The Belgian Flemish Gut Flora Project – Have you heard of it? This was a study conducted to see if there was a real correlation between the gut and depression. There were several findings but the most significant of them was that subjects with a certain type of microbiome were associated with depression more often than others. The microbiome in question was that of low abundance. It was also established that the intestinal bacteria were directly involved with the production of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that controls movement, motivation, moods, and memory.
Why is this study mentioned here? Because it is one of the many that were conducted to ascertain the effects the gut has on emotion, cognition, digestion, immunity, and overall well-being. Gut health is central to a lot of processes within you and ignoring the gut is a bad idea. If you do suffer from digestive health issues, the smartest thing to do would be to have it checked out. It may seem harmless now but gut health relies on balance. A small imbalance can be corrected easily but if left to fester, you stand the risk of developing leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Leaky Gut Syndrome has several tell-tale symptoms. Use this as a checklist for you.
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Inflammation throughout the body
- Joint pain
- Eczema or other skin issues
- Brain fog
- Issues with memory, learning, and/or attention
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Sugar cravings
- Autoimmune diseases like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease
There is no diagnosis or cause for the condition but certain risk factors have been identified. These factors affect the health of the beneficial microbes that reside in the gastrointestinal tract. When the health of the good bacteria suffers so do you.
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Infections and disease
- Lupus and other autoimmune disorders
- Chronic high-level stress
- Alcohol intake.
Leaky Gut Syndrome creates gaps in the intestinal wall – intestinal permeability, that allow harmful bacteria, undigested food particles, and toxic substances to enter the bloodstream which then wreaks havoc on the body leading to a variety of health conditions. The inflammation is caused by the substances that escaped the intestinal wall trigger a reaction from the immune system resulting in the body attacking itself. With a leaky gut, the intestine cells are damaged and can no longer produce the digestive enzymes necessary to digest food properly. As a result, the body cannot absorb the nutrients needed to function leading to hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system. You become susceptible to disease and infection. This is not a disease; it is a condition that needs to be corrected and there are several ways to do it.
Leaky Gut Remedies
You can change your way of life to help improve gut health. The aim of the process is to restore the balance of the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Once the balance is restored the situation begins to alter almost immediately.
- High fiber diet: Consuming fruits and vegetables raw or steamed could help you. Fiber cannot be digested in the stomach and is then passed on to the intestines. Here, the fibers are broken down by the bacteria to be used as nutrition for themselves. Keeping healthy bacteria alive and healthy is key.
- Processed or junk food: Avoid them at all costs. Processed usually means that they either have preservatives – not good for the bacteria or added sugar – still worse. Artificial sweeteners can be switched out for honey, fruit, or agave.
- Alcohol: Reduce and, if possible, remove it completely from your diet.
- Stress: Sleep has been found to have profound effects on gut bacteria. It is a cycle, of sorts. Because of stress, you find it hard to have a good night’s rest. The lack of rest has you feeling groggy and fatigued the next day – leaving you incapable of dealing with life in general. This amounts to more stress, no sleep and it goes on. Deal with stress before you get to bed.
- Exercise: Physical activity tires the body out making it easier for you to fall asleep. Also, the endorphins released during a workout spread a feeling of well-being which helps with stress. Start exercising. You don’t need a gym membership; start small with yoga or a daily run.
- Ill health: If you are feeling under the weather have it checked out by a medical practitioner. Sometimes disease and infection can also lead to a change in the healthy gut flora.
- Supplements: Start a probiotic supplement. You will have to replenish the loss of good bacteria in the gut lining and to do so you would need some external help. Supplements can do that for you.
Once you have changed your lifestyle you will see a slow but sure improvement in your digestive system. For proper and speedy recovery, we would suggest the addition of a probiotic supplement to your daily diet. Supplements have the right ingredients in the right doses to bring about a quick change.
Let us help with a few reviews for supplements that claim to improve leaky gut. The first is a Lectin Shield review on its 2 products, namely
i) Lectin Shield and
ii) Total Restore.
Dietary Supplements for Gut Health
No. #1 Gundry MD Lectin Shield.
Holobiotics is the phrase Dr. Steven Gundry uses to refer to the lifestyle and diet choices people must make to rebalance the gut microbiome. And this is the motto behind all Gundry MD products which are mostly food supplements. Lectin Shield claims to use its unique formula to promote regularity of bowel movements, reduce gas and bloating, and to curb food cravings. Marketed as both a dietary and probiotic supplement, the presence of MSM and N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine, may also help with joint pain. Before you buy Lectin Shield, you need to know how it works.
What are Lectins?
Lectins are proteins that are naturally found in foods like legumes, soybean, grains, and nuts, where they appear in a higher concentration. These proteins protect the plants in nature like a defense system. Lectins aren’t really good for you as they are considered the reason for obesity and intestinal permeability. They block the absorption of minerals into the body. Once consumed, they bind to carbohydrates in the stomach and interfere with the digestion process.
Cooking plant foods with wet high heat methods could block harmful lectins or inactivate them as they are water-soluble and are found on the outer surface of foods. Stewing, boiling, or even soaking them can help with lectin removal.
All you have to do is take 2 pills twice a day along with your meal. Gundry MD Lectin Shield will do the rest by putting its ingredients to work. The formula is replete with natural elements all working to prevent lectin overload in your system.
Does It Work?
Everything in the world has two sides to it and Gundry MD Lectin Shield does too. According to Dr. Gundry, Lectin Shield is the most significant medical innovation he has developed to date. A little tooting never hurt but we wouldn’t completely agree with him and we can explain why. The good things about Gundry MD Lectin Shield first:
- Even though it is marketed as a dietary supplement for controlling weight gain, Lectin Shield is capable of working against leaky gut syndrome, Lectins are known to damage the gut lining and by blocking harmful lectins from working, this product can help.
- It protects the GI tract by building a barrier on the inside walls of your intestines. Because of the barrier that blocks lectins, your gut health would improve immensely.
- Improved gut would result in an improved immune system and even provide relief from autoimmune diseases.
- Among all the ingredients, two of them in this supplement are known remedies for joint pain. So if you have bad knees, Lectin Shield could fix it.
- Gundry MD products are herbal and natural.
- There is a 90-day money-back guarantee should you not be satisfied with the product.
- Lectin Shield works on the presumption that digestive issues are solely driven by lectins (which it is not). As a gut health supplement, this fails on several counts. There is no probiotic content that can replenish the damaged bacteria in the gut. Prebiotic content is as good as absent.
- There are some side effects like heartburn, rashes, and digestive issues. Some side effects worsen if you have health conflicts with the ingredients.
- Lectins affect people differently. Before you try Lectin Shield, a doctor’s opinion must be taken. Your gut distress could be a result of something other than lectin intake.
- Lectin Shield does not suggest a lectin-free diet plan or restrictions that must be followed along with the supplement. That bit has been left up to the user to continue to consume lectins or to follow a lectin-free diet.
- The supplement is based off of a hypothesis that harmful dietary lectins are the sole reason for obesity and ailing gut health. Nothing could be further from the truth. The leaky gut syndrome is mostly the result of a series of causes.
- The official website features rave Lectin Shield reviews but elsewhere, a different picture is seen. Most users mention ineffectiveness, price, and elevated distress as a reason to stop the use of Lectin Shield.
- If you have a shellfish allergy, Lectin Shield ingredients can trigger reactions so it is not for you.
No. #2: Gundry MD Total Restore
Another dietary supplement by Dr. Steven Gundry, Total Restore claims to help with gut health, energy, and focus issues and to curtail weight gain. Using several natural ingredients, the supplement aims to improve the symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome. Since the company is an established player in the supplementary world, a lot of sales have been made and a lot of people have claimed that Gundry MD Total Restore has helped them.
Does It Work?
The end result that Total Restore promises are relief from bloating and supporting focus and weight loss. As the product helps with leaky gut symptoms, it also promotes overall health and well-being. Total Restore declares to work on the gut lining and in doing so can bring about all round gut health. As a byproduct, you also lose weight and experience some significant loss of fat. There is some evidence that the elements included in the Total Restore formula can benefit digestive health but to what extent and if the effects are the same for all is still in question.
The suggested dosage is 3 pills a day, if possible, all at once with the largest meal you have that day. Try to keep a 24-hour gap between each dose so that the product can function properly.
Just like Lectin Shield, Total Restore also has two sides to it.
- Some ingredients involved in the supplement do have scientific backing to the claim that Total restore can help with leaky gut symptoms.
- The elements used are natural and pure to aid human health.
- There is a significant possibility that the product can improve digestive health.
- If you are trying to lose weight as well, Total restore can curb food cravings. It can also help with joint pain due to its inclusion of N-acetyl D-glucosamine.
- The refund policy is quite flexible. A money-back guarantee is provided should you not take a liking to the product.
- Allergic reactions can occur as Total Restore uses a rather large number of ingredients. All potential users are advised to read the label before investing in the product.
- It is NOT 100% vegan friendly as some filler like gelatin may have been used in the manufacturing process.
- The product aims at gut distress reversal, control weight gain, and the ability to boost energy. That is a lot of promise from one supplement and whether Total Restore can actually fulfill this promise is a ‘maybe’.
- It is slightly more expensive than other supplements. Nearly $70 for a month’s supply.
- Just as with Lectin Shield, Gundry MD Total Restore does not have a guide as to what lifestyle changes might be needed to have the supplement work properly. Users are supposed to work it out from the first basics.
- There seems to be no probiotic element in the Total Restore formula. A leaky Gut means that there is a significant reduction in the good gut bacteria and this supplement does nothing to replenish the numbers.
To understand how both these supplements work, a closer look has to be taken at the ingredients.
The Gundry MD Supplements and its Formula
Both, Lectin Shield and Total Restore are products of the same company, Gundry MD. And like other Gundry MD products, these two claims to be restorative dietary supplement with a wide variety of health benefits. Both supplements declare to benefit the health of joints along with a healthy gut lining.
The only common ingredient in both recipes is N acetyl D glucosamine, the Lectin Shield has 300 mg of this ingredients while the Total Restore has 142 mg of it. This is an amino derivative from the shells of crabs and other shellfish (allergen alert!). There is scientific backing to the claim that this can block lectins from high lectin foods. It can also support digestive health and joint health. N-Acetyl-D-Glucosamine plays an integral role in preventing gut microbes from getting GI walls ensuring intestinal health and improving inflammation.
It does have several benefits but the side effects that one may encounter are also a reality. These include diarrhea, upset stomach, and indigestion.
Gundry MD Lectin Shield features a total of 9 ingredients while Gundry MD Total Restore has a whopping 15. Here are the elements unique to each:
|Gundry MD Lectin Shield Ingredients||Gundry MD Total Restore Ingredients|
|Bladderwrack, 200 mg: Seaweed from the kelp family. Has well-known benefits on the digestive system. Relief from diarrhea and constipation. Also helps to heal wounds and is used as a remedy for GERD.||L-Glutamine, 213 mg: An amino acid supporting intestinal cell health. Naturally occurring in the body but has to be supplemented in times of distress.|
|D-Mannose, 100 mg: Is a lectin that is key to aiding immune cells lock on to foreign invaders in the body. It has lectin blocking properties and antioxidant properties. Instrumental to kidney, liver, and blood health.||Licorice Root Extract, 54 mg: Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Acts as a natural antacid.|
|Okra, 100 mg: A fruit. It has raw polysaccharides that can bind with different types of lectins. It also contains polyphenol – antibacterial and antioxidant in nature. Basic nutrient quotient is high in vitamin C & B, folic acid, potassium, and fiber.||Magnesium Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, 86 mg: A ketone body that boosts energy levels but has no effect on the digestive tract.|
|Mucin, 100 mg: Animal-based tissue extract that is slimy in texture known as sialic acid. Protects the digestive tract and blocks lectins. Has cosmetic applications as it prevents dry skin, has anti-aging properties, and boosts collagen production.||Grape Seed Extract, 17 mg: Helps restore the gut lining and may heal leaky gut syndrome (more research required). Usually used as a preventive for inflammation, IBS, or intestinal disorders.|
|Sodium Alginate, 100 mg: From cell walls of brown algae, it positively influences cholesterol and blood pressure. Has no side effects whatsoever.||Black Pepper, 17 mg: Scientifically proven to have several health benefits from nutrient absorption to reliving gut issues. An antioxidant that prevents flatulence, bloating, and bowel distention and also has anti-histamine factors too.|
|Vegetable Peptase, 50 mg: A protease enzyme that helps the digestive system by breaking down toxic proteins. Has pain relief and joint health properties as well.||Wormwood, 50 mg: Traditional remedy for liver and gall bladder distress. Relieves intestinal cramps and aids digestion.|
|MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), 50 mg: Works with N-acetyl-d-glucosamine to relieve joint pain, and moreover has anti-inflammatory properties. Blocks lectins too.||Cinnamon Bark Powder, 50 mg: An adaptogen that optimizes the intestinal environment for the gut bacteria to thrive in. Suppresses the growth of bad bacteria as well.|
|Larch Arabinogalactan, 50 mg: Starch-like chemical that is plant-based. Nourishes the digestive tract by increasing butyrate production. This helps alleviate digestive discomfort. Aids, cholesterol control, and better immunity.||Maitake Mushroom, 34 mg: Rich in antioxidants, beta-glucans, copper, potassium, minerals, amino acids, and fiber. Has healing properties that may reflect on the digestive system.|
|Cloves, 17 mg: Improves digestive discomfort by encouraging enzyme secretions. Also eases gastric irritability, flatulence, dyspepsia, and nausea.|
|Grapefruit Seed Extract, 17 mg: Usually used to fight fungal pathogens that live in the gut, it can affect IBS or leaky gut symptoms.|
|Marshmallow Root Powder, 10 mg: traditionally used to relieve digestive discomforts, it can help with heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation. The texture is such that it coats the wall of the gastrointestinal tract thereby protecting it.|
|Zinc L Carnosine, 10 mg: Vital mineral with several health benefits. With regard to the gut, it has restorative properties to the gut lining and heals damaged parts of the GI tract. It helps with digestive problems as well.|
|Berberine, 3 mg: Affects the intestinal mucous lining that is produced by a bacterium that resides in the gut. Influences the gut flora by affecting the composition of bacteria.|
|Organic strawberry, Blueberry, raspberry, Tart Cherry Fruit, Elderberry, and Cranberry, 22 mg: They have anti-inflammatory properties that influence the gut. Also, very good as a chemopreventive, it helps to the reduction of colon cancer symptoms.|
When you look at the ingredients and their properties, you can clearly see that there are factors that can help with the symptoms of gut inflammation. The bottom line, there are two major omissions.
- The first being, the absence of any probiotic content as an ingredient: Both Lectin Shield and Total Restore do not feature any beneficial bacterial strains that can replenish the gut microbiome. Gut distress is the result of an imbalance in the composition of the gut bacteria (good and bad) and both the Gundry MD food supplements fail on this count.
- And the second on being, the dearth of prebiotic substances: To help heal the gut, it is again vital to provide the beneficial bacteria with nutrition and nourishment. Again, both supplements fail here. Apart from the minimal addition of okra in Lectin Shield, there is no prebiotic fiber to be found. This is a major letdown as a supplement for leaky gut.
Lectin Shield pays more attention to lectins and the influence of these harmful proteins on the body. Total restore has an impact on the actual physical symptoms of gut disorders but has zero impact on the actual problem of distress. Even though the Gundry MD official website features rave reviews from confirmed customers, it is possible that these supplements ease the symptoms and that is why users find the products effective.
Nevertheless, as far as, supplements for the gut are concerned, there are far more efficient products out there. So how about we compare these two best pre-probiotic supplements against another two.
The Best Alternatives to Gundry MD
Gut+ by Probiology & Biotics 8 by Bauer Nutrition
Probiology Gut+ and Bauer Nutrition Biotics 8 are two of the most sought-after gut supplements on the market today – and it has practical reasons behind supporting them. Both these supplements are packed with both probiotic and prebiotic elements that ensure that the gut microbiome is restored, healthy and balanced. Let’s look at the ingredients for Gut + and Biotics 8, starting with what they have in common.
- A central player in all probiotic supplements is the Lactobacillus family. There are several members in this group and they all have slightly varying effects on the gut. In its entirety, this bacterial strain positively influences the microbiome. Acidophilus, plantarum, and paracasei feature in both products while Biotics 8 includes casei, rhamnosus, and fermentum as well. The lactobacillus family already resides in the body as they are commonly found in dairy and fermented food products. In short, their role is to fight off the bad disease-causing bacteria in the gut, absorb nutrients and break down food into substances that can be used by the body.
- Bifidobacterium is another bacterial strain that appears in both Gut+ and Biotics 8. Gut+ uses the lactis strain while Biotics 8 uses the longum, bifidum, and breve strains. Again, already living in your gut, these bacteria help with diarrhea, constipation, and other intestinal disorders. They work almost the same way as lactobacilli do but with one major addition. They lower the intestinal permeability stopping toxins from entering the bloodstream.
- Fructooligosaccharides are prebiotics, another prebiotic fiber added to both Gut+ and Biotics 8. It is a fiber that can be broken down and consumed only by bacteria in the gut. The sole purpose of adding this to any supplement is so that the probiotics are not starved – they give nourishment too regardless of whether you consume prebiotic fiber or not.
Gut+ supplement adds several other ingredients like Maktrek marine polysaccharide complex, learn more about Gut+ from its Official Probiology Website. Biotics 8 on the contrary, includes inulin, saccharomyces boulardii, lipase, and vitamin D3 all of which work towards the healthy recovery of the gut, learn more about Biotics 8 from its Official Bauer Nutrition Website.
Gundry MD Lectin Shield vs Gundry MD Total Restore vs Probiology Gut+ vs Bauer Nutrition Biotics 8
|Gundry MD Lectin Shield||Gundry MD Total Restore||Probiology Gut+||Bauer Nutrition Biotics 8|
|CFU||NA||NA||40 billion||20 billion|
|Audience||All||All||For Women||For Men|
|Dosage||4 pills a day||3 pills a day||2 pills a day||3 pills a day|
|Where to Buy?||Various online stores||Various online stores||Visit the Official Gut+ Website.||Visit the Official Biotics 8 Website.|
Looking at the comparison, you can easily see why Gundry MD Lectin Shield and Gundry MD Total Restore fall short on so many counts. When looking for something to relieve gut distress, you obviously would want a supplement that removes the problem entirely instead of just soothing the symptoms temporarily. Gut+ and Biotics 8 assuage the dilemma entirely which would lead to the disappearance of symptoms. The Gundry MD supplements apply themselves to the physiological aspects of leaky gut not fully addressing the issue at hand. That is a mistake. The bottom line for you is, as the consumer of this supplement, it is a total disappointment.
When looking for complete and wholesome relief from Gut related distress that also delivers overall health benefits, it is a strong suggestion to give Lectin Shield and Total Restore a pass and opt for supplements like Gut+ or Biotics 8.