The ZRT Laboratory Blog

The ZRT Blog is an extensive resource for patients and health care providers searching for health and hormone testing information. Here, you can read about ZRT’s cutting edge research, advances in testing, wellness advice, and health industry highlights.

Monoamine Metabolites – An Essential Factor In Understanding Neurotransmitters

Posted by Dr. David Zava on Friday, 13 October

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After an extensive and careful review of test results over the past year, the scientists and clinical consultants at ZRT have concluded that the monoamine metabolites ZRT includes as part of its panel of 14 neurotransmitters are essential for the best and most comprehensive interpretation of test results.

We've determined that while looking at a more limited range of seven to nine neurotransmitters is helpful in assessing precursor availability, interpreting results based on those levels alone without their downstream metabolites can result in undertreatment, treatment of the wrong part of the system, or overtreatment with direct precursors.

It is only in looking at a complete set of parent neurotransmitters together with their metabolites that you glean the most precise information about systemic patterns – leading to a provider's ability to develop the most effective treatment plan. 

Following are several examples that have led us to these conclusions.

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Clinical Pearls - Getting the Most Out of Your Neurotransmitter Test

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 29 September

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Learning how to use a new test can be overwhelming, especially when it goes back to neurology which you might not have thought of since medical school.

To assist health care providers in approaching neurotransmitter testing as a functional assessment, ZRT has outlined a series of key concepts below.

As with any functional test that measures physiological function, the challenge lies in the interpretation of subclinical levels of measured parameters. However, it is within those subclinical levels that the neurotransmitter test becomes a powerful tool to identify what is contributing to a specific patient's health issues and how to map toward a successful outcome based on an individual treatment plan.

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Estrogen: The Link Between Microbiome, Menopause & Metabolic Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Saturday, 23 September

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The diversity of the microbiome has profound implications for metabolic health. The micro-organisms that we host in our gastrointestinal tract maintain our gut integrity, break down complex carbohydrates to improve energy extraction from food, produce vitamins and minerals, aid in digestion and absorption, ferment dietary fibers and protect us against pathogens. Maintaining a delicate balance in the diversity of the host-microbiome relationship is crucial for disease prevention and healthy aging. 

Studies on the microbiome are emerging as a new and exciting frontier of science. However, how the microbiome interacts with the endocrine system to modulate metabolic health is still one of the less explored avenues in microbiome research. This blog aims to shed light on the intertwined roles of gut microbiota and estrogen on metabolic health for women as they transition into menopause.

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Research Updates – Trials of HRT Started in Early Menopause

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 15 September

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One of the primary objectives of the Women's Health Initiative was to see if postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) improved long-term risk of coronary heart disease, among other chronic diseases.

However, the combined estrogen/progestin (Prempro) arm was halted in 2002, citing that the participants’ risk of cardiovascular disease outweighed any potential benefit of HRT in the prevention of colorectal cancer and bone fracture [1]. The conjugated equine estrogen (CEE)-only arm was also halted in 2004 citing no improvement in heart disease risk but an increased incidence of stroke, and no benefit in terms of fractures, although there was a reduced breast cancer risk [2].

Yet the WHI investigators published a report this week [3] after a cumulative follow-up of 18 years finding that there was no overall increase in all-cause, cardiovascular, or cancer mortality as a result of either Prempro or CEE-only treatment during their participation in the trial.

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