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.

Cadmium’s Connection to Infertility and Reproduction

Posted by Ted Zava on Thursday, 14 June

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Cadmium is a dangerous heavy metal and a known carcinogen. Even though daily exposure is usually relatively low compared to toxins like arsenic, cadmium bioaccumulates with a half-life in the body of 25-30 years.

Essentially, the older you are, the more cadmium you have stored in your body. When cadmium exposure is high, it increases cellular oxidation products that deplete antioxidants like glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase, rendering the body defenseless to further oxidative damage [1].

The most common sources of cadmium exposure are green leafy vegetables and grains, as cadmium is accumulated from contaminated water and soil. Thus, people consuming plant-based diets may be at a higher risk for cadmium exposure. Tobacco, a green leafy plant, concentrates cadmium, which is then highly absorbed through the lungs when smoked, resulting in blood cadmium levels 3 times higher than in non-smokers [2]. In comparison, only a small percentage of cadmium is absorbed in the gut from food. Other sources of cadmium include industrial activities such as smelting and refining, mining, and manufacturing of batteries and cadmium-containing pigments. 

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 3

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 01 June

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This is part three of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part two can be found here.

Monoamines and the HPA Axis

The hypothalamus is directly innervated by neuronal systems that produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (5-HT), dopamine and norepinephrine (NE), that are involved in mood regulation and play various other roles in cognitive health. During the acute stress crisis, the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system is stimulated to help maintain morale. However, during chronic stress or depression, the reward system is down-regulated by stress mediators, resulting in anhedonia.

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Heavy Metals, Nutrients & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Wednesday, 23 May

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Influenced by our environment, we are constantly being exposed to elements, whether nutritional or toxic. They are a big contribution to the yin yang dualism of health and disease. 

With heavy metals, contamination is so extensive nowadays that it is no longer a question of whether exposure took place, but rather what the level of exposure was or continues to be.

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 18 May

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This is part two of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part three can be found here.

Glutamate, GABA & Neurosteroid Activation

Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood [1]. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5% [2].

Glutamate is required for synaptic transmission and plasticity, and learning and memory. However, abnormal function of the glutamatergic system can lead to neurotoxicity, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders [3].

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