Gundry MD Vital Reds Review: Pros and Cons, Ingredients, Side Effects and Versus Miracle Reds Comparison
Vital Reds, also known as concentrated polyphenol blend, is a popular powdered reds supplement made by Dr. Steven Gundry.
In this independent review I’ll cover the ingredients list, supplement facts, pros and cons, possible side effects, cost per serving, and 2 better value alternatives.
Also ahead, customer reviews and complaints, if Vital Reds is a scam or hoax, what I like and don’t like about the formula, and a comparison with Miracle Reds by MacroLife Naturals.
2 Better Alternatives if You’re Short on Time
Vital Reds by Gundry MD is a specialized polyphenol blend and has many high antioxidant additions. It’s not a bad product but it’s not cheap, particularly given the small 4-ounce tub size. Here are 2 much bigger and potentially better products for less.
1. Organifi Red Juice
Red Juice by Organifi is another premium reds blend with an even better ingredient list, rich in adaptogenic herbs and immunity enhancing superfoods.
This formula has pomegranate, blueberry, acai, reishi, cordyceps, rhodiola, cranberry, beets, raspberry, strawberry and Siberian ginseng.
The focus here is more on anti-aging, detoxification, and increasing metabolism for extra energy and natural weight management.
It comes in an 10-ounce tub, so there’s a full 2 ½ times more powdered reds than Gundry’s concentrated polyphenol blend. Yet it costs less using the special code SUPERFOOD15 here on their website for an extra discount.
2. Miracle Reds
MacroLife Naturals Miracle Reds has similar high antioxidant additions to Vital Reds. Both have acai, blueberry, acerola, pomegranate, beet, turmeric, ginger, green tea extract and grape seed extract.
Each formula also includes probiotics and prebiotics. Miracle Reds contains more herbs and berries overall though. As well as extras like milk thistle for liver detox and elderberry for natural resistance to colds and flu.
Despite this, it’s much cheaper for a much bigger 10-ounce container. You can also get an automatic cart reduction here on iHerb, as well as free USA and cheap international delivery.
You can see Gundry’s concentrated polyphenol blend powder here on Amazon for a current price comparison. Head to head with Miracle Reds and Organifi Red Juice though, both look like better choices for less money.
What Is Vital Reds?
Powdered whole food supplements made primarily from red fruits, berries and veggies like beet, have become very popular in recent years.
These ‘red powders’ are rich in polyphenols, potent nutritional compounds with beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and circulatory effects.
Vital Reds was one of the first supplements on the market specifically focused on polyphenols. It has a sweet berry flavor and is free of soy, lectins, gluten, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
This powdered reds formula was created by Dr. Steven Gundry, a former cardiac surgeon, who has written several best-selling books on dietary topics.
His website claims taking this “polyphenol blend with 34 unique superfruits” will “help boost energy… support your heart… and maintain your health as you age.”
The Gundry MD site also says their products are made in a Good Manufacturing Practice certified facility in the USA and have 100% natural and safe ingredients. There’s also a 90-day money-back guarantee from the company.
What’s in this red superfruit powder though and does a detailed investigation support the claims on Dr. Gundry’s site?
2023 Ingredients List for Vital Reds
- Polyphenol Blend – 1,760 mg.
Carrot, organic apple peel, grape skin extract, aronia berry extract, organic flaxseed, grape seed extract, acai fruit extract, acerola fruit extract, apple, apple pectin, organic beetroot, blackberry, European black currant fruit extract, blueberry fruit concentrate, cranberry fruit extract, mango, mulberry fruit, papaya, pomegranate, red raspberry, strawberry, cantaloupe, cherry, grape, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, watermelon, berberine hydrochloride.
- Metabolic Enhancing Blend – 365 mg.
Cinnamon bark 5:1 extract, green tea leaf extract, white tea leaf extract, ginger root, turmeric root extract, bitter melon fruit extract, black pepper fruit.
- Digestive Support Probiotic Blend – 3 billion CFU.
Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus reuteri.
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – 250 mg.
- 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.
- 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 ingredients list overall, with a few reservations, and potential side effects and precautions that are covered ahead.
What I Like About Dr. Gundry’s Red Powder
1. High Antioxidant Polyphenols
The ingredients in proprietary whole food blends like this are usually listed with the highest content in the formula first.
The first 8 in this powdered reds product are: carrot, organic apple peel, grape skin extract, grape seed extract, aronia berry, organic flax, mulberry and blackcurrant. These are all high antioxidant superfoods.
2. Metabolic Blend for Weight Management and Extra Energy
Ceylon cinnamon and bitter melon moderate sugar spikes and crashes. This helps control hunger and benefits natural weight control.
White and green tea contain the powerful antioxidant EGCG and a very small amount of caffeine. While ginger, turmeric and black pepper are all strong inflammation fighters.
3. Probiotics and Prebiotic FOS for Digestive Health
The 4 strains of probiotics in polyphenol blend – B. coagulans, L. acidophilus, B. lactis and L. reuteri – are all considered beneficial for improving intestinal flora.
Prebiotic FOS can also improve gut health, though some people do experience side effects like gas and bloating when they first take it.
What I Don’t Like
1. Synthetic B Vitamins and Minerals
Dr. Gundry’s reds powder contains synthetic B vitamins, such as 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.
That said, many customers like myself choose whole food powders to avoid synthetic vitamins and minerals. Research studies show they are poorly absorbed and may have negative effects in unnaturally large doses.
Having these synthetic additions also seems to conflict with Gundry MD website statements that their reds supplement contains only 100% natural ingredients.
2. Too Many Additions
A common issue with superfood supplements is a long ingredient list with very small amounts of each added.
It looks impressive on the label, but how much of each superfruit, herb or spice does the formula actually contain?
In my opinion, apple and grape at a minimum should be removed. Apple peel and pectin, along with grape seed and skin, are already included and are far more potent than these common powdered fruits.
Orange, pear and peach, while low down on the label, would also be better replaced with more of any of the other red fruits and vegetables above them.
3. Small Serving Size
Polyphenol blend powder does provide a better dosage than capsules supplements, such as JuiceFestiv or Juice Plus. Its 30 servings of 3.765 grams per 4-ounce container is much smaller than other superfood powders I’ve reviewed though.
This low product weight, combined with a 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 this product offered in a bigger tub or at a lower price for better value.
Directions for Use
Gundry MD recommend taking a scoop of their reds powder in water on a consistent daily basis for best results. They say the formula digests quickly and can be taken with or without a meal.
For maximum benefit though, polyphenol-rich supplements should always be taken near a meal with good fats to improve intestinal absorption.
Given this, and the energizing effect of the product, it’s best to take it before or with a breakfast that contains fats, like avocado, eggs or in a smoothie.
Where to Get It
You can find Gundry MD reds powder on the company website or on this Amazon listing where it may currently be better value.
The sales page for this product lists the following retail prices on gundrymd.com:
- 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 for a refund.
Some people ask if you can buy Vital Reds at Costco, Walmart, CVS, GNC, Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods or Walgreens, but I couldn’t find it listed for sale in any of these places.
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.
Compare that with the nutritionally superior Organifi Red Juice, available here with an extra discount using the SUPERFOOD15 code and in a much larger 10-ounce tub. The 3 and 6 tub reductions bring the cost per serve down even further if you plan to take it regularly.
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 what’s in this polyphenol formula though, here are some precautions and potential side effects to be aware of:
- The prebiotic FOS can cause digestive upsets, particularly when 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.
- The metabolic blend with ginger, bitter melon, cinnamon and black pepper could have an over-stimulatory effect for certain customers.
- People with a rare latex allergy should avoid this red polyphenol powder due to the mango, papaya and pineapple additions.
- Some research suggests high levels of certain polyphenols may inhibit iron absorption, affect thyroid function or even have a pro-oxidative effect. Cited studies generally involved very high synthetic doses though, rather than natural polyphenols from extracts. Consult your GP if you have any concerns before using this product.
- Like all nutritional supplements, red powders should be taken well away from important prescriptions as they may affect their function. Perhaps the good doctor’s website or packaging could list this precaution.
Customer Reviews and Consumer Ratings
Feedback on Amazon from Gundry polyphenol blend customers is mainly positive, though there does seem to be more negative ratings than with Miracle Reds.
For positive ratings the main customer themes seem to be:
- More energy throughout the day and better concentration.
- Less digestive problems, such as gas and bloating.
- A reduction in inflammatory conditions, like joint pain and skin problems.
- The taste is good and many people really enjoy drinking this red superfruit blend.
For negative reviews, the common themes included:
- That the product was “too expensive”, “a waste of money”, “a scam”, “a hoax” or “a rip off”.
- An increase in bloating, gas and other digestive upsets.
- Feeling jittery and raised pulse.
- Tastes “like chemicals” and is “too sweet”.
- A small proportion of customers also experienced tiredness, headaches and nausea.
Perhaps more than any other superfood supplement I’ve researched, this reds blend attracts polarized opinions.
Some consumers love it and say the results they get make it worth the high price point. Others call it a hoax or scam and say it doesn’t work for them at all.
In my personal opinion, Vital Reds is legitimate, however it’s more of a specialized product, best suited for older customers concerned about circulatory health and inflammation conditions.
Here its rich polyphenol content and antioxidants may provide noticeable positive effects and justify the high monthly cost.
For a reds powder with more wide-ranging benefits though, Organifi Red Juice is a better and cheaper alternative.
It has all USDA organic ingredients, is sold in a tub 2 ½ times bigger than Dr. Gundry’s offering and is available here with an extra 15% off using the code SUPERFOOD15 at the checkout.
The biggest reason why customers complain about Vital Reds online appears to be problems with canceling an order or receiving a refund.
On Better Business Bureau, consumer 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 company representative responded to each of these customer complaints on BBB that I saw and said they would organize a refund.
But by then the damage was already done, with former customers accusing Gundry MD products of being a ripoff or hoax.
Any nutritional supplement business would be expected to get some complaints. There are enough negative reviews of polyphenol blend though to think there’s a problem with the ordering process and customer service when dealing with refunds.
If Gundry MD promotes its 90-day money-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.
Pros and Cons of Vital Reds
At the start of writing this review of Vital Reds I really liked its polyphenol potency and the fact that it was formulated by a highly respected doctor.
I still think the ingredients are very good and it would be especially helpful for people looking to boost their intake of polyphenols.
According to scientific research, the beneficial effects of these nutrients can include reducing your risk of common circulatory disorders, lowering inflammation and combating obesity.
Other potential benefits from taking this red polyphenol powder include improved energy, better digestion, less joint pain, and healthier skin and eyes, due to its high antioxidant content.
Indeed, many reviewers mentioned these positive effects and a good proportion of customers seem very happy with the product.
If you’d like to give it a try yourself you can find it here on Amazon. Other listings there may not be legit, with consumer warnings of incorrect ingredient labels and products received past the expired date.
Many customers, beyond what you would expect from a really stand out superfood supplement, complain of no noticeable results from taking this concentrated polyphenol blend.
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 initial dosage.
Of more concern are numerous customer complaints about the ordering process, difficulty getting a refund and people calling Vital Reds a scam.
Ultimately though, despite the nutritional pros of this red polyphenol product, 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, this red powder is right up there with the most expensive of all superfood powders.
Miracle Reds Versus Vital Reds
Customers looking for a red superfood powder to buy often compare Vital Reds with Miracle Reds by MacroLife Naturals.
Both are popular red supplements but how does Miracle Reds stack up compared to Gundry MD’s red powder?
Many of the same superfruits and berries found in concentrated polyphenol blend can also be found in Miracle Reds. These include blueberry, pomegranate, acerola, raspberry, cherry, cranberry, papaya and acai. Though amounts would vary.
It also contains ginger, turmeric, green tea extract, grape seed extract, beet, FOS and some probiotics, as well as a few standouts of its own, such as goji berry, mangosteen, persimmon, elderberry, plant sterols and beta-glucan.
You can see the full ingredients list here to compare for yourself and see the many positive customer reviews and ratings. The retail price is also much less for a far bigger 10-ounce container.
Miracle Reds does lack added selenium, chromium and B vitamins (apart from B12). Some of the other beneficial additions in Gundry’s polyphenol blend, like cinnamon, bitter melon, aronia berry and blackcurrant are also missing.
Overall, the focus of this formula is more on anti-aging, immune support and general wellness. While many ingredients are high in polyphenols, it may not have the same concentration of them per gram as Gundry MD’s powdered reds.
Cost per Serving
With the automatic discount below applied, you can currently get Miracle Reds for under $40 for a 10-ounce jar of 30 servings. That works out at around $1.30 per serving, versus Gundry’s concentrated polyphenol blend at $2.33 per dose, or $69.95 per month.
The dosage is also more than double at 9.5 g per serve. Miracle Reds does look like much better value if you receive similar benefits from taking it.
Although they have a different focus in their individual formulas, there are enough similarities between Vital Reds and Miracle Reds to see it as a good, lower-priced alternative.
If you’d like to give Miracle Reds powder a try it’s currently great value with an automatic cart reduction and free shipping here on iHerb.
Nothing in this Vital Reds review should be considered advice or criticism of any individual or company.
Statements made about a business, and the effectiveness or otherwise of a supplement, are my personal opinion formed from detailed research and comparison and over 10 years of writing about nutritional products.
Based just on its ingredients, Dr. Gundry’s reds powder is a legit and high-quality polyphenol supplement. Taken regularly, it may enhance your energy, improve digestion, benefit your skin and eyes, and assist with weight management.
If you’d like to give concentrated polyphenol blend a try and see if it works for you, the simplest way to get it is with a once off delivery from Amazon here.
Unfortunately, unless you are quite well off, or are specifically looking for a polyphenol-focused supplement, its high price point for a small 4-ounce tub make it hard to recommend for daily use.
Vital Reds is far from a bad product, but it’s likely too expensive for many people. Customer negative feedback, complaints and refund issues regarding the Gundry MD company are also a concern.
Were you to take it daily for several months you should notice positive changes. In fact, if it’s a particularly good fit for your nutritional needs you may find it well worth the cost.
Personally though, I’d try the much better Organifi Red Juice formula, at a lower price here using the SUPERFOOD15 code, before getting the smaller yet more costly Gundry MD Vital Reds.