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. Kate Placzek

Kate Placzek, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist at ZRT Laboratory.
Find me on:


Recent Posts

Heavy Metals, Nutrients & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Wednesday, 23 May

ThinkstockPhotos-533906161_crop_sm

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.

Read More

The Role of Estrogen & the Microbiome in Preserving Bone Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Saturday, 12 May

ThinkstockPhotos-469754100

I remember my great-grandmother’s hands. So capable, big and warm, covered in freckles, ready to comfort, unbending the clawed rigidity to softly wipe my tears.

I remember her powerful, beautiful mind, endless with patience, tirelessly reading my favorite story over and over from a tattered book. I remember her, trapped in a creaky body, moving slowly around the kitchen in a sort of graceful dance with pain, cooking, cleaning, all the while humming, singing to herself.

In that time and space, to my child eyes, she seemed timeless and invincible. Now all I have are the sweetest memories of her. And the photographs of her looking so lovely and so fragile. She was one of the lucky ones – no falls, no breaks, no fractures. Instead, she quietly, silently, withered, shrank onto herself, rounded back and all.

Read More

Collection Timing Matters for Urine Testing

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 02 March

ThinkstockPhotos-77741160.jpg

Urine is rapidly becoming the preferred medium for neurotransmitter testing to ensure objective neurobiological assessment. This is because a) urine is the primary route of peripherally-produced neurotransmitter elimination; and b) it is non-invasive and cost-effective. This blog takes a look at how dried urine testing provides a superior advantage over standard liquid urine collection methods.

Read More

The Impact of Hormones on Serotonin in Depression

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 09 February

Serotonin Blog Images-609310-edited.jpgSerotonin, or rather its deficiency, frequently steals the spotlight in conversations regarding depression.  Initially discovered as a component of serum in 1948 to regulate vasoconstriction (serotonin = serum + tone), the role of serotonin in depressive disorders wasn't implied until a few years later. Since then, much effort has been dedicated by scientists and clinicians alike to understand the wondrous complexity of the seemingly inscrutable code that is serotonin neurotransmission. In fact, some of the major breakthroughs in psychopharmacology happened with serotonin in mind – the discovery of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prominently expanded the therapeutic toolbox for mental health practitioners.      

Read More