Just how important is gut health? It breaks down our food and absorbs the necessary nutrients to support the body’s functions. But did you know that research suggests your gut microbiome (the trillions of microbes in your digestive tract) affects virtually every organ in your body, your immune system, cardiovascular and mental health, and even your sleep?
More than 70% of your immune cells reside in the gut for disease prevention, general wellbeing, and mental health. An imbalance of gut microbiota (when harmful microbes outnumber the good) or lack of diversity in the gut microbiome can lead to a host of adverse outcomes such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancers, obesity, and autoimmune diseases.
Clearly, maintaining gut health is essential for your wellbeing. Diet, lifestyle choices, and antibiotics affect gut health. The typical Western diet negatively influences gut microbiota composition, while a vegetarian or Mediterranean diet has a positive influence. Smoking and alcohol are negative influences, as are a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and too little sleep. Signs of poor gut health include digestive issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, persistent fatigue, poor sleep, your mental or emotional state (mood swings or anxiety), or frequent colds.
A healthy diet high in fiber, a range of whole foods focused on plant-based, regular physical activity, stress reduction, and good sleep can help you improve your gut health. Many people supplement these strategies with dietary aids such as probiotics. In this article, we review and compare two products in this space Gut Restore from Primal Harvest and Bio Complete 3 from Gundry MD. Both go beyond probiotics to include a prebiotic component; when pre- and probiotics are combined, they are referred to as synbiotics, and each adds a postbiotic ingredient to help protect the stomach wall and lining.
Primal Gut Restore vs. Bio Complete 3: Overview of Biotic Products
First, there were probiotic dietary supplements. Probiotics are good microorganisms intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. Still the largest segment of digestive health, probiotic products now contain multiple strains and billions of CFUs (Colony Forming Units). Next, prebiotics (a type of dietary fiber) were introduced, designed to feed and support the probiotics and improve their survival in the gastrointestinal tract. The combination, synbiotics, are thought to have a superior effect versus probiotics alone. Finally, postbiotics, metabolites, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and functional proteins were added to the mix to improve the gut microbiome, protect the stomach lining, and enhance overall health.
Our subject products are:
- Dietary supplements in capsule form.
- Using a “three in one” formula.
- Containing pre, pro, and postbiotics.
They are very similar products brought to market by companies with similar approaches.
Primal Gut Restore
Primal Gut Restore is a dietary supplement made by Primal Harvest, the same makers as many other well-known products, including Primal Greens, Primal Harvest Probiotics, Primal Flex, Primal Total Male+, and more.
Primal Gut Restore comes in capsule form designed to support gut health by nurturing the gut flora and protecting the intestinal lining. The product contains only three ingredients, two patented compounds, a probiotic, three billion CFUs of B. longum BB536, the postbiotic, 1000 mg of CoreBiome Tributyrin, and 100 mg of xylooligosaccharides (XOS) prebiotics.
Primal Gut Restore is manufactured in the USA in a cGMP-certified (Good Manufacturing Practices) facility with globally sourced ingredients. The product is gluten, dairy, and soy-free, is independently third-party lab-tested for quality and purity. It also has a ninety-day money-back guarantee.
The dosage is two capsules, preferably with a morning or afternoon meal and water, and there are thirty servings per container.
Bio Complete 3 from Gundry MD
Bio Complete 3 is a doctor-formulated dietary supplement in capsule form designed for a healthy gut microbiome and to support the gut lining, alleviating the symptoms of a “leaky gut.” Dr. Steven Gundry, founder of Gundry MD, preeminent heart surgeon, NY Times best-selling author, and digestive health expert, formulated Gut Complete 3 with three trademarked ingredients, a prebiotic, probiotic, and the same postbiotic, Core-Biome, as found in Gut Restore.
All Gundry MD products, including this one, Lectin Shield, TriTrim, and more, are manufactured in the U.S. in FDA-registered, cGMP-compliant facilities; they are third-party tested for quality and purity and carry a ninety-day money-back guarantee. Using only patented ingredients, licensed from industry leaders in the natural products space, and clinically tested for efficacy, Bio Complete 3 is a thoroughly researched and developed formula.
The dosage for Bio Complete 3 is a rather onerous four capsules per serving – two capsules twice per day, preferably before a meal. Dr. Gundry recommends taking your first dose at breakfast to boost mental and physical energy. There are 120 capsules, a thirty-day supply in each bottle.
Primal Gut Restore vs. Bio Complete 3: Which Product is Superior for Gut Health?
First, let’s establish that both products are designed for someone experiencing the symptoms of poor gut health. They go beyond prophylactic/preventative probiotic supplementation. Neither is a great stand-alone probiotic as they do not contain sufficient variety in strains nor the number of CFUs typically required.
These products have a lot in common, addressing the same issues and providing the same benefits, with remarkably similar formulations with minor deviations in dosages. Beyond that, their go-to-market strategies are nearly identical, available only on their websites, and at the same price for a thirty-day supply. The chart below illustrates the similarities:
|Primal Gut Restore||Bio Complete 3|
|FDA Registered in the U.S.||Yes||Yes|
|Label Transparency||No Proprietary Blends||No Proprietary Blends|
|Trademarked/Patented||Yes, two ingredients||Yes, all three ingredients|
|Probiotic||Yes, 56.25 mg / 3 billion CFUs||Yes, 16mg / 2 billion CFUs|
|Prebiotic||Yes, 100 mg||Yes, 200 mg|
|Postbiotic||Yes, 1000 mg *||Yes, 1000 mg|
|Advertised Benefits||Whole Body Wellness, Digestion and Regularity, Immune System, Gut Lining Support||Digestive Health, Immune Support, Weight Management, Prevents Leaky Gut, Energy|
|Price / per Serving||$49.95 / $1.665 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|
As to formulations, both products feature the same postbiotic, CoreBiome, at 1000 mg dosage. The Primal Harvest website contradicts itself by showing two different Supplement Facts panels on the product’s web page. One panel indicates 300 mg of Tributyrin as the postbiotic compound; the other lists 1000 mg of CoreBiome. The customer service department promptly responded to our query, replying:
“We apologize for any confusion caused by the different Supplement Facts panels displayed on our website. Gut Restore contains CoreBiome Tributyrin 30% Granules, which provide 1000mg of tributyrin. CoreBiome is a unique postbiotic that helps fuel the cells in your gut lining, supporting a healthy gut barrier and potentially preventing a “leaky gut” condition. It is important to note that CoreBiome is the only tributyrin in the world with clinical data demonstrating its ability to reach the colon.”
Even more interesting, previously CoreBiome was one of the key differentiators in Bio Complete. Gundry had an exclusive global distribution agreement for the ingredient with Compound Solutions – one of the more well-respected nutraceutical ingredient manufacturers in the natural products industry. Obviously, the time frame for this exclusivity has expired.
The Gundry product has a slight edge with a patented prebiotic and double the dosage; however, given the role of the prebiotic, we do not consider this a significant factor.
Both products are somewhat under-dosed in probiotics, so we reviewed the clinical data of the ProDURA in Bio Complete 3, a registered trademark of UAS Laboratories, versus the B. longum BB536 of Moringa Probiotics in Gut Restore.
B. longum BB536
The Moringa probiotic, Human-Residential Bifidobacteria (HRB) probiotic strain, has been in existence for more than fifty years, was GRAS registered by the FDA in 1996, and has been clinically tested in more than 200 different studies to support its efficacy claims:
- Improvement of gastrointestinal conditions
- Maintenance of intestinal microflora balance
- Immune response support
- Protection against microbial infections
ProDURA Bacillus Coagulans
UAS Laboratories (now owned by Nebraska Cultures) positions itself as The Probiotic Company and has been providing its ingredients to more than 45 countries for the past thirty years. ProDURA, like B. longum, has achieved GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status from the FDA. As reported by the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnical Information), clinical studies show that ProDURA is a highly resilient probiotic that has been shown to:
- Aid digestion
- Relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Discourage bacterial, yeast and fungal infections
- Contribute to lowering cholesterol levels
Once again, there is no clear-cut winner. The patented ingredients and the companies are well established in commerce nearly worldwide. The ingredients are supported by clinical trials, address many of the same issues, and provide similar benefits. Gundry may get a slight edge as ProDURA is shown to address IBS, and these products would typically appeal to those with more severe digestive issues.
Our objective is to always provide a recommendation as to which product is better. That is very challenging in this instance, as both products are excellent, and the companies follow best-in-class protocols. Gut Restore has the edge in one area, the recommended serving size of two capsules versus the four capsules required with Bio Complete 3. For those who don’t like taking pills, that may be a deciding factor. Otherwise, the only differentiator is the reputation and resume of Dr. Steven Gundry. Gut Restore is said to be expertly formulated on the Primal Harvest website – versus doctor-formulated by one of the leading experts in the field.
For those seeking a probiotic as a preventative or for general health, there are myriad products on the market with more strains, delivering significantly higher CFUs. Some of our favorites in the space include consumer product giants such as Proctor & Gamble, Garden of Life, DuPont, and Nestle.
Primal Gut Restore vs. Bio Complete 3: Health Benefits
Gut Restore, and Bio Complete 3 promise many of the same benefits, touching on digestive health first, balancing the microbiome, and protecting the stomach lining and gut barrier. Additional benefits include:
- Immunity support
- Healthy aging
- Overall wellness
- Improved sleep
- Brain Health
- Improved Skin
- Weight Management – recent studies show probiotics beneficial in weight management for the obese.
Bio Complete 3 significantly emphasizes protecting the stomach lining and preventing “leaky gut syndrome.”
Primal Gut Restore vs. Bio Complete 3: What Current Users Have to Say About the Products
Given the similarities of our comparison products, we decided to review the company websites and Amazon.com to see what current customers are saying.
Primal Gut Restore
Based on 216 customer reviews on the company website, the product receives a 4.76 rating on a scale of five. A statement also refers to over four hundred five-star reviews on Amazon. On the Amazon site, there are 613 reviews with a 4.1 rating.
The most frequently mentioned benefits stated are:
- It keeps my gut balanced
- Better digestion
- Relief from “leaky gut” symptoms
- Improved sleep
Gundry MD Bio Complete 3
The Gundry MD website has 1,165 customer reviews with an average rating of 4.1, including 622 five-star reviews. Amazon cites over 4,100 customer reviews with an average rating of 3.9, including over 2,300 five-star reviews.
Frequently mentioned benefits include:
- Increased Energy
- Reduced bloating
- Eliminated cravings
- Weight loss
It should be noted that until recently, Amazon was not an authorized retailer and products purchased on Amazon were from resellers leading to dissatisfaction with deliveries and a significantly higher price.
As Dr. Gundry is fond of saying, “Individual bodies can react differently to the very same compounds – I’m aware that results can vary.” So, even though Gut Restore receives higher average ratings, there are far more satisfied customers with Bio Complete 3, as evidenced by the chart below.
|Primal Gut Restore||Gundry Bio Complete|
|5 Star Reviews on Company Site||200 or less||622|
|5 Star Reviews on Amazon.com||355||2317|
Primal Gut Restore vs. Bio Complete 3: Price Comparison
Primal Gut Restore
On the company website, a one-time purchase is $49.95 for a thirty-day supply. The company offers a subscription of 30 servings (auto-shipped monthly) at $39.96 with free shipping.
As previously noted, there is a ninety-day money-back guarantee.
Gundry MD Bio Complete 3
GundryMD.com now offers a single bottle, 120 capsules, a thirty-day supply of Bio Complete 3 for $49.95. They also offer a three-pack at $134.85 and a six-pack at $254.70. Joining the Gundry VIP Club will save you an additional 10%. This pricing represents a significant decline versus previous Gundry pricing. There is free shipping for orders exceeding $49.00.
Gundry offers a ninety-day, money-back guarantee. This guarantee now applies to products purchased on Amazon as well as those purchased on the Gundry site.
Are These Supplements Safe?
Both products are for use by healthy adults over the age of 18. Those with pre-existing conditions and those taking prescription medications should consult their healthcare provider before adding a new supplement to their regimen.
In Summary: Primal Gut Restore vs. Bio Complete 3
If you’re among the nearly 40% of adults who suffer from some form of gastrointestinal disorder, you may want to consider a synbiotic product, preferably one with a postbiotic. Either of the products reviewed in this article would be excellent options; however, as always, we recommend you review the formulations with your physician first.