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.

A Dynamic Duo: When to Test Neurotransmitters with Sex Hormones

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Thursday, 06 April

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The nervous system and its communication with peripheral organs is under the continuous dynamic influence of hormones, neuroactive steroids, and neurotransmitters. This is why the underlying pathology of mood disorders can often be varied and complex.

The hormonal piece is critical to our understanding of the imbalances when it comes to the complete neurotransmitter assessment. Hormones regulate key processes pertaining to neurotransmitter biosynthesis, signaling, and degradation. It is important to recognize that disturbances in the relationships between hormones and neurotransmitters can shape normal physiology toward a maladaptive state leading to suboptimal psychological wellbeing.

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Does Following a Gluten-Free, Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Result in Increased Heavy Metals Intake?

Posted by Ted Zava on Friday, 17 March

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A recent study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that people following a gluten-free diet have significantly higher arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury levels in urine and blood than those not following a gluten-free diet. [1] 

Another similar study in 2006 revealed that vegans and vegetarians have an increased cadmium body burden in comparison to those following normal diets. [2] 

So why do gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets increase the risk of heavy metal exposure? Increased consumption of two foods that are staples for all cultures around the world are the primary culprits: rice and green leafy vegetables.

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Celebrating ZRT's Hormone Laboratory Professionals

Posted by Dr. Sherry LaBeck on Friday, 29 April

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It may come as a surprise to most people that each year, the last full week of April is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating laboratory professionals.

This year Medical Laboratory Professionals Week falls on April 24-30. Setting aside one week a year to acknowledge these experts is a perfect opportunity to increase public awareness of, and appreciation for, clinical laboratory personnel. 

Just who are these hormone laboratory professionals? They are the skilled individuals whose expertise is vital to laboratory testing. At ZRT, state-of-the-art testing equipment is the norm and each instrument has an experienced specialist or team of specialists at the controls.

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How Reference Ranges Determine a "Normal" Lab Test Result

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 13 November

normal.chalkboard.jpgCLIA-certified testing laboratories such as ZRT are required to provide reference ranges as an aid to interpretation of test results.

Ideally, reference ranges provide the expected range of values for a healthy population. When methodology and equipment is identical for testing a particular analyte among different laboratories, reference ranges for that analyte should be the same.

However, when methodologies or equipment for the same test differ somewhat from lab to lab, each lab must provide its own reference range established with its own methods. These ranges are usually very close, but may differ slightly depending on method. An example would be testing testosterone in blood or saliva by extraction and LC-mass spectrometry vs. direct testing by immunoassay.

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