Onnit Total Gut Health Review

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Jennifer Hughes

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Loaded with prebiotics and probiotics, betaine hydrochloride, and plenty of natural extracts, Onnit Total Gut Health is aiming for a comprehensive approach to digestive health. After a close look at everything from the ingredients to the product support, we have found the brand's claims to be valid.

Our Rating:

A

» Rating Methodology

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Our Rating Methodology

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Ingredient Quality: A
  • Supporting Research: A
  • Reported Side Effects: A
  • Brand Experience: A-
  • Value for the Price : A-
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Welcome to our Onnit Total Gut Health review!

The next stop in our tour of the brand’s product catalog brings us to a capsule marketed to improve digestive health.

As usual, our editorial team critically evaluated the product sourcing, manufacturing, pricing, and other standards related to this product to see if Onnit’s claims held up.

In the end, Total Gut Health received an A – here’s how.

Onnit Total Gut Health
  • Description

    Pro-digestion supplement heavily fortified with probiotics, prebiotics, betaine HCl, and other research-backed ingredients.

  • Ingredients

    DigesTech Amylase, Protease, Acid Stable Protease, Glucoamylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Pectinase, Bacillus Amylase, Maltase, Lactase, Beta Glucanase, Alpha Galactosidase, Xylanase, Invertase, Hemicellulase, Serratiopeptidase, Pepsin, Organic Fennel (seed), Organic Ginger (root) Extract, AstraZyme [A proprietary blend of Protease, Astragalus (root) Extract, Tienchi (root) Extract and Trace Minerals], Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water), Rice Hull Concentrate (Nu-Flow®), Maltodextrin (Tapioca) Saccharomyces boulardii Saccharomyces boulardii, Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water), Stabilized Rice Bran (RiBran®) Rice Hull Concentrate (Nu-Flow®) Betaine HCl Betaine Hydrochloride (HCl), Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water) Prebiotic Organic Jerusalem Artichoke (root), Organic Dandelion (root), Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water) Probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water)

Pros and Cons

To learn more about how we rank supplements, you can view our editorial process here.

Here’s everything we learned and experienced throughout our own trial of Total Gut Health.

  • Pros
  • Loaded with evidence-backed ingredients
  • Affordable for the quality
  • Tasteless and easy to take
  • Helpful for indigestion
  • Cons
  • 7 capsules per serving
  • Can cause serious side effects (probiotics) in certain populations
  • Several ingredients require further research
  • Several upsell screens in the checkout process

Ingredient Quality

Summary:

Grade: A

Onnit hit on all of our major ranking criteria in this category, earning them a solid A for ingredient quality.

Between our review of the Onnit website and follow-up conversations with members of their team, we learned that Onnit sources ingredients from various partner farms that practice sustainable, humane methods.

The products are then manufactured at Onnit’s headquarters in Austin, Texas and tested by third-party labs for contaminants and banned substances.

When we asked about the maltodextrin content of Total Gut Health (and some of their other products), the Onnit team explained to us that it is a carrier for ingredients being extracted from raw plant materials; it isn’t added by Onnit after the fact.

As a result, the maltodextrin content is negligibly small (around 0.5% of daily carbohydrate intake), and since it is not used in greater quantities to enhance flavor, we don’t consider it an incriminating entry on this particular ingredient list.

Finally, many of Onnit’s products bear the Rainforest Alliance seal, meaning they adhere to the program’s “three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental” according to the Rainforest Alliance website.

Speaking of, let’s take a closer look at the complete ingredient list and the research behind it.

Supporting Research

Summary:

Grade: A 

Total Gut Health may not have been featured as a complete product in its own trial, but the ingredients have been fairly thoroughly investigated.

With 20+ wordy ingredients, it’s easy to feel intimidated upon first glancing at the label of this product, but once you understand the three major categories, it’s much more straightforward.

For the most part, Onnit Total Gut Health uses digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics, and betaine hydrochloride (an acid) to target digestive health.

Digestive enzymes (all of the “-ase” endings) are compounds that break down larger molecules into smaller molecules, which is obviously a major function of digestion. Our bodies produce digestive enzymes in the saliva, stomach, and intestines.  

Probiotics and prebiotics (latin, italicized ingredients) are the trillions of benevolent bacteria living in your digestive system (pro) and the “foods” that sustain them (pre). By taking probiotics, you can beneficially alter the composition of your “gut microflora,” or internal community of bacteria, which in turn aids in digestion, immunity, and many other functions.

Betaine hydrochloride is an acidic form of the naturally occurring compound betaine. Betaine HCl is often used in medicine as a supplement for people with low stomach acid, which plays a vital role in digestion.

Now that we’ve established a bit of helpful logic, here’s the ingredient list:

  • DigesTech Power BlendTM: Amylase (23,000 SKB), Protease (80,000 HUT), Acid Stable Protease (Pepsin) (400 SAPU), Glucoamylase (50 AGU), Lipase (3,500 FIP), Serratiopeptidase (40,000 U), Cellulase (3,000 CU), Pectinase (45 ENDO-PG), Bacillus Amylase (3,600 BAU), Maltase (200 DP), Lactase (900 ALU), Beta Glucanase (25 BGU), Alpha Galactosidase (450 GALU), Xylanase (550 XU), Hemicellulase (800 HCU), Invertase (80 SU)
  • Organic Fennel (seed)
  • Organic Ginger (root) Extract
  • AstraZyme: [A proprietary blend of Protease, Astragalus (root) Extract, Tienchi (root) Extract (Panax notoginseng) and Trace Minerals]
  • Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Betaine Hydrochloride (HCl)
  • Organic Jerusalem Artichoke (root)
  • Organic Dandelion (root)
  • Onnit Probiotic Blend: Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Other Ingredients: Vegetarian Capsule (Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Water), Maltodextrin (Tapioca), Rice Hull Concentrate (Nu-Flow)

Though no clinical trials have been conducted on this proprietary blend of ingredients, each ingredient has been investigated to some extent.

Where appropriate, we have bucketed findings that cover groups of ingredients (digestive enzymes, probiotics), which is helpful because it at least partially captures the effects of these synergies and not just the individual ingredients.

Here’s a quick summary of the most definitive findings surrounding the major ingredient categories.

Digestive Enzymes

A study from Sami Labs in Bangalore, India examining the effects of a “proprietary multienzyme complex” on indigestion found that this blend of amylase, protease, cellulase, lactase, and lipase improved several dimensions of digestive health between experimental and placebo groups.

When given the complex for a period of 60 days and reassessed at the 15-,30-, and 60-day marks, the experimental group participants outperformed placebo across all measurements, which included multiple dyspepsia questionnaires, pain ratings, and more.

Notably, the authors reported no adverse events in relation to the product throughout the study (some occurred, but were determined to have no relationship). 

Betaine Hydrochloride

As mentioned, betaine hydrochloride is already being used clinically to address low stomach acid, but findings like this one from the University of California’s Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences point to highly important, more targeted applications.

In the study, researchers found that betaine HCl could significantly offset the acid-lowering effects of heartburn medications like rabeprazole, allowing greater absorption of the cancer drug dasatinib.

Though it needs refining, the broader implication here is that betaine HCl can theoretically enhance absorption of food and drugs, whether you are on a heartburn medication or are naturally prone to low stomach acid.

Probiotics

Referencing several supporting findings, a review from Jalan University in Malaysia found that probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium infantis, and Bifidobacterium infantis support “enhancement of immune system, reduction of serum cholesterol, cancer prevention, treatment of irritable bowel-associated diarrhoeas, antihypertensive effects as well as improvement of lactose metabolism.”

This is a lot to digest (pun intended), but to summarize in the context of gut health, probiotics can help your body break down the sugar in milk and combat the undesirable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Fiber-rich prebiotics can help elevate these functions, as many of the bacteria “eat” fiber to survive. 

Branching out from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families for a moment, the compound inulin from Jerusalem artichoke is a fitting example of such a prebiotic.

This study from Waseda University in Tokyo found that fiber-rich inulin and other organic extracts from Jerusalem artichokes “may be superior for promoting a healthy gut” because of their effects in mice.

Both the water-soluble and organic versions of the Jerusalem artichoke prepared by the experimenters prompted beneficial changes in gut microbiota (those trillions of bacteria we mentioned) in mice, proving that inulin still does its thing when taken as part of the whole food.

Finally, fennel seed may also have prebiotic potential, and according to this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, can improve the following digestive health issues for irritable bowel syndrome sufferers:

  • Abdominal cramp frequency
  • Laxative dependence
  • Analgesic dependence (pain relievers)

The researchers attribute many of these benefits to the “spasmolytic” (anti-spasm) effects of fennel seed.

Keep in mind, the sample size was very low, so this vein of research is still very much in its infancy – but it’s a promising start.

Evidence for Benefits

We’ve rated the amount of evidence there is for each purported benefit of Total Gut Health:

  • Reduce bloatingStrong Evidence
  • Reduce indigestion symptomsModerate Evidence
  • Support the immune systemModerate Evidence
  • Aid in nutrient breakdownStrong Evidence

Reported Side Effects

Summary:

Grade: A 

Onnit Total Gut Health covers a broad field of ingredients, so some side effects are possible, but reported side effects are both infrequent and mild.

Here are the most commonly reported issues between the digestive enzymes, probiotics, and other compounds included in Total Gut Health:

Digestive Enzymes: Extremely rare when not paired with other medications. No side effects related to digestive enzyme supplementation in the 40-participant trial (linked). Other reports have noted abdominal pain and bloating.

Betaine Hydrochloride: Very little side effect data exists; reports are rare in studies involving betaine HCl. This finding reports heartburn as a side effect.

Probiotics: Side effects are very rare in the general public (especially within healthy intake range), but in immunocompromised and/or critically ill patients, probiotics have been linked to sepsis, fungemia (yeast in the blood), and impaired blood flow to the GI tract.

Though Onnit Total Gut Health is publicly available and widely confirmed as safe, it’s always a good decision to defer to your physician if you have any questions or concerns.

Brand Experience

Summary:

Grade: A- 

Thanks to highly accommodating support services, supplemental information, and testimonials, Onnit scores very well for brand value in the case of Total Gut Health and more.

The Total Gut Health product page features multiple explanations of the product’s benefits and how it optimizes digestion, as well as an introductory video, a doctor’s testimonial, and detailed descriptions of major ingredients.

On a broader level, Onnit has a 90-day return policy and live customer support services that typically respond within a few minutes.

Considering the performance on both a brand and product level, we award Onnit Total Gut Health a full score for brand experience.

Value

Summary:

Grade: A-

Taking into account the high-quality, nutrient-dense formulation, we award Total Gut Health an A- for value.

A 30-day supply of Onnit Total Gut Health retails for $75.90 ($2.53/day), which is significantly more costly than the 45-serving Alpha Brain ($79.95, $1.78/day).

The 15-day supply costs $37.95, and as usual, subscribers can save 15% on either quantity.

Most digestive health supplements featuring the density and quality of ingredients in Onnit Total Gut Health are charging upwards of $100 for a month’s supply, though there are some that dip slightly below the $75 mark.

Our Experience: Does Total Gut Health Work?

Throughout the trial period, we noticed no indigestion whatsoever (even minor) and no adverse effects related to our use of the product.

We also consider the potential for non-digestive benefits a major bonus for Onnit Total Gut Health, because supporting healthy gut bacteria with probiotics may actually boost “feel-good chemicals” for the brain.

It’s important to note that this “gut-brain axis” is still being explored, but still, it looks like probiotics may be able to help with serotonin production and, by extension, depression symptoms. 

The taste and texture spectrum is obviously very narrow in the arena of capsules, but still, a very unpleasant aftertaste or premature dissolution of the capsule (e.g., in the mouth) can still make the experience an unpleasant one.

Neither of these issues surfaced in this case; the capsules were virtually tasteless and reasonably sized.

There was also no unpleasant aftertaste, so Onnit Total Gut Health passes for taste and texture. 

Our Verdict

Summary:

Overall Grade: A

For high ingredient quality (and density), a safe and conscientious formulation, and more, Onnit Total Gut health earns a well-deserved A.

All of the active ingredients in Onnit Total Gut Health, and to some extent, combinations of said ingredients, have been affirmed as potentially useful for digestive health by researchers.

These ingredients have caused side effects, but none so frequent or severe as to cause us concern.

The product is competitively priced for the ingredient quality and density, and Onnit does an excellent job providing supportive information on both the packaging and the website.

On the one hand, we understand that they’ve packed a ton of pro-gut-health ingredients into this product, but taking seven capsules every day is a bit much.

Due to the nature of the product, it was harder for our testers (who don’t have digestive issues) to gauge benefits, but they all reported no adverse events and no indigestion throughout the trial period.

These are the reasons why Onnit Total Gut Health earns an A; we will continue to recommend this product to those looking for relief from digestive issues.

Onnit Total Gut Health
  • Description

    Pro-digestion supplement heavily fortified with probiotics, prebiotics, betaine HCl, and other research-backed ingredients.

  • Ingredients

    DigesTech Amylase, Protease, Acid Stable Protease, Glucoamylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Pectinase, Bacillus Amylase, Maltase, Lactase, Beta Glucanase, Alpha Galactosidase, Xylanase, Invertase, Hemicellulase, Serratiopeptidase, Pepsin, Organic Fennel (seed), Organic Ginger (root) Extract, AstraZyme [A proprietary blend of Protease, Astragalus (root) Extract, Tienchi (root) Extract and Trace Minerals], Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water), Rice Hull Concentrate (Nu-Flow®), Maltodextrin (Tapioca) Saccharomyces boulardii Saccharomyces boulardii, Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water), Stabilized Rice Bran (RiBran®) Rice Hull Concentrate (Nu-Flow®) Betaine HCl Betaine Hydrochloride (HCl), Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water) Prebiotic Organic Jerusalem Artichoke (root), Organic Dandelion (root), Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water) Probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Vegetarian Capsule (Cellulose, Water)

If you like Onnit Total Gut Health, see our other reviews of Onnit products.

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Total Gut Health
Onnit PRODUCT REVIEW gut health

Onnit takes a multi-pronged approach to digestive health with their Total Gut Health supplement. Here's how they fared in our review.

Product Brand: Onnit Nutrition

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 75.90

Price Valid Until: 2022-12-31

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

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