Category: News

Happy Holidays

Dr. Russ Jaffe, and the entire staff at ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season. With these holiday wishes in mind, we also want to remind our customers about some of the shipping challenges we face this time of year and how best to minimize their impact on you, your staff, and your clients. Here are a few holiday tips for running LRA by ELISA/ACT tests during the holiday season.

Click here to download the Holiday Schedule PDF

#1 – Check the schedule for days NOT to do blood draws. Download schedule.

Don’t draw blood samples on Monday 12/25 or Monday 1/1.

#2 – Between now and the end of the year, the high volume of packages being shipped is likely to result in delayed delivery of your LRA specimen to our lab. We recommend allowing an extra day for shipping and NOT drawing blood on Fridays.

#3 – If you are drawing blood the week before Christmas, please call us for special instructions for shipping. 800.553.5472.

We will email you a special label to insure your blood sample against late delivery. This may not prevent the specimen from arriving late, but if it does, UPS will be picking up the cost of the blood draw.

Please contact the ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies Client Services team at 800.553.5472.

Happy Holidays

Recap of Digestive Health Month

As we end Digestive Health month at PERQUE Integrative Health, we wanted to provide a summary of the topics we have covered recently on Facebook Live, in podcasts, and in the Ask Dr. J Q&A session.


Probiotics and digestion

The digestive tract maintains a balance between healthy and potentially harmful microorganisms. Healthy microorganisms or microflora are residents of the digestive tract that have a protective role in our bodies. In 1908, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Elie Metchnikoff of the Pasteur Institute in Paris provided the first evidence that microorganisms may be responsible for the health-promoting effects of fermented milks.

After observing that Bulgarian peasants lived to ripe, old ages, Metchnikoff became convinced that their health and longevity were linked to microbes in the soured milk they copiously drank. In his book The Prolongation of Life, he suggested that disease-causing (“bad”) bacteria could be eliminated by ingesting large amounts of Bulgarian sour milk, which contained a beneficial (“good”) bacterium later identified as Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

These organisms were part of a group called Lactobacilli, or bacteria that produce lactic acid. The study and therapeutic use of various beneficial bacteria for health purposes for humans and animals is termed probiotics, literally “for life”.


Inhibition of pathogens

Probiotics modulate the composition of the human gut microbiota. One of the major beneficial effects is the suppression of harmful microorganisms.1 That is why, when there is a significant depletion and a lack of replenishment of our healthy microorganisms and probiotic microflora, there is heightened risk for intestinal conditions like viral gastroenteritis.2

Also, research by Campieri and colleagues points out that when there is an adequate range and sufficient numbers of healthy probiotic organisms in the gut, the risk of inflammatory bowel disease is substantially reduced, and there is reversal in those individuals who have already expressed conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or regionalenteritis.3


Lowering of lipid levels

A variety of studies have been published showing that healthy probiotics in adequate amounts bind and help increase the metabolism of certain lipid or lypophilic substances, reduce certain toxicants that are secreted through the bile into the gastrointestinal tract, and reduce the reuptake of cholesterol and fatty acid products. This can be associated with a 5-17% reduction in serum cholesterol after just one month of daily consumption of adequate probiotic organisms that is in the 10-20 billion organism/day range.4


Digestive enzymes

Probiotics also produce many important enzymes and increase the availability of nutrients. For instance, the enzyme lactase, which is secreted by lactic acid bacteria, improves absorption of the milk sugar lactose. Also, these bacteria facilitate the action of intestinal lactase leading to decreased diarrhea and thereby better overall digestion.5

A prudent person would therefore benefit by taking 8-12 billion probiotic organisms from mixed cultures, a variety of Lactobacilli, Bifidobacterium, and Strep thermophilus organisms and if one is traveling, or under distress, recovering from a disease or replenishing their probiotics due to antibiotic consumption then the need would be closer to 20 billion, healthy probiotic organisms/day.

There are 10 active, viable, live probiotic strains in PERQUE Digesta Guard Forté 107.5 billion organisms per single capsule. The probiotic organisms in the capsule are highly stable. They are maintained under freezer conditions after production and before delivery leading to a <5% loss of activity at freezer temperatures, which is -20° F or below. In the refrigerator there is about a 10% loss in six months of storage and at room temperature there is <5% loss over a month.


Role of Antibiotics

Humans and animals require good bacteria to break down nutrients for digestion. Living systems require bacteria to decompose waste. Unfortunately, antibiotic therapy kills all bacteria, both bad and good, thus debilitating digestion and slowing decomposition. In addition, by relying on antibiotics, organisms never develop their natural immune response mechanisms. They become even more vulnerable to disease. Further, continued use of antibiotics has, in some cases, led to stronger, more antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Frequent antibiotic use can lead to an overgrowth of yeast (Candida albicans), which thrives in a gut low in friendly bacteria. Probiotics are recommended in cases of yeast infection.6

Researchers are now beginning to advocate antibiotic/probiotic combinations for such conditions as diarrhea, female urinary/genital tract infection and infective endocarditis.7


Fiber and digestion

Pathogens need to be prevented from growing in our intestines and the gut should be able to break food down into non-reactive non-foreign building blocks so that the body can easily assimilate, utilize and eliminate them. The body also needs to be able to eliminate. The right speed at which the guts moves its contents is called the transit time, a time from consumption to elimination of 12-18 hours. For this to work, the diet should be high in fiber: 80% soluble and 20% insoluble. This provides healthier digestion. Fiber also improves blood cholesterol levels by binding to it.8

Adequate fiber lowers the glycemicindex and can also help against obesity by lowering the Body Mass Index.9

Fiber additionally facilitates nutrient absorption, detoxification of toxins such as heavy metals and improves mental clarity and reduces brain fog. PERQUE Regularity Guard has an ideal combination of fibers and prebiotics that improves digestion naturally and is a trophorestorative support to the gut.


How much fiber does one need?

The ideal goal is 40gm of total soluble and insoluble fiber throughout the day. So if one is on a high fiber diet, which is giving you about 30 grams/day, then one or two scoops of PERQUE Regularity Guard is indicated. If one is on a Standard American Diet, where the fiber content is very low, 3-5 scoops of PERQUE Regularity Guard are required.


Glutamine and digestion

Intestinal surfaces are susceptible to erosion from mechanical action, toxins and the products of abnormal bacteria. Digestion and normal metabolic function of the intestines are dependent upon adequate amounts of glutamine, which is the most abundant amino acid in the body. Leaky bowel syndrome and damaged mucosa are usually associated with glutamine deficiency. Through the action of glutamine on the kidneys, the body controls pH balance and eliminates acids.10

Research indicates that glutamine can effectively enhance bowel function in people with short-bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal conditions and also those requiring extensive intestinal operations, including transplantation.11

The effects of glutamine have also shown to maintain the integrity of the gut barrier structure and decrease intestinal cell wall damage.12

L glutamine and Pyridoxal Alpha Keto glutarate (PAK) in PERQUE Endura/PAK Guard helps regenerate the intestinal surface cells and provides for optimum digestion.



  1. Fuller R, Gibson GR. Modification of the intestinal microflora using probiotics and prebiotics. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1997;222:28-31.
  2. Biller JA, Katz AJ, Flores AF, Buie TM, Gorbach SL. Treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile colitis with Lactobacillus GG. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1995 Aug;21(2):224-6.
  3. Campieri M , Gionchetti P. Probiotics in inflammatory bowel disease: New insight to pathogenesis or a possible therapeutic alternative? Gastroenterology 1999;116:1246-1249.
  1. Jackson KG, Taylor GR, Clohessy AM, Williams CM. The effect of the daily intake of inulin on fasting lipid, insulin and glucose concentrations in middle-aged men and women. Br J Nutr. 1999 Jul;82(1):23-30.
  1. Heyman M. Effect of lactic acid bacteria on diarrheal diseases. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2 Suppl):137S-146S.
  1. Gionchetta P, Campieri M. Probiotic therapy. Res Clin Forums 2000;22:111-16.
  2. Charteris WP, et al. Antibiotic susceptibility of potentially probiotic Lactobacillus species. J Food Prot 1998;61:1636-43.
  1. Riccardi G, Rivellese AA. Effects of dietary fiber and carbohydrate on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism in diabetic patients. Diabetes Care. 1991 Dec;14(12):1115-25
  1. Murakami K, Sasaki S, Okubo H, Takahashi Y, Hosoi Y, Itabashi M. Dietary fiber intake, dietary glycemic index and load, and body mass index: a cross-sectional study of 3931 Japanese women aged 18-20 years. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan 24; [Epub ahead of print]
  1. Judy Shabert, MD, RD and Nancy Ehrlich. The Ultimate Nutrient Glutamine, The Essential Nonessential Amino Acid.
  2. Byrne TA, Persinger RL, Young LS, Ziegler TR, Wilmore DW. A new treatment for patients with short-bowel syndrome. Growth hormone, glutamine, and a modified diet. Ann Surg. 1995 Sep;222(3):243-54; discussion 254-5.
  1. Wu XQ, Shu LH, Sun M, Wang H, Gao H. [Effect of glutamine on apoptosis of the small intestine in young rats with endotoxemia and its mechanism][Article in Chinese]Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi. 2006 Dec;8(6):496-8.

6 Savvy Rules of Healthy Eating

This summer, follow these six savvy rules of healthy eating:

  1. Eat Whole Foods, not processed

Any food in its most essential, pure and basic form is nutrient dense and must be preferred over processed food.  When you eat whole foods, you’re getting the food in its natural state e.g.,   an apple instead of apple juice, or a baked potato and mashed potatoes. Favoring a whole foods-rich diet is a simple way to ensure that what you eat is micronutrient dense and free of unnecessary additives and preservatives. Whole foods have the best ingredients for creating tasty and healthy meals, supply essential nutrients with their chaperones to  and help keep you healthy. Choose whole, fresh, natural, organic, preferably biodynamically grown, local, seasonal, unrefined and unprocessed foods.  Refrain from adding these popular toxins into your diet:   artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats

  1. Enjoy a Plant-rich diet

Everybody can benefit from a focus on plant-based foods. The more whole, plant-foods you incorporate into your routine, the more likely those unhealthy cravings will subside.  To date, only approximately 6% of calories in the average current US diet comes from fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and seeds.   When you eat more plants, you’re helping not only the body get the key nutrients it needs but also helping the planet be more sustainable. Not getting enough protein is usually the main concern of many while on a plant based diet but if you add beans, nuts and legumes and grasses like quinoa and hemp that aspect can be easily taken care of.  Eat a colorful variety of plants that are alkalinizing in nature and ensure you’re getting the best nutrients for your body. Remember your first morning urine pH must be between 6.5-7.5.

  1. Healthy fats are important

Fat is an integral part of a healthy diet – the catch is, it needs to be healthy.     Whole plant-based foods like nuts, seeds and avocados are amazing sources of healthy fats.  Clarified butter and coconut oil are great too.  Extracted oils like vegetable oil and canola and processed fats like margarine need to be avoided

  1. Eat nutrient dense foods; concentrate less on calories

A variety of nutrients – such as vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – are essential for good health. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables along with all kinds of whole grains, beans and other unrefined whole plant foods to get the most out of your diet.

  1. 5. Organic: eat organic when you can. Organic foods have a host of nutritional benefits compared with their conventionally grown counterparts, including more antioxidants, fewer toxic heavy metals and less pesticide residue. All of these lead to a higher toxin load on the body and when avoided, can serve the body better. A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that pesticide residues are three to four times more likely in conventionally grown foods and have double the amount of the toxic metal cadmium.
  2. Incorporate Super-foods like garlic, ginger, onions broccoli sprouts and eggs (GGOBE) to support healthy detoxification systems. While the quest is to avoid exposure to toxins as much as possible, you are bound to be inhaling and absorbing copious amounts of environmental toxins daily. The GGOBE foods provide a very important mineral sulfur. One of the most abundant in the body, sulfur is required for the synthesis of glutathione, one of our premier endogenous antioxidants, taurine that helps with the cardiovascular system and other amino acids like methionine and cysteine that aid in comprehensive detoxification.

GGOBE, especially the vegetables also provide a nutrient called sulforaphane, an organosulfur compound.  Sulforaphane exhibits anticancer, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial properties. These super biodetox foods are also a rich source of IP 6 which aids in the metabolism of insulin and calcium, promotes healthy hair growth, bone marrow cell metabolism, eye membrane development, and helps the liver transfer fat to other parts of the body.

We suggest regularly incorporating these foods daily to add variety to the diet and to achieve   that jump start in functional detoxification.

Stay healthy this summer!

Healthier Mind-Body Choices

Chronic stress adds to the burden of cumulative repair deficit (inflammation). Unhealthy thoughts or attitudes are metabolically expensive yet can be relearned in ways that promote rather than impair health. Stress-reduction should be considered a crucial element of any health restoration program. Techniques such as meditation, abdominal breathing, salt and soda baths, and photobiology are simple for patients to implement and will yield great reward in terms of improved treatment outcomes and quality of life.

Healing traditions of every ancient culture have included some form of breath practice. There is a profound effect from the simple act of learning to breathe consciously. Breathing deeply and consciously…

  • Teaches us to be more mindful
  • Supports energy levels
  • Helps keep us relaxed and centered
  • Is a refuge from stress and a tool for healing

Lack of regular exercise promotes repair deficit while regular exercise reduces inflammation. Exercise should be a pleasure, with a goal of adequate activity that is achievable rather than excessive activity that becomes a burden.

The mind and body are always connected, and interactive movement is essential for physical and mental peace. The ideal activities are those systems that combine breath and movement, with a priority given to core strength and musculoskeletal resilience.

For example, the following practices are all meaningful and restorative ways of combining breath and movement:

  • Traditional free form hatha and prana yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Pilates
  • Trager System
  • Feldenkrais method
  • Alexander technique

Practical Applications

As a trusted healthcare provider, you are the best person to help your patients implement healthful lifestyle choices. Use Joy In Living: The Alkaline Way as a resource to help you prescribe, inspire, and support your patients in developing their own personalized program.

The guide includes tips and tools for living the Alkaline Way…

  • Acid/Alkaline food effects chart
  • An entire chapter of alkaline recipes
  • Help in building an immune-tolerant diet
  • Detox and cleanse guide
  • Getting started with physical activity, mindfulness, and light therapy.

Happy Thanksgiving

There is much this year for us to be grateful. Keeping my thanks to each and all to a few words is a challenge. I am deeply thankful for the opportunity I have had, over several decades, to help advance the practice of functional medicine by helping you help patients. The evidence is growing; people can stop fighting and start healing.

Today, as every day, I am filled with gratitude for your continued support. My staff and I are eager to continue our service to you through advanced supplements, functional tests, comprehensive treatment plans, and now even a self-paced certification program. Joining together our strengths, we will continue the transition from sick care to healthful caring for all.

Our many thanks and gratitude for the opportunities and challenges of this season.

In Health,

Russ Jaffe

Russ Jaffe, MD, Ph.D., CCN



Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Fellow, Health Studies Collegium




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