Hippocrates – “All disease begins in the gut”.
Researchers have found that the makeup of your microbiome (the bacteria and yeasts that inhabit your intestines) can influence your mental health and well-being (R), determine how strong your immune system and immune response is (R), help you in maintaining a healthy weight (R) and of course, regulate your digestive function.
I think the evidence is pretty conclusive by now: A Good gut = a happy and healthy life.
Enter Total Gut Health by Onnit
Total Gut Health by Onnit claims to contain everything you need to optimize your gut health in one package. This includes digestive enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics and betaine HCl. The convenience factor definitely intrigued me.
These ingredients are designed to work together to regulate your microbiome, balancing the microorganisms within and enhancing your intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from your food and remove toxins effectively through your waste.
Onnit advertises that their product:
- helps the gut to better break down food and absorb nutrients
- supports the immune system
- helps support healthy gut flora
- assists with digesting major macronutrients
When purchasing any type of probiotic supplement, one of the top things you need to be aware of is what strain (or strains) of bacteria they contain. Many contain bacteria that can’t survive the harsh environment in your stomach or that have a short shelf-life.
What Are You Really Made Of?
The ingredient list for Total Gut Health is pretty impressive.
Onnit states that the five strains of bacteria they have selected are specifically chosen for their ability to survive the acidic nature of your stomach. This highly increases the chance that the probiotics will make it to your intestines intact.
Total Gut Health also contains the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces Boulardii(SB), which has been shown in multiple studies to support and strengthen the protective effects of your gut flora (R).
This essentially means your gut flora works harder and for longer to keep you healthy and keep the bad bacteria out.
A healthy gut flora is absolutely crucial in preventing malicious bacteria and yeasts from attaching themselves and growing in your intestines.
Total Gut Health also contains two prebiotics. Prebiotics are compounds that probiotics as a food source, strengthening them and helping them flourish.
Total Gut Health contains Dandelion Root and Jeruseluem Artichoke that fuel probiotic colonies. These carbohydrates pass through the digestive system without being broken down, and they pass relatively untouched until the reach the digestive tract. This makes them an ideal food source for probiotic bacteria.
Total Gut Health also contains an enzyme complex called “DigesTech”. This combination of enzymes helps to break down the varied types of food we consume. This includes fats, proteins, carbs, lactose, and cellulose.
Breaking down these food sources allows our body to more effectively use the energy and nutrients in our food.
Finally, Onnit added Betaine HCl, which aims to keep the stomach acid at the proper pH, which assists in breaking down food and by activating certain enzymes.
Each serving or pack of this product contains 7 pills, which they say should be taken along with the largest meal of the day.
Personally, I’ve been told by my physician to take probiotics in the morning on an empty stomach, such as when you first wake up and before you go to bed. The other capsules should be taken along with the largest meal, as they work best when they are consumed either right before or during a meal.
- Convenient “all in one” package for gut health
- Easier digestion for large meals
- 5 strains of probiotics
- Inclusion of HCl and digestive enzymes set it apart from other products
- 7 pills to take in each package
- Slightly pricy at $34.95 for 15 packets
When looking at reviews from others around the web, many users noted increased energy and mental clarity. Some users with diseases that effect digestive function such as Type 1 Diabetes and Chron’s disease said they noticed a big difference while using Total Gut Health.
There are also some 1 and 2 star reviews that say the product gave them stomach aches. I believe for some people, 7 pills at once may be a bit too much to jump right into.
I would recommend taking the probiotics in the morning or at night, on an empty stomach. Then you may want to try just the digestive enzymes first, and after your body has adjusted you can add the rest of the pills.
How Does It Stack Up Against Similar Products?
Other products, such as ZenWise Health’s Digestive Enzymes plus Prebiotics and Probiotcs, contain a similar ingredient list to Onnit’s Total Gut Health but do not contain Betaine HCl. Betaine HCl is a chemical which helps to restore your stomach’s normal pH level, increasing your stomach’s ability to break down food.
Total Gut Health also contains a broader spectrum of probiotics than ZenWise’s product. The probiotics in Total Gut Health have also been selected specifically for their ability to resist stomach acid and make it all the way to your digestive system.
Both are great products, but Onnit’s Total Gut Health is a more complete system with strong research to back up all the ingredients they used.
Overall, Onnit’s Total Gut Health looks to be the total package. By combining probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, probiotic yeasts as well as Betaine HCl, they’ve created a product that addresses nearly every facet of complete gut health.
All of the ingredients are high quality and specially chosen for their unique properties. The packages do contain a lot of pills, which can be difficult and / or inconvenient to use, but the results seem to be worth it.
If you’re looking for even more goodness, check out my review of Athletic Greens, a very powerful green drink with amazing claims.