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.



Dr. Alison McAllister

Alison McAllister, ND is the Clinical Consultant Manager at ZRT Laboratory.
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Recent Posts

Pheochromocytoma - A Rare Condition Exposed by Neurotransmitter Testing

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Wednesday, 28 June

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The New York Times did a remarkable story the other day that ended with the line "When you hear hoofbeats, the chances are good that it's a horse…but we must also remember that sometimes the circus is in town. [1]

ZRT is apparently hosting the circus this year. At the odds of 3-8 individuals per million – ZRT has been instrumental in discovering two cases of pheochromocytoma tumors in the last six months. A condition that my clinical physiology teacher, Dr. Bettenburg, said was so rare that we would never see one, and if we did, we should contact her – so I did, this week. 

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A Year of Saliva Testing in Research

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Friday, 23 December

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I wanted to share a few of the studies using saliva testing that were published in the literature in 2016.

Just a hint, if you want to search for articles on saliva testing, use pubmed.gov and search saliva estradiol (or progesterone, testosterone etc.).

Be aware that saliva hormone testing is so standard in the research world that rarely is it mentioned in the titles of the papers. Over 310 studies were published in 2016 using saliva testing – 61 studies for testosterone and 189 studies on cortisol, while poor progesterone was neglected with only 14 studies this last year.

It’s always good to know that the work that ZRT has been doing for almost 20 years in the field of saliva testing is still cutting edge and useful. 

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Childhood Cancer – Let’s Talk About It

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Friday, 30 September

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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. 

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Metal Elements on a Mineral Mission to Mars

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Friday, 12 August

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Have you seen the movie The Martian?  I highly recommend it. The premise is that an astronaut called Mark Watney goes with a team to Mars, gets left behind and has to survive.

I love semi-disaster stories and even better when it's Matt Damon playing the main character. Now, according to the book, Watney had lots of vitamins and mineral supplements to supplement his diet. But if he hadn't had those supplements, there are certain elements that he could have become deficient in that could have led to severe health problems.

Let's explore some of the metal elements - nutritional elements - that you might want to take with you if you were on a mission to Mars.

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