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.

Fermented Drinks – A Fun Way to Feed Your Gut Microbiome!

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 14 October


Our society is on high bug alert these days. There are those who fear microbes (the germaphobes) and those who swoop in with exciting cutting edge research for why germs are important for our wellbeing. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. Whatever our feelings are, the gut-brain axis – the imaginary line between the brain and the gut – undeniably is one of the new frontiers of neuroscience. With good reason. The state of the gut microbiome is key to human health, so let’s explore a fun way to feed our “second brain” with the help of fermentation.

Read More

Hormonal Contraceptives – Do They Increase Risk of Depression?

Posted by Margaret Groves on Saturday, 08 October


There have been some articles going around the medical news reporting on a new Danish study [1] suggesting that hormonal contraception might increase risk of depression, and that previous studies may not have highlighted this link because they did not include women who stopped taking their birth control as a result of depressive symptoms. This study got around that problem by including in their survey women who had been using birth control at any time during the previous 6 months. So what is the fuss all about?

Read More

Testing Urinary Neurotransmitters? Avoid the Big 5

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Thursday, 06 October


Food is medicine. It’s well understood that the food we eat provides the amino acids, micronutrients (eg., vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) we need to sustain our lives. However, it may come as a surprise to know that some foods contain more than just the amino acid precursors to neurotransmitters and actually contain high levels of some neurotransmitters themselves like serotonin1 and dopamine2. For some people, a diet rich in those foods that are high in neurotransmitters lends just the balance they need to feel well in lieu of psychotropic medication. As an example, someone who struggles with irritability and a low mood might try a diet rich in serotonin and vitamin B6-containing foods like bananas, walnuts and pineapples. But when you’re testing neurotransmitters in the urine, these foods in fact can cause problems with the testing.

Read More

Children’s Cancer – Let’s Talk About It

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Friday, 30 September


The month of September is known for both menopause month and children’s cancer awareness month. Many people commonly recognize the first but not the second.

I would just like to take a moment and talk about children’s cancer. This is not my typical blog about fun and the joy of science and research that I usually strive for. Don’t worry, I'll blog about the wonders of estrogen, thyroid, or testosterone soon I’m sure. The ZRT family however, has been touched by a child of an employee with cancer – Go Regan! – and sadly 1 out of 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer (under the age of 18). I personally have 3 friends whose children have had cancer and I’ve personally worked with families and been affected by their journeys.  Without awareness, there is no drive for funding of pediatric cancer research or pediatric cancer treatments which today is only 4% of the national research budget and almost zero of the pharmaceutical companies’ budgets. 

Read More