, and Lectin Shield as one of the company’s leading digestive health offerings. Developed by Dr. Gundry, Total Restore features a proprietary formula with sixteen all-natural ingredients designed to address “leaky gut syndrome” and promote healthy gut bacteria to deliver full-body wellness. The blend includes two proprietary, trademarked compounds, PepZin GI and VitaBerry. We explain their function more fully in the formulations segment.
All Gundry products are:
- Manufactured in cGMP-certified facilities
- Third-party tested
- Supported by a 90-day money-back guarantee (when purchased on the Gundry MD website)
Each package contains 90 vegetable capsules, a thirty-day supply. Dosage: Three capsules daily, preferably at your largest meal.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: How they Address Digestive Health
Have you noticed the similarity in what each product does to promote digestive health? GutMD supports the gut lining and promotes the correct intestinal bacteria balance. Total Restore addresses “leaky gut syndrome” and promotes healthy gut bacteria. In essence, both products address the same issues: permeability in the stomach lining and maintaining a healthy gut microbial balance.
The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Institute) reports that an imbalance in the microbiome leads to harmful bacteria penetrating the gut lining, allowing toxins to leak into the bloodstream. These toxins trigger an inflammatory response and irritation, leading to digestive issues such as gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, and potentially food sensitivities and allergies.
To address these issues, both products use ingredients found to be effective in digestive health, glutamine, licorice root, prebiotics, acacia fiber in GutMD, and cloves and mushrooms in Total Restore. The 1MD product contains significantly higher dosages of these ingredients, yet Gundry’s product has more compounds that are proven effective in digestive health.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: Comparison Chart
So, which is better? Let’s first look at the comparison chart below, which addresses many of the attributes we seek in quality supplements.
|GutMD / 1MD||Total Restore / Gundry MD|
|FDA Registered in the U.S.||Yes||Yes|
|Total Dosage||2280 mg||792 mg|
|# of Ingredients||Three||Sixteen|
|Organic||No||Yes – VitaBerry blend|
|Trademarked/Patented||Yes – Gut Guard Licorice Root||Yes – Pepzin Gi / VitaBerry|
|Prebiotic||Yes – Acacia Gum||Yes – Cloves/Mushroom|
|Advertised Benefits||Strengthens Gut Lining, Relieves Digestive Issues, Balanced Microbiome, Immune Support, Joint Comfort, Weight Management||Promotes Healthy Gut Lining, Energy, Focus, Reduces Cravings, Joint Support, Weight Loss|
|Price / per Serving||$39.99 / $1.33 per serving||$49.95 / $1.665 per serving|
|90-Day Money Back Guarantee||Yes||Yes|
|Where to Buy
(Neither product is available in stores).
|Company website, Amazon||Company website, Amazon|
Corporate policies and practices are balanced. The NSF certification is a questionable advantage, as the certification seal does not appear on the GutMD label. NSF may provide the GMP certification for 1 MP. This was not a significant consideration in our decisions. Product accessibility, guarantees, and benefits are all similar. As the only organic compound in Total Restore, the VitaBerry blend is not considered a significant advantage. The primary considerations are the number of ingredients, advantage Gundry – versus the dosages, advantage 1MD, and a more reasonable cost per serving for GutMD.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: The Formulations
GutMD is comprised of three clinically studied ingredients at their clinically effective dosages. Although the product is manufactured in the U.S., ingredients are sourced globally.
- Gut Guard, Licorice Root Extract 150 mg, a proprietary and trademarked compound from Natural Remedies Private Limited, an animal and human healthcare company headquartered in Karnataka, India. The Gut Guard dosage in GutMD is the exact 150 mg dosage used in Natural Remedies’ clinical studies. Licorice root has been used for centuries in Asia and the Mediterranean to treat different ailments. It contains antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it very beneficial for gut and overall health.
- L-Glutamine 1850 mg – Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. This versatile amino is used for pre-and post-operative patients and is a favorite among athletes for repair and recovery. Dosage recommendations vary based on use; however, most studies indicate a minimum of five to ten grams daily for gut health and significantly more in a sports nutrition application. In GutMD, glutamine’s role is to help strengthen and support the gut barrier and prevent leakage into the bloodstream.
- Tahl Gum (Acacia seyal) 280 mg, also known as Gum Acacia or Gum Arabic – from the acacia seyal tree. Acacia is a type of dietary fiber used as a prebiotic in the GutMD formula to nourish and support probiotics and healthy gut bacteria. Additional health benefits of acacia include:
- Increases Satiety
- Helps regulate cholesterol levels
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
- Reduces skin irritation
- Improves insulin resistance
Dr. Gundry’s Total Restore formula is made up of sixteen all-natural ingredients, including two patented formulas. The product contains licorice root, L-Glutamine, and prebiotics, as does GutMD, although in significantly smaller dosages. When assessing the formulations of dietary supplements, there are several pillars we review:
- Proper Ingredients
- Proper Dosages
- Synergy of Ingredients
Total Restore includes nine compounds identified in clinical trials as effective in supporting digestive health:
- Cinnamon Bark
- Licorice Root
- Marshmallow Root
- Cloves (prebiotic fiber)
- Maitake Mushrooms (prebiotic fiber)
- Black Pepper
The first trademarked compound is PepZin GI, a proprietary formula of zinc and L-Carnitine, licensed from Hamari Chemicals, LTD. The second is VitaBerry, from VDF Futureceuticals, a trademarked blend of organic berries. Both are shown through clinical trials to be effective in digestive health; however, neither compound is at the appropriate, clinically studied dosage in the Gundry product. Most of the ingredients in Total Restore are dosed significantly lower than that used in clinical trials or recommended daily allowances. In the absence of clinical studies of the finished Total Restore product, we cannot verify a synergistic effect of the combined sixteen ingredients versus the benefit of higher dosing of the proven individual compounds.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: The Benefits of Each Brand
As we’ve illustrated, both products address digestive health similarly, balancing bacteria in the microbiome and supporting the gut lining. Thus, it’s no surprise the stated benefits are very much alike:
- Addressing the symptoms of leaky gut – bloating, gas, irregularity, diarrhea, and stomach pain
- Increased energy
- Improved focus
- Fewer mood swings
- Reduced cravings – with potential weight loss.
GutMD also mentions boosting the immune system, while Total Restore lists joint health as a benefit due to the N-acetyl D-Glucosamine in its formula.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: Customer Reviews
Reviews on the 1MD site are all positive, five stars, and cite many of the benefits as advertised, with comments ranging from “life-changing” to “it gave me a stomachache.” Amazon rates the product 4.1 of five stars, with 55% five-star reviews. One person noted relief from acid reflux (GERD) and bloating. Another suggested those who have had gallbladder surgery may experience relief from digestive issues.
To be expected, the reviews of Total Restore on Gundry MD are predominately positive. Several users mentioned reduced cravings and improved digestive issues such as bloating, gas, regularity, and less constipation. Increased energy was frequently mentioned. Reviews on Amazon were less optimistic. The product received four of five stars, with 57% five-star reviews (not significantly different than the GutMD results). Two comments of note related to the higher cost of Total Restore and the extended delivery times. Amazon is not an authorized Gundry retailer, and product purchased on Amazon does not qualify for the Gundry money-back guarantee. It appears the product available on Amazon is from third-party resellers versus the company. Several pictures of products bought on Amazon showed broken bottles.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: Price Comparison
GutMD costs $39.99 for a one-month supply on the 1MD website, with discounts available for a three-month supply (10%) and a six-month supply (20%). The best and safest way to buy GutMD is directly from the manufacturer.
Like GutMD, the most reliable place to purchase Total Restore is on the company’s website. Although the list price on the site is $69.95 per unit – the product is available with a Gundry Membership Account (free) at $49.95. In addition, there are quantity discounts for three or six-bottle bundles.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: Things to Consider
Both products have excellent marketing approaches in the digestive health space. They are manufactured in GMP-compliant facilities, submit their product to third-party testing for quality assurance, and are supported by money-back guarantees. Both have trademarked compounds that the ingredient manufacturers have clinically studied. Neither company makes outlandish health benefit claims. One distinction is that GutMD is shellfish-free, whereas Total Restore is made from crustacean shellfish – an important consideration for those with allergies.
Regarding accessibility, we recommend you buy from the company’s website regardless of the product you choose. Neither product is available in brick-and-mortar retail stores. As mentioned, buyer beware if buying Total Restore from Amazon as Gundry does not support third-party resellers.
Serving sizes are the same, three capsules daily. The GutMD product is a less expensive option for those on a budget.
GutMD vs. Total Restore: Which Supplement is Better?
Given the science behind the ingredients and the comprehensive formulations from respected physicians, both products will deliver on their advertised benefits. Forced to choose, we selected GutMD as the superior product based primarily on the dosages, that is, the total dose per serving, and we know that the Gut Guard compound is at the exact dosage used in clinical trials. However, Total Restore does have a broader variety of components, more ingredients proven effective in addressing digestive health, and there may be a synergistic effect. Also, from a cost-value basis, GutMD is less cost per serving for more product.
As mentioned earlier in our article, both companies offer additional products in the digestive health space. Using either product in combination with a probiotic, Gundry’s 24 Strain Probiotic, or 1MD’s Complete Probiotics Platinum may provide a more comprehensive approach to excellent gut health.