Today, I want to discuss my experience of using the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol. This unique, “amped” approach to nutritional, vitamin and mineral support has enhanced my mold recovery, restored my immune system, and increased my energy, all in noticeable ways, so I am eager to share it with you.
Last week’s post detailed my daily supplement regimen in its entirety, which also included many, if not all of the products in the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol. That was your “Cliff’s Notes” version of how I am using the products now that they are part of my “normal routine.”
This post is going to be a little different, because I want to start with explaining what a “wellness protocol” is, and why in your wellness journey you might decide to implement a protocol-based supplement regimen, rather than just adding some beneficial vitamins and minerals here and there to see what works for your body, or to make up for vitamin/mineral deficiencies as indicated by your blood panels or nutritional analysis.
Today’s post is also going to be different, because I had the pleasure to speak with John Burgstiner, Founder and President of Logos Nutritionals (the company behind the protocol and that makes all of the supplements included in it) about the protocol and the history and science behind it. In our interview, we dive into what makes these supplements unique and why this particular combination of supplements has produced such favorable outcomes for so many chronically sick people. We discuss each supplement, the reason for its inclusion in the protocol, and for his thoughts on and approach to wellness and nutrition as the leader of a nationally-renowned nutritional supplement company.
I don’t know about you, but I am increasingly concerned with the integrity of who is making the supplements I am choosing to put into my body. I am concerned that supplements contain what they say that they do. (Remember the New York Attorney General’s findings in 2015 that 80% of the store-brand supplements found on the shelves at Walgreen’s, GNC, Target, and Walmart did not contain the labelled substance, or were found to contain substances not indicated on the labels—like rice powder, for example? Since the report, all of the companies say that they have overhauled and increased the purity of their supplements.) I am also concerned that the science behind supplement groupings and dosage suggestions is solid, proven, and based on the principals of kindness to and balance for the body—restoring things to their natural and optimum levels, rather than the “detox” crazy, aggressive cleanse approach that has recently gained so much popularity. I can tell you from experience, that I was hospitalized last May for the health repercussions and a secondary infection manifested from a too-aggressive yeast detox. I learned the hard way that when mobilizing toxins to rid them from the body, more is not better, faster does not mean that you are winning, and feeling nauseous, exhausted and depleted definitely does NOT indicate that what you are doing is working.
My goals with anything I do nutritionally, supplement-wise, or pharmaceutically is NOT to produce negative symptoms. This should be the goal for any chronically ill or autoimmune patient, because the negative symptoms produced by the wrong medications or supplements can be incredibly serious, and sometimes life threatening.
That being said, let’s talk about what a “wellness protocol” is and why I decided to start on one, especially since I consider myself to be, for the most part, healthy and mostly recovered from mold-related illness.
A wellness protocol should be considered a roadmap to recover your health. It is not a symptom-targeted prescription or a list of best practices, but rather, a step-by-step diagram of exactly what to do and what to take to elicit a positive health change in a defined amount of time. In this sense, I believe that a protocol should be measurable. It doesn’t have to be completely scientific, although, I do think it is a good idea to get your bloodwork done before starting and then to do every-other-monthly draws while on the protocol to see how everything is fairing inside the body. Your other check-ins can be, and I know you all know I am a huge proponent of this, chick-ins with your body to see how you are doing. For me, this means that I am taking time to focus on how every part of me is feeling.
Each day I am on the protocol, I am asking myself the following questions: Am I sleeping well and feeing rested upon waking? Am I anxious, depressed, nervous or jittery—as these could be indicators of thyroid or hormonal imbalances? Am I having any strange food cravings or extreme hunger—indicators of nutrition, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies? Is my digestion good, or am I feeling bloated, having indigestion, food intolerances, etc.? Do I have energy or do I feel fatigued? Do my hair, skin, and nails look healthy—brittle, thin nails and hair, dull or inflamed skin are all indicators of things like gut dysbiosis, nutrient malabsorption, food intolerances, dehydration, etc.? How’s my libido (maybe TMI, but this can indicate hormonal imbalances and HPA axis disfunction/adrenal fatigue)? Am I generally in good spirits, and enjoying my friends and family? That one may seem strange, but it is an important question to ask yourself in all stages of your health journey and recovery, because chronic illness is a lonely predicament. It causes social isolation and a personal distrust of the body and its reactions. Knowing when and if some of these things are going on can help you to assess whether or not a protocol is working for you and your body and if you should push through or discontinue using it.
A typical wellness protocol, whatever it is for, should include targeted products for systemic change. The products should be designed to work together and to build on one another. This is important, because most people interested in such targeted holistic treatments have an illness, disease, or condition without one root cause or symptom. Thus, using a protocol gives them the ability to work on lots of different symptoms and body systems at once. The idea being that using the protocol will have a ripple effect and constitute an intervention that prevents the progression of the illness and autoimmunity and betters the quality of the person’s life.
I have written about my health history before, so I will spare you the details, but I will say that I was a vibrant, healthy, incredibly active (long-distance running, Crossfit, yoga) woman, who had gotten pregnant easily and had 2 healthy children. The only major health issues I ever had before the mold were getting food poisioning once and getting a bad case of the flu one winter. After the mold exposure, my health totally plummeted. I had sinus infections, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, severe digestive issues, and finally the autoimmune issue of ulcerative colitis. It was like my health just crumbled all at once and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
We discovered the mold and made all of the connections with my failing health. Then, we found the help we needed to address our living situation and the toxicity in our bodies. That was when I first heard of the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol, because my body had responded so quickly and so well to one of the foundational supplements in it, Complete Thymic Formula. At the suggestion of Dr. Dennis, I started on Complete Thymic Formula as part of my body therapy for the mold. My body was so depleted and sick that I needed a nutritional foundation and enhanced vitamin support to start to “right the sinking ship” that was my immune system.
This particular supplement includes whole-foods-based nutritional support with glandular factors to support the thymus gland. This is important because hormones secreted by the thymus gland play a major role in immune regulation. They arm the body’s T-cells with the information and memory to identify, find, and destroy antigens, pathogens, bacteria and microbes that enter the body. And, since most chronically ill patients have low thymus function (the thymus gland also decreases in size as we age, so the elderly tend to get sicker easier) and therefore depressed immunity, this is particularly important.
This supplement was one that upon consistently taking, I could FEEL a positive difference. I finally started to have a little more energy, and to feel like my body was fighting to get better, rather than just succumbing to everything. (Note: At this time, I had also left the moldy environment and was employing the full Dennis mold protocol for my body and my current environment.) This was a big step for me, especially with a multivitamin/multimineral supplement, because my body had not reacted well to any of the others that I had tried to take before it.
I research everything I take before I take it, so upon diving deep into the literature on Complete Thymic Formula, I became intrigued by the genesis of Logos Nutritionals and the creation of the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol-the backbone upon which the company and its products were built.
The quick backstory here is that Dr. Carson Burgstiner, MD, was a highly-regarded OBGYN practicing in Savannah, GA, for over 38 years. He was a pioneer and ahead of his time. He recognized the holes–not enough essential fatty acids and minerals–in the standard American diet, and strongly based his wellness philosophy on the importance of controlling inflammation to prevent illness and disease and restoring normal physiology to the body for optimal health and longevity. When his health plummeted and he found out that he had been infected with Hepatitis B by a patient during a surgical procedure, he decided to think outside the box and take targeted actions to right his immune system. He focused on supporting his thymus gland, using glandular extracts, natural medicine, nutrition, and herbal remedies for symptom relief. What he was not expecting but received as the fruit of his diligence was an actual cure—after putting himself on the protocol for some time, he was retested for Hepatitis B and his tests all came back with his infection in “carrier” rather than “active” status. Numerous retests also confirmed this. Knowing the power of harnessing the thymus gland and acquired immunity to fight his own infection, he began producing and distributing his thymus/glandular supplements to the public. After Dr. Burgstiner’s death in 1997, his son, John Burgstiner, took over the business and continues to manage production and distribution of the supplement formulations.)
The more I learned about this Burgstiner Wellness Protocol, the more I wanted to try it for myself. So, a few months ago, when I was experiencing a return of some of my colitis symptoms and a decrease in energy levels, I decided to order it and put it to the test.
This type of multi-pronged approach is definitely meant for people suffering from compromised health, depleted immune systems, or chronic disease, so it is not for everyone. It is also not something that you should stay on forever, as the goal is to use it to reach a place of improved health and homeostasis, where your body is healthier and more resilient. It was perfect for my goals, though, and wouldn’t disrupt any strides I had already made with my health and nutrition. I also knew that the products were trusted by Dr. Dennis, so I decided to put aside my regular routine and implement the protocol to see what kind of positive changes, if any, I could notice.
(Please consult a doctor or other trusted healthcare professional before beginning any supplementation program. I am not a medical doctor and am not making recommendations for your personal health. I am not purporting that these supplements be used to treat or cure any disease. I am simply stating my honest reviews and experience with the products.)
There are six products, Complete Thymic Formula (multivitamin/multimineral, whole food, herbs and glandular extracts), Essential Digestion (digestive enzyme), Essential Flora (probiotic), Liver CS Plus (liver and kidney support and anti-inflammatory), MagnifiCal (magnesium and Vitamin D), and Essential Omegas (essential fatty acids)—you can visit the Logos Nutritionals website to read more on each individual product– that make up the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol. Those 6 products are designed to restore the immune system, enhance absorption and assimilation of nutrients, reduce inflammation, and promote the elimination of wastes and environmental toxins.
The six supplements come as a grouping and can be purchased separately or altogether as the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol on the Logos Nutritionals website. Each individual bottle is clearly labelled with all ingredients outlined and dosage instructions indicated. Most of the supplements, if you are taking them as part of the wellness protocol, require dosing 2 or more times per day. I started with the lower dosing suggestions to see how my body faired with everything and also to see whether any of the supplements produced negative side effects or caused stomach upset.
While I was on the protocol exclusively, here is an example of my daily supplement routine:
2-3 Complete Thymic Formula
1 Liver CS Plus
1 Essential Flora
Then, right before eating:
1 Essential Digestion
An hour after eating my first meal:
1 Essential Omegas
In the Afternoon, Before Lunch, and In the Evening Before Dinner:
1 Essential Digestion
Nighttime, 2 hours or more after dinner:
2 Complete Thymic Formula
1 Liver CS Plus
1 Essential Flora
I found that this dosage and general timeline worked well for me, my body and my stomach. I would definitely advise you to listen to your body on this, though, and to do what works best for you.
I am normally quite the night owl and do a lot of my research and blogging in the evenings when my house is quiet and my kids are sleeping. About a week after starting the protocol, this changed for me, and I started going to bed earlier. It was just a very different feeling for me to feel like wrapping things up to get in bed at 9 PM. I listened to my body and feel asleep and slept soundly through the night. This is still happening for me, which I am actually loving, because I wake earlier and use that precious morning time to get some work done. As a result, I have noticed improvements with blood sugar regulation throughout the day, no afternoon energy crashes and yearn for caffeine, and a quicker nighttime down-regulation cycle, where I don’t have to consciously unwind, and go through a calming routine in order to fall asleep in a timely manner.
Other positive changes for me were better digestion, overall increase in energy, and better immune function. Many mold patients suffer from decreases or increases in stomach acid production. This causes all sorts of digestion issues, like leaky gut and acid reflux. I had more leaky gut symptoms, which would aggravate my ulcerative colitis and cause flares. When my colitis would flare, I just did not enjoy food or eating, because of the discomfort afterwards. It was hard for me to eat enough to maintain energy levels and a healthy body weight. It was a vicious cycle, because I was ALWAYS hungry, but underfeeding myself to avoid feeling bad. While on the protocol and still today, the added digestive enzymes help me to digest food more efficiency and faster, which leads to increased energy. Simply waking up with this kind of balanced energy to start the day has been a wonderful and welcome change.
As for the enhanced immune function, I can tell you that I believe the protocol saved me from another hospital stay while taking it. Because of my ulcerative colitis, I am more prone to foodborne illness, like Salmonella and E-coli. That is why I am religious about washing all produce, even things that are pre-washed, with my Homemade Fruit and Veggie Wash made with CitriDrops Dietary Supplement. The extracts in the CitriDrops can eliminate bacteria, microbes, and mold on foods. Well, I ran out of the CitriDrops my fourth week into the protocol. As luck would have it, a day later, I began having a terrible colitis flare and was totally sidelined. I was more concerned than ever, because I had not strayed from my diet, I was on the Wellness Protocol, and I had not, to my knowledge, had a mold exposure. Why was this happening?
The flare was short-lived. Thankfully, my body righted itself, and I was back to normal within 48 hours. (Just to give you an idea, a flare, even a minor one, usually takes me out for a week or more, and because I get so depleted, it usually takes me another week to feel like myself again.) I continued on the supplements, got some CitriDrops delivered, but still wondered what had triggered it. A few days later, I received an email that some organic greens I had purchased were recalled, because of possible E-coli contamination. Bingo! I had eaten those greens without re-washing them! The remarkable thing here, though, was the fact that I had been exposed to the E-coli, it had caused the flare, but my body had recovered without the kind of sickness that usually puts me in the hospital and on antibiotics. To me, someone who this has happened to more than the average person, my strong immunity could only be attributed to being on the protocol.
So, there you have my experience! I continue to use and to phase all of the supplements in and out of my routine to keep my body primed and to give it occasional boosts, when needed. I intend to do the entire protocol for a few months each year whenever I need a health or immunity improvement.
Now, because I know you have questions, because, I definitely would after all of that information, here is my interview with John Burgstiner:
Me: Which supplements did Dr. Burgstiner initially group together to treat his hepatitis? That story fascinates me and is so encouraging for all chronic illness patients that nature holds exactly what we need to heal us.
JB: First let me say, “Thank you,” Catherine for this opportunity to share with your readers.
My father experimented with many things but his personal breakthrough (when he seroconverted from having a chronic active hepatitis B infection) happened when he combined a thymus glandular extract, a multiple vitamin, probiotics, digestive enzymes and a few liver support herbs… which was the basis for today’s Burgstiner Wellness Protocol.
Me: I know that the Complete Thymic Formula was and is still the basis for most, if not all of the Logos Nutritionals protocols. Why is that?
JB: Complete Thymic Formula is a multi-glandular, multi-vitamin, multi-mineral formula that provides a comprehensive array of vital nutrients to nourish our organs and fuel our cells. We also use liver glandular extract in our Liver CS Plus liver support formula. Glandular therapy is at the root of our protocols because of its unique regenerative qualities. When you ingest glandular tissues, you are getting not only gland-specific nutrients, but vital information encoded in the RNA and DNA of those glandular proteins that there is no other way to impart!
Restoring integrity to the thymus gland is critical to restoring the bio terrain, because the thymus is the master gland of the immune system. Having strong and finely tuned innate immunity is central to maintaining balance and order among the body’s organs and organ systems.
Me: What kind of whole food nutritional support does the product provide? In other words, what nutritional gaps are most Western diets lacking that puts people at risk for illness and is this supplement trying to fill?
JB: It is no secret that the interests and methods of modern farming and agribusiness have depleted and progressively contaminated our soil and water. This along with the rise of processed foods have compromised the nutritional integrity of our food supply. We live in an increasingly toxic and hostile world from the standpoint of environmental exposures and microbial threats that stem from overuse of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, plastics, GMO’s and a host of other xenoestrogeneic compounds. This cumulative toxicity compromises our cellular energy potential and disrupts our hormonal regulatory systems.
While Complete Thymic Formula gives access to a therapeutic dosage of a broad array of nutrients to address nutritional deficits, the full Burgstiner Wellness Protocol is designed to do much more. All of the products are designed to work together on multiple levels to capitalize on the amazing power of their synergy.
For example, people with chronic intransigent infections also must deal with the ramifications of biofilm communities in the body, which render ineffective both our own immune surveillance capabilities and the antimicrobials our doctors use to combat the pathogens. The protocol and extension kits have elements which, among other things, compromise the structural integrity of biofilm so that the pathogens become much more vulnerable.
Me: Many immunocompromised people experience severe food intolerances, so they may be weary of trying something that could aggravate their digestive system. Why is Complete Thymic Formula different than simply eating those foods? Why is it better absorbed and utilized by the body?
JB: This goes back to restoring integrity to the thymus gland and restoring the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients. When the body’s digestive functions are restored, many inflammatory responses are abated. In addition, thymic hormones are among the body’s most important immune modulators, which explains why one of our best customers is the nation’s largest supplier of allergy and asthma relief products.
Our nutraceutical products are manufactured in an FDA-certified facility that easily exceeds GMP standards with quality control measures that rival anything in the pharmaceutical industry. Our formulations are updated regularly to capitalize on advances in research and our nutrients are presented in their most bioavailable form.
Me: How did you build the Wellness Protocol? What nutritional and supplement components were necessary to include and why? Who benefits most from this particular protocol and what is it ultimately trying to achieve?
JB: Basically, the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol answers two questions:
What are the foundational nutrients that need to be around on at least an intermittent basis in order for the human body to not only survive but thrive during these challenging times?
What organs, organ systems and metabolic pathways need to be supported in order to restore integrity to the bio terrain and homeostasis to the body?
On the surface it is really quite simple. In order for any organism to thrive, it needs to be able to acquire and efficiently convert nutrients into energy, remove toxins and wastes, and defend itself against microbial or predatory threats. In truth, the task of managing all those needs is quite complex, and the wisdom of our Creator is made evident by the ease with which our bodies do just that when given the proper support.
Obviously, vitamins and minerals are needed to catalyze all manner of enzymatic and metabolic processes. Probiotics (Essential Flora) and digestive enzymes (Essential Digestion) are needed to promote healthy digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Omega three fats (Essential Omegas) are needed for brain and cardiac health, hormonal regulation and to moderate inflammation.
The Liver CS Plus contains herbs and nutrients that clear the detox organs and pathways while fueling the production and recycling of glutathione, the body’s predominate antioxidant molecule.
Finally, MagnifiCal makes multiple critical contributions to the success of the protocol, from enhancing cardiac health and reversing the many damaging effects of calcification to building strong bones.
Me: Is this a protocol that someone can stay on for an extended amount of time or do you suggest that people cycle on and off of it?
JB: The Burgstiner Wellness Protocol was designed to provide comprehensive support with therapeutic dosages for chronically ill individuals. Obviously, it can and has been used on an ongoing basis for years. However, I am an advocate of occasionally cycling off the supplements to give the body a rest and an opportunity to reassess its needs… either by taking a week or two off occasionally or by mini-cycling (such as taking weekends off, which is built into the health maintenance portion (Phase 3) of our Kestasis program – a fantastic “graduation plan” for those who have restored their health).
Me: What products are not included in the protocol, but are good complements to it and why?
JB: The seventh and final component of the Burgstiner Wellness Protocol (denoted by the word “Plus”) is the Renaissance Activated Whey formula which was only made available in recent years once we were able to enzymatically predigest the protein to remove the large pro-inflammatory peptides that can pose problems for those with compromised digestion (which is common among the elderly and/or chronically ill).
This product is a rich source of amino acids (the building blocks for repair and maintenance of our tissues) and small, bioactive peptides that are useful for cellular communications and managing oxidative stress, and even direct antimicrobial support.
The Ubinol CoQ10 is a powerful addition to the protocol because CoQ10 is the rate limiting enzyme for energy production in the mitochondria. We use only ubiquinol, the fully reduced form of the enzyme that is easily absorbed at all ages and fully usable by the cells for energy production.
The Burgstiner Wellness Protocol is all about building a strong defense. We also have a number of formulations that are more offensive in nature, with direct antibiotic, anti-fungal or antiviral properties (such as Monolaurin, Candida Rid, Parabolish, Colostrum, Immune Pulse, MagnifiZyme, Olive Leaf Extract or Zycran Urinary Health).
By the way, we also produce nutraceutical products that address specific challenges or needs that may arise from time to time, such as Adam’s Vitality (for prostate health) or Eve’s Harmony (to balance women’s hormones), Cholest Essentials (a natural statin alternative) or Fitcose 1C (an incredible blood sugar support formula that is designed to reverse insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome), Joint Marvel (fantastic soft tissue support) Sleep Advance, Optisight and many others.
Me: I’d like your input on the proper timing and stacking of the products in the Wellness Protocol. Each bottle has its directions, but, when taken in unison as an entire regimen, what times of day and how do you recommend that the supplements be taken?
JB: I always take the enzymes, omegas, MagnifiCal and CTF with food while I typically take the Essential Flora and Liver CS Plus on an empty stomach. Ubinol and Monolaurin are best absorbed with a fatty meal. Most importantly, make a regimen that will work with your schedule, because the protocol cannot help you if you don’t take it regularly.
Me: Is there a suggested progression to a new protocol after the wellness protocol is used?
JB: As I mentioned, once someone is no longer symptomatic, many people use the Kestasis program as a kind of graduation and maintenance program just to maximize their quality and quantity of life. It incorporates all the components of the wellness protocol at lower dosages and adds in some nutrients to help the body maintain balance and shift into ketosis, a state in which the body uses fat rather than sugar as its main energy source at the cellular level.
It includes the Renaissance Activated Whey, which is great because you can add many of your supplements to your daily smoothie or “Life Shake” as I like to call it.
Me: Which supplements do you take? Which do you find to be the most helpful?
JB: At one time or another I have taken virtually all the supplements we produce, but I generally maintain now using the convenience of the daily packets offered in the maintenance phase of the Kestasis program (Phase 3) which includes the Renaissance along with Adams Vitality and Fitcose 1C, Joint Marvel, additional Vitamin D3 (in winter months) and the various natural antimicrobials, as needed.
I just want to say how inspiring it is to meet someone who chooses to turn the education gained from their life’s challenges into blessings for others. Thank you again for the opportunity to share with your readers.
Me: Thank you, John! I love talking to people, like you, are creating products or services for the growing population of people out there silently suffering from debilitating chronic or autoimmune illnesses. You are improving lives with all you do.
Comments, questions or concerns? Write them here in the comments section, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.