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. Allison Smith

Allison Smith, ND is a Clinical Consultant at ZRT Laboratory.


Recent Posts

5 Steps to a Healthier Brain in 2017

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Tuesday, 31 January

ThinkstockPhotos-478921850.jpg

We're in a new year now and it seems like everyone's weighing in on the 5 or 10 or 20 things you and I should be doing to improve our health and wellness this year. It is January, after all, and it’s time to start setting priorities. There are tons of great ideas out there! Here are my top 5 for 2017. If you want to improve brain health, you need to make sure it gets enough oxygen, nutrition, and anti-oxidant support so that’s the unifying theme. I have a feeling if everyone did these, in 20 years we’d have fewer cases of psychological dysfunction and of neurodegenerative disease. 

Read More

Testing Urinary Neurotransmitters? Avoid the Big 5

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Thursday, 06 October

ThinkstockPhotos-545997818_1.jpg

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

On Prostate Cancer Prevention – Identifying Areas of Susceptibility

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Friday, 24 June

ThinkstockPhotos-135384606-172098-edited.jpg

In our current medical paradigm, screening for cancer is considered a preventive measure by virtue of providing an earlier diagnosis. Getting an early jump on a disease process like cancer makes treatment exponentially easier and outcomes generally better. Under the current guidelines, that early jump on prostate cancer starts at age 55 for men at low to moderate risk and 40-45 for men at high risk. It takes years for cancer to grow to a detectable point after the tumor's initial induction from a normal cell to a cancerous one. There's been a lot of research done to determine what those inducers are and how they work. Three of these inducers are simple to test for and completely modifiable with treatment and/or avoidance:

  • Bisphenol A
  • Arsenic
  • Catechol estrogens

Read More

The Cortisol Awakening Response in Addressing Adrenal Function

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Friday, 04 March

ThinkstockPhotos-stk84639cor.jpg

Diurnal Rhythm Assessment

Thirty minutes after awakening from a good night's sleep, cortisol levels are at the highest they'll be all day. Following the morning peak, cortisol levels then fall to less than half that peak level by noon. They continue to drop to very low levels at night where they stay low during the sleep hours. Some individuals have a sharp rise to reach morning levels, others a more gradual incline. Looking at cortisol levels graphed during the day, any abnormal elevation, or depression of levels, or a loss of the expected curve with its characteristic morning peak and swooping decline towards evening may suggest HPA axis dysfunction – which is what we're most interested in assessing when we're looking at a 4-point salivary cortisol test.

Read More