Gundry MD Vital Reds Review — Ingredients, Side Effects and Does It Work?
This detailed review of Vital Reds by Gundry MD has the full ingredients, the best way to take it, potential health benefits, pros and cons, and possible side effects and precautions to be aware of.
You’ll learn where to buy it at the lowest price, if there’s a Vital Reds coupon, cost per serving and whether it’s worth it, plus how it compares with its nearest competitor Miracle Reds.
Also ahead, just who is Dr Steven Gundry, company reviews and complaints, whether Gundry MD and Vital Reds is a scam, and my verdict and star rating for this unusual high polyphenol red powder.
What Is Vital Reds?
Developed to address energy dysfunction and improve antioxidant intake, Vital Reds by Gundry MD is a popular nutritional powder with 34 polyphenol-rich superfruit extracts as the main ingredients.
Vital Reds also contains a metabolic boosting blend designed to combat fatigue and improve weight loss, along with probiotics and prebiotic FOS to enhance digestive function.
This red superfood supplement is formulated by Dr. Steven Gundry, a former cardiac surgeon, who has written several best-selling books on health and dietary topics.
He claims taking Vital Reds supplement daily will give you more energy, better food metabolism, less gas and bloating, healthier skin and help you to control weight gain.
Gundry MD Vital Reds can be found here on Amazon in a 4-ounce tub of 30 servings at the recommended daily dosage. It has a sweet berry flavor and is free of soy, lectins, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Dr. Gundry states that it is tested at a certified Good Manufacturing Practice facility in the USA and made from 100% natural and safe ingredients.
There is also a 90 day money back guarantee displayed on the Gundry MD website and feedback on Amazon is generally positive, but they are worth reading yourself for various perspectives.
What are the ingredients in Vital Reds though and does a review of them support Dr. Gundry’s health claims?
Vital Reds Ingredients
The new supplement facts label for Vital Reds on the Gundry MD site lists the following ingredients:
- Calories – 10, Total Carbohydrates – 2 g, Dietary Fiber – <1 g.
- Thiamin – 1.5 mg, Riboflavin – 1.7 mg, Niacin – 20 mg, Vitamin B6 – 2 g, Folate – 400 mcg, Vitamin B12 – 6 mcg, Biotin – 300 mcg, Pantothenic Acid – 10 mcg, Selenium – 70 mcg, Chromium – 200 mcg.
- Polyphenol Blend – 1,760 mg.
Carrot, organic apple peel, grape skin extract, grape seed extract, aronia berry extract, organic flax seed, mulberry fruit, European black currant fruit extract, apple, organic beet root, cranberry fruit extract, mango, papaya, acai fruit extract, strawberry, blueberry fruit concentrate, pomegranate, blackberry, acerola fruit extract, apple pectin, red raspberry, pineapple, orange, cantaloupe, grape, watermelon, grapefruit, plum, pear, lemon, lime, cherry, peach, berberine hydrochloride.
- Metabolic Boosting Blend – 365 mg.
Cinnamon bark 5:1 extract, ginger root, green tea leaf extract, white tea leaf extract, turmeric rhizome extract, bitter melon fruit extract, black pepper fruit.
- Digestive Support Blend – 3 billion CFU.
Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, L. reuteri.
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – 250 mg.
- Other Ingredients – citric acid, natural flavors, guar gum, rebaudioside A (stevia), silica, D-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, chromium dinicocysteinate, thiamin hydrochloride and methylcobalamin.
It’s an impressive ingredient list overall, with a few reservations and potential side effects and precautions that are covered ahead in this Gundry MD Vital Reds review.
Health Benefits of Polyphenols
The key difference with Vital Reds, compared to other superfood powders, is its focus on polyphenols. But just what are they and what are the potential health benefits from these unusual food-based compounds?
Polyphenols are naturally occurring phytochemicals found in fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds and other types of foods.
They are usually most concentrated in brightly colored vegetables and fruits, such as blueberries, beetroot, pomegranate and carrots. Strongly flavored herbs and spices, like ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and turmeric, are also rich sources of polyphenols.
Many types of polyphenols have been identified as having potent antioxidant effects that combat cellular free radical damage.
Studies have demonstrated increasing your intake of these antioxidants from healthy natural sources is associated with a reduced oxidative stress and a lower risk of serious diseases like cancer.
A diet high in polyphenols could also reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Research shows an association between polyphenol consumption and lower blood pressure, as well as a decrease in dangerous LDL cholesterol.
As a specialist heart surgeon, it’s easy to see why Dr. Gundry was interested in the cardiovascular benefits of polyphenols and focused on them in his Vital Reds formula.
From a weight loss perspective, a higher intake of a special class of polyphenols called flavonoids is linked with a reduction in body mass index and waist circumference.
Dr. Gundry makes special note of the unusual flavonoid-rich ingredients in Vital Reds, like aronia berries, mulberries and grapeseed extract. Blackcurrant, blueberry, pomegranate, acai and acerola are also high polyphenol standouts.
What I Like About Gundry MD Vital Reds
High Antioxidant Polyphenol Blend
The ingredients in proprietary whole food blends like this are usually listed with the highest content in the formula first.
The first 8 ingredients of Vital Reds – carrot, organic apple peel, grape skin extract, grape seed extract, aronia berry, organic flax, mulberry and blackcurrant – are all high antioxidant superfoods, rather than the cheaper filters sometimes seen in other powders.
Metabolic Blend for Weight Loss and Extra Energy
Ceylon cinnamon, as the first ingredient here, along with bitter melon, moderate blood sugar and insulin release to assist in controlling hunger and weight management.
White and green tea contain the powerful antioxidant EGCG and likely a very small amount of caffeine. While ginger, turmeric and black pepper are all strong inflammation fighters.
Probiotics and Prebiotic FOS for Digestive Health
The 4 strains of probiotics in Vital Reds – B. coagulans, L. acidophilus, B. lactis and L. reuteri – are all considered highly beneficial for improving intestinal flora.
Additional prebiotic FOS can also boost digestive health, though some people do experience side effects like gas and bloating when they first it.
Despite these additions, I wouldn’t consider Vital Reds nearly as strong in the probiotics or especially prebiotics department as the excellent Patriot Power Greens reviewed in detail here.
What I Don’t Like about Vital Reds
Synthetic B Vitamins and Minerals
Dr. Gundry’s Vital Reds powder contains synthetic B vitamins in the form of D-calcium pantothenate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin hydrochloride and methylcobalamin. It also has lab-engineered forms of the minerals selenium and chromium.
It’s true that B vitamins are necessary for energy production and many people are deficient in them. Chromium and selenium are also often lacking and affect blood sugar control and cellular detoxification.
That said, many customers like myself specifically choose whole food powders like this to avoid synthetic vitamins and minerals that research shows are often poorly absorbed and may even have negative effects.
Adding Brazil nuts, the highest natural source of selenium, for instance, could help to cover nutritional deficiencies naturally.
It also seems of the wide range of healthy foods in Vital Reds it would already contain good levels of natural B vitamins.
Additionally, having added engineered vitamins and minerals included would seem to go against the statement made on the Gundry MD website that Vital Reds contains only 100% natural ingredients.
Too Many Ingredients
A common issue is superfood supplements like this is a long ingredients list that looks impressive but just how much of each superfruit, herb or spice does the formula actually contain?
In my opinion, apple and grape could have been removed as apple peel and pectin, along with grapeseed and skin, are already included and far more potent than the fruits.
Orange, pear and peach, while low down on the ingredients in labeling, would also be better replaced with any of the other more potent ingredients above them.
Small Serving Size
While Vital Reds still provides a better dosage than capsules supplements, like Balance of Nature, it’s serving size of only 3.765 g and 30 servings per 4 oz container is much smaller than other superfood powders I’ve reviewed.
This small product weight, combined with a still relatively high price point, makes Vital Reds one of the more expensive powdered whole food supplements on the market.
Dr. Gundry could make the argument that his Reds formula has highly concentrated ingredients and you don’t need to take so much. I’d still like to see Vital Reds offered in a bigger tub or at a lower price for better value.
Vital Reds Side Effects and Precautions
Dr. Gundry states that his red polyphenol supplement contains only natural and safe ingredients. There is no mention of any specific side effects that I could find on his website.
Looking at the Vital Reds ingredients list though, here are some precautions and potential side effects to be aware of:
- The prebiotic FOS can sometimes cause digestive upsets. This is particularly the case when it is first introduced into your diet.
- Both green tea and white tea contain caffeine. While the amounts the formula like this will be very small, some people are allergic to caffeine and this should be listed on the labeling.
- Ingredients in the metabolic blend, such as ginger, bitter melon, cinnamon and black pepper could have an over stimulatory effect for certain customers.
- People with a rare latex allergy should avoid Vital Reds due to the mango, papaya and pineapple ingredients.
- Some research suggests very high levels of certain polyphenols may inhibit iron absorption, affect thyroid function or even have a pro-oxidative effect. Cited studies generally involve very high synthetic doses though, rather than natural polyphenols from extracts.
- Like all potent nutritional supplements, Gundry MD Vital Reds should be taken well away from important medicines as they may affect the way they function.
Customer Reported Side Effects
Amazon comments from people who purchased Vital Reds are generally positive. However, in negative feedback, a few side effects are mentioned more than once.
Here are the most commonly reported customer side effects of Vital Reds:
- An increase in bloating, gas and other digestive upsets.
- Feeling jittery and raised blood pressure.
- Tiredness, headaches and nausea.
Many customers actually reported opposite effects, with better digestive function, more energy, fewer headaches and the feeling of being healthier listed.
What could be causing negative side effects for a small percentage of people though?
The gas and bloating are likely due to the prebiotic FOS as this is a known side effect when you first use it, especially if your lower intestine currently has a prevalence of bad bacteria.
The same metabolism boosting ingredients that other reviewers described as providing energy, also make some feel jittery or uneasy. They may even increase heart rate and blood pressure for sensitive individuals.
Headaches, lethargy and particularly nausea are often symptoms of bad bacteria die off due to the probiotics in this supplement. Though if the reaction is within a very short period of time after taking it you may be allergic to one of the ingredients.
Recommended advice for avoiding side effects from Vital Reds is to cut the dosage significantly, perhaps to just a quarter of the original dose, until no negative effects are experienced. After that you can slowly increase the dosage to tolerance.
If symptoms still persist it’s best to utilize the 90 day money back guarantee and get a refund within 3 months of your initial purchase.
Directions for Use
Gundry MD recommend taking a scoop of Vital Reds in water or other beverage on a consistent daily basis for best results. They say the formula digest quickly and can be taken with or without a meal.
For maximum benefit though, polyphenol-rich supplements like this should always be taken near a meal with healthy fats as it improves their intestinal absorption.
Given this, and the energizing effect of Vital Red powder, it’s best to take it before breakfast in a meal that contains healthy fats, like avocado, organic eggs or a smoothie made with coconut milk.
How Does It Taste?
The ingredients list shows Dr. Gundry sweetens his Reds formula with healthy stevia rather than sugar or artificial sweeteners.
While many customer reviews mentioned liking the taste, others say the berry flavor is too sweet for them. A gritty texture is also occasionally commented on.
Taking powdered superfood supplements in smoothies, like one of these special healing recipes, is a great way to maximize their health benefits and avoid any issues with texture or taste.
Where to Buy Vital Reds
You can buy Gundry MD Vital Reds on their website or on this popular Amazon listing where it may currently be better value.
The sales page for Vital Reds on GundryMD.com at the time of writing lists the following prices:
- 1 Jar: $69.95 (30-day supply)
- 3 Jars: $199.36 (90-day supply)
- 6 Jars: $377.73 (180-day supply)
It also comes with free shipping within the USA and a 90 day money back guarantee, though you would need to pay to ship it back to the company.
Some people ask if you can buy Vital Reds at Walmart, GNC, Cosco or other retail stores or supermarkets, but I couldn’t find it listed for sale in any of these places.
It seems the best place to buy Vital Reds is on Amazon or on the company’s website.
Cost per Serving
Using the current retail price of $69.95 for a 4-ounce tub on Gundry MD, 30 servings works out at $2.33 per daily dose.
Only Grown American Superfood has a higher cost per serve of the powdered supplements I’ve reviewed here on Superfood Profiles.
Does Vital Reds Work and Is It Worth It?
Vital Reds powder looks to be an extremely rich source of health-promoting polyphenols and metabolism boosting herbs and spices.
I like the antioxidant-rich ingredients list but the price does seem high compared to many of its competitors.
Patriot Power Greens, on heavy discount here for example, is less than half the price per serving of Vital Reds. Yet it is also a polyphenol-rich and arguably more balanced formulation.
Dr. Steven Gundry has produced a quality whole food supplement but the high price point makes it difficult to say it’s good value versus competitors.
I think Vital Reds is best for well-off customers, specifically concerned with increasing their polyphenol intake. The regular retail price would make it expensive for those just looking to improve their overall health.
One of the other green superfood powders reviewed and recommended here will be likely to provide much more ‘bang for your buck’.
Gundry MD Coupons, Discounts or Free Trials for Vital Reds
Many people search online for a discount coupon for Vital Reds or other Gundry MD products.
There are the usual fraud coupon websites offering all kinds of wild discounts, but these pages seem to be created automatically and don’t work. All of the coupons or discount codes for Gundry MD I tried were just scams.
There are also no free trials for Vital Reds that I could find at the time of writing. A few scam websites and videos were offering a free trial but only linked to a regular sales page on the Gundry MD website.
Keep in mind though that some customers have complained that they were not aware that they were signing up for auto shipping during the order and had difficulty canceling it later.
Additionally, while Dr. Gundry clearly says there is a 90 day money back guarantee on his site, some customer reviews say it was a problem to get this in practice and involved paying to ship the product back to the company.
Who is Dr. Steven Gundry?
Steven R. Gundry is an American doctor who specialized in cardiac surgery while practicing medicine and developed life-saving surgical procedures and medical devices.
He is a former professor and chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California and has served on various medical association’s board of directors.
He has also written several best-selling books on nutrition, including ‘Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution’ and ‘The Plant Paradox’, which is particularly controversial for its theories on lectins.
In 2002 he founded The Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs, California after becoming more interested in nutritional therapies and research.
Gundry MD Company Reviews
According to Better Business Bureau, Gundry MD was founded in 2014 by Dr. Steven Gundry and is registered in California.
The company currently has a BBB rating of A+ and indeed Gundry MD display this on their website.
Despite this, there are quite a few negative reviews for Gundry MD on BBB, and under the customer feedback section they only have an average of 2 stars, which makes their A+ rating surprising.
Is Gundry MD Vital Reds a Scam?
Reading through customer reviews on Amazon and various company feedback sites, Gundry MD and their Vital Reds supplement are definitely polarizing.
You can see here that Amazon has a majority of positive comments, with ‘more energy’, ‘less digestive problems’ and ‘better skin’ commonly reported.
On the other hand, there are a fair proportion of negative reviews, with customers saying they felt no results for the high price paid. Side effects, like the ones covered in the earlier section, are also not that uncommon.
The biggest reason why customers complain of Gundry MD Vital Reds being a scam though appears to be problems with canceling an order or receiving a refund.
BBB reviews mention ‘poor customer service’, ‘unable to cancel auto shipping’ and the ordering process being ‘a scam to get you to sign up for extra deliveries’.
To their credit, a Gundry MD representative responded to each of these customer complaints I saw on Better Business Bureau and said they would organize a refund.
By then though, the damage was already done, with former customers accusing Gundry MD of being a scam, a ripoff and a fraudulent company.
Any business selling nutritional supplement like this would be expected to get some complaints. However, there are enough negative reviews of Vital Reds to think there’s a big problem with the ordering process, and particularly their customer service when dealing with refunds.
Dr. Gundry and the Gundry MD company would do well to address these problems urgently and make the ordering process clearer, especially regarding any automatic shipping customers could accidentally sign up for.
Additionally, if Dr. Gundry is strongly promoting his 90 back guarantee, yet customers are given the runaround when trying to get a refund, then it’s not surprising when they call Vital Reds a scam.
Vital Reds Vs Miracle Reds
People looking for a red superfood powder to buy often compare Gundry MD Vital Reds with Miracle Reds by Macrolife Naturals.
Aside from both being powdered red supplements, how does Miracle Reds compare to Vital Reds in ingredients and cost per serving?
Miracle Reds Ingredients Vs Vital Reds
Some of the same superfruits found in Vital Reds can also be found in Miracle Reds, including blueberry, pomegranate, acerola, raspberry, cherry, cranberry, papaya and acai, though amounts would vary considerably.
It also contains ginger, turmeric, green tea extract, grape seed extract, beetroot, FOS and some probiotics, as well as a few standouts of its own. You can see the full ingredients list here to compare for yourself.
Miracle Reds does lack most of the B vitamins, selenium and chromium and some of the other beneficial ingredients in Vital Reds, like cinnamon, bitter melon, aronia berry and blackcurrant.
Overall, Miracle Reds looks to be more of a good general health improvement supplement. While many ingredients are high in polyphenols, it doesn’t have the same focus on them and metabolism-boosting herbs and spices as Vital Reds.
Miracle Reds Cost per Serving
Miracle Reds retails for $42.95 for a 10-ounce jar of 30 servings on MacroLife Naturals website. That works out at $1.43 per serving versus Vital Reds at $2.33. The dosage is also more than double at 9.5 g per serve.
While possibly not as concentrated, Miracle Reds does appear to be much better value than Vital Reds, assuming you receive similar health benefits from taking it.
Although they have a different focus in their individual formulas, there are enough similarities between Miracle Reds and Vital Reds to see it as a good, lower-priced alternative.
This is particularly the case if the focus on polyphenols in Vital Reds isn’t a priority for you, compared to the more general health benefits powdered superfoods provide.
If you’d like to give Miracle Reds a try it’s currently great value at this discounted Iherb listing with international shipping here.
Pros and Cons of Vital Reds
At the start of writing this review of Vital Reds by Gundry MD, I really liked its potent ingredient list and the fact that it was formulated by a highly respected doctor.
I still think the ingredients list is very good and it would be especially beneficial for people looking to boost their polyphenol intake for the reported benefits of these nutrients.
Based on scientific research, these health benefits can include lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, as well as combating obesity.
Other potential benefits from taking Vital Reds, based on its ingredients, include improved energy, better digestion, less joint pain, and healthier skin and eyes due to its high antioxidant content.
Indeed, many Amazon reviewers mentioned these positive effects and a good proportion of customers seem very happy with the product.
Unfortunately, quite a few other customers, beyond what you would expect from a really stand out superfood supplement, complain of no noticeable results from taking Vital Reds.
Some side effects are also noted, but I think these can be explained by a reaction to FOS or probiotics and usually mitigated with a lower dosage.
Of more concern are numerous customer complaints about the ordering process, difficulty getting a refund from Gundry MD and people calling Vital Reds a scam.
Ultimately though, despite the nutritional pros of Vital Reds, the biggest con I can see here is the high price.
At $69.95 retail for a small 4-ounce tub, or $2.33 per 3.765 g serve, Vital Reds is right up there with the most expensive of all superfood powders.
Nothing in this review of Vital Reds should be considered medical advice or personal criticism of any individual or company.
Statements made about a business or the effectiveness or otherwise of a supplement are just my personal opinion based on detailed research.
Vital Reds by Gundry MD appears to be a good polyphenol-boosting supplement for disease prevention. Taken regularly, it may also help provide extra energy, improve digestive function, benefit your skin and eyes and assist with weight management.
If you’d like to give Vital Reds a try and see if it works well for you, the simplest way to get it is with a once off delivery from Amazon at this link here.
Unfortunately, unless you are quite well off, or are specifically looking for a polyphenol focused supplement, it’s high price for a small 4-ounce tub make it hard to recommend for daily use.
Personally, I think Patriot Power Greens is the more complete whole food supplement, with a superior ingredient list and at much better value.
Vital Reds is far from a bad product, but it’s too expensive for many people compared to competitors. Negative feedback, complaints, and refund issues regarding the Gundry MD company are also a concern.
Were you to take Vital Reds daily for several months you should notice positive changes. In fact, if it is a particularly good fit for your nutritional needs you may find it well worth the cost.
However, if you’ve never experienced the health benefits of superfood powders before, I’d recommend starting out with one of the other green powders reviewed here before trying this specialized and expensive offering from Gundry MD.
Photo 1: jojjek / Photo 2: yaatra / Photo 3: alektoeumenides/ Photo 4: hfb
Gundry MD Vital Reds Rating
- High antioxidant polyphenol blend of 34 superfruits.
- Metabolic boosting herbs and spices for weight management and more energy.
- Probiotics and a prebiotic to aid digestive health.
- Synthetic B vitamins and minerals.
- Low product weight and small serving size for the high price.
- Relatively high number of customer complaints calling Gundry MD a scam.