I have been given The Vital Plan Protocol as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
I was given a chance to try Vital Plan’s Restore Program from Dr. Bill Rawls. I’m very picky about which supplements/programs I review as it seems like a lot of them are just out to profit from sick people. However, I picked this program because it’s not just expensive supplements, it comes with substantial research and support.
The Restore Program was created by Dr. Bill Rawls to support his immune system during his own struggle with Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. The program is meant to support people with Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and has several goals and features:
- Support the immune system – with adaptogenic herbal extracts
- Balance the microbiome – and support normal gut flora
- Features plant-based antimicrobials for natural support
- Maintain energy levels by supporting energy production
My immune system has long been destroyed by Lyme Disease, my gut has been decimated by long term antibiotics, and my energy levels are far from normal, so I was hopeful that this program would be a good fit for me. Especially because it doesn’t just come with supplements, it comes with Dr. Rawl’s book, regular emails, telephone support, and regular progress trackers. No excuse for failure this time!
During the program every morning and night you take 3 capsules from each supplement bottle. Though it is suggested you start small and build your way up to taking three at a time.
- A-Biotic- Supports the gut, immune function, & microbiome balance
2. Adaptogen Recovery- Supports immune function and the body’s stress response
3. Mitochondrial Support – Supports cellular energy production and tissue detoxification
4. Prevention Plus- Powerful detoxification and antioxidant support
Taking 24 pills a day is no easy feet, so this program definitely isn’t for someone who struggles with swallowing pills. With that said, there’s more to the program than just swallowing supplements. It comes with a very strict diet plan which involves eliminating a lot of foods and then slowly adding them back into your diet. I wasn’t thrilled about this part of the program, but figured it would be good for me. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, but I definitely have a weakness for sugar that has been hard to beat.
Unfortunately right when I started the program my gall bladder decided it wasn’t going to work anymore and I went a full month without being able to eat hardly at all before my gall bladder was removed. Recovering from surgery was another complication that delayed my starting the diet, and so as of this review I have only been on the diet plan for about a month. Luckily I was able to save all the emails from Vital Plan advising me on how to best follow the diet plan and how to cook with the limitations given. The emails were somewhat overwhelming at first because I initially couldn’t keep up with all the information presented. It was a little too much information for me to process, so I saved many of the emails to read later when I could concentrate more effectively.
The biggest difference in my health I have noticed since I started the program has been the healing of my gut and my digestive system. This is pretty remarkable considering I had gall bladder surgery in the middle of it and had to be on antibiotics for some time. Antibiotics from Lyme Disease treatment have left my digestive system in disarray even though it’s been several years since the treatment. Nothing else has been able to heal my digestive system, so this is a huge win for me. Have my pain and fatigue improved since I started the program? I haven’t noticed any difference, I wish I could say otherwise. It is possible I haven’t been on the program long enough, or my surgery has stunted my progress. I’m planning on continuing the program a little longer to see if it will help my fatigue.
The cost of this program, like many programs for the chronically ill, can be prohibitive. As you can see from the chart below, it’s not inexpensive. However the starter kit does not just come with the supplements, it comes with a 6 month email course, Dr. Rawl’s book Suffered Long Enough, and personalized support. That support is what sets this program apart from others of a similar variety.
UPDATE 6/15/2017: I’ve continued to stay on the Vital Plan. Overall my conclusions are the same as they were last August. My pain and fatigue seem to be about the same, but the program does seem to help my damaged digestive system. I did go off the plan for a few months and I noticed a huge difference so I eventually went back on. I’m still currently taking the pills every single day.