GutConnect 365 Reviews - Does It Work, Safety, Ingredients
Medically Reviewed by Jason Reed, Pharm.D.
What Is GutConnect 365?
GutConnect 365 is a powdered supplement that claims to cure a condition known as “leaky gut” through a proprietary formula of nine different superfoods.
Made by United Naturals, the supplement claims it can boost your energy levels, health and wellness by stopping leaky gut.
United Naturals is a supplement company with offices in the United States and Canada. They sell four different supplements, two of which we’ve reviewed in addition to GutConnect 365: Synbiotic 365 and Enzyme 365.
In our review of GutConnect 365, we’ll talk about how the product works, what leaky gut is, what the supplement’s ingredients are and how effective they may or may not be in stopping leaky gut. We’ll also do an overview of the potential side effects you could experience, then cover what GutConnect 365’s pricing and return policy are.
This supplement comes in jars containing about a half-pound of supplement that includes nine different main ingredients along with a Stevia leaf extract for sweetening. GutConnect 365 comes in vanilla cinnamon flavor.
The supplement comes with a scoop you use to measure out your daily dose. Pour the powder into a glass of water and mix.
Dosage directions aren’t available on the United Naturals website. We reached out to the site’s chat representative to find out details about how much you should take at a time and how often you should take it.
The rep told us that you take the supplement once a day; time of day doesn’t matter. For the first two weeks you’ll want to take half a scoop at a time and then, after two weeks, switch to one full scoop per day, she said. The rep gave no rules for taking the supplement in relation to when you eat.
Your first container should last you around 37 days with subsequent containers lasting 30 days, United Naturals told us.
By following this schedule, United Naturals claims GutConnect 365 will repair and prevent leaky gut while strengthening and nourishing your gut lining.
Nailing down a definition for leaky gut is tough because there are various schools of thought as to whether it even exists and what it is, exactly.
IN a basic sense, your intestines have a barrier between them and your bloodstream. The intestinal lining is not 100% foolproof, so extremely small particles will make their way out of your intestines and into your bloodstream. Certain circles say this less-than-perfect barrier is the cause of all kinds of sicknesses.
However, many in the medical community aren’t convinced leaky gut is a real condition on its own and is most often a symptom of an intestinal disorder or disease.
For example, non-profit research group the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research’s (CISR) page on “leaky gut syndrome” indicates that many alternative medicine doctors say leaky gut exists, while, “most physicians maintain that there is not enough research to prove that it is a legitimate issue.”
The CSIR goes on to say, however, that some individuals have a condition in which substances from the intestines can cross over into the bloodstream.
“Physicians sometimes find increased intestinal permeability in those who have Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, in individuals receiving chemotherapy, and those who have a high intake of bowel-damaging substances such as aspirin and alcohol,” they note.
The key to understanding these trends, the CSIR points out, is that leaky gut is a symptom of these various conditions and not a cause.
“Furthermore, research shows that increased intestinal permeability sometimes has beneficial effects, such as improving water and nutrient absorption as well as activating the immune system,” they said.
Others don’t take quite as hard a stance against leaky gut syndrome. For example, Dr. Marcelo Campos wrote an article for the Harvard Health Blog in which he has a more favorable view on the legitimacy of leaky gut.
“Controversy still exists on whether leaky gut causes the development of diseases outside the gastrointestinal tract in humans. However, it is always a good idea to eat a nutritious, unprocessed diet that includes foods that help quell inflammation, which may, at least in theory, help to rebuild the gut lining and bring more balance to the gut flora,” he wrote.
However, there is some evidence that stomach inflammation can cause the intestinal wall to become more permeable, according to HighYa medical advisor and pharmacist Dr. Jason Reed. This shouldn’t be confused with the leaky gut syndrome United Naturals talks about, though.
United Naturals provides a list of this supplement’s ingredients. We have included that list below:
- L-Glutamine (5000 mg)
- Quercetin dihydrate (500 mg)
- Slippery elm bark (150 mg)
- Organic marshmallow root (150 mg)
- N-acetyl glucosamine (150 mg)
- Licorice root extract (150 mg)
- Aloe vera extract (50 mg)
- Maitake mushroom extract (30 mg)
- Zinc orotate (20 mg)
We reached out to various medical experts and one supplement entrepreneur to find out which, if any, of these ingredients is linked to clear, abundant medical research indicating they can curb leaky gut.
Responses ranged from irreverent to supportive. Our takeaway from that input is that the one ingredient that has a legitimate chance of helping you is L-glutamine. This ingredient is also known as “glutamine.”
It provides fuel for the cells that line your stomach, according to consumer research site ConsumerLab.com. The typical therapeutic dosage amount is 3 to 30 grams per day, separated into several doses.
There may be some evidence that glutamine can help decrease the permeability of your intestines. ConsumerLab points to a study in which two sets of patients underwent abdominal surgery. One group took a glutamine serum (liquid) while the other group took a placebo (no drugs).
“Glutamine can decrease intestinal permeability, maintain intestinal barrier and attenuate systemic inflammatory response in early postoperative patients,” the researchers concluded.
This study is an important one because it was double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled, which is the gold standard of research. The drawback here is that, even though the study was done with the right methodology, it’s saying glutamine worked for post-op patients. Therefore, it’s not a guarantee it will have the same effect on someone who didn’t have surgery and is looking for a way to improve their intestinal health.
ConsumerLab makes no mention of quercetin being used for leaky gut. The most common uses for it include allergies and prostatitis.
Calloway Cook, founder of supplement company Illuminate Labs Inc., told us that the rest of the ingredients in the list above have “no strong evidence for their efficacy in treating leaky gut.”
Based on the information we found in our research, we believe the ingredients included in GutConnect 365 have little evidence linking them to being effective to cure leaky gut.
Based on the research we did, we found that the L-glutamine included in this supplement could pose a threat to those who have epilepsy and take glutamate-blocking drugs.
Also, the site noted that those who are sensitive to monosodium glutamate should avoid glutamine, too, because the body breaks down glutamine into glutamate.
At the time of publishing, you could buy one 8.4-ounce jar of GutConnect 365 for $49, three jars for $134 and six jars for $244. Shipping is free.
United Naturals has a somewhat complex return process in the event you aren’t happy with your supplement. To start the return, you’ll call their customer service at (844)794-7728. You have 60 days from the date of purchase to do so.
United Naturals allows you to return up to two empty or partially used containers of GutConnect 365 and get the full refund price. However, if you return more than two containers, they will prorate the refund amount of any additional containers beyond two.
Also, according to the fine print, you have to follow the phone representative’s return instructions perfectly in order to get your return.
Finally, United Naturals won’t refund you the cost you incur to ship their containers back to them.
There are two main factors at play with this supplement.
First, it makes a specific claim to alleviate leaky gut, a condition about which there’s some debate. For the most part, doctors agree that leaky gut is a real symptom associated with various bowel conditions and diseases like Crohn’s Disease. However, we didn’t find nearly as much evidence for leaky gut existing in average people without any intestinal issues, auto-immune diseases or inflammation.
Now, assuming that you are dealing with leaky gut issues related to an intestinal issue, it’s important to know if GutConnect 365’s ingredients can help. Based on what we read from medical experts and articles from respected health websites, we believe there isn’t much evidence that the ingredients in this supplement can stop leaky gut.
L-glutamine has the most promise but, as we pointed out earlier, the legitimate study we found indicates glutamine was helpful for post-operative patients who underwent abdominal procedures. Also, the study noted the glutamine the subjects took was in liquid, not the water-soluble form GutConnect 365 comes in.
In general, we think you should approach with a few things in mind. First, there are no guarantees that this product can follow through on its claims to cure your leaky gut. Second, using GutConnect 365 on a regular basis would mean you’ll spend around $488 per year. We believe this is a considerable amount of money to spend on a product that may or may not help with your intestinal issues.
If you want to learn more about alternative ways of improving your overall gut health—intestines included—take a few minutes to read through our guide to probiotics, “Probiotics 101: A Beginner’s Guide.”