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.

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 that ZRT tests that you might want to take with you on your mission to Mars.

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Element Testing – Why Sample Type Matters!

Posted by Ted Zava on Tuesday, 03 May

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Urine, serum, plasma, whole blood, red blood cells, feces, hair, fingernails … the list goes on. How do you decide what biological sample(s) to use for element analysis? Can results be compared to scientific literature or do they have clinical significance? Is it possible for values to be elevated or low in one sample type and normal in another? Do test results indicate recent intake, body burden, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity, deficiency, or homeostatic regulation? These are just some of the questions facing a testing laboratory when they want to develop and validate essential and toxic element profiles that will provide clinically meaningful results.

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High Air Levels of Arsenic & Cadmium May Be Linked to a Cancer Cluster in Portland, Oregon

Posted by Ted Zava on Thursday, 04 February

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Many residents were surprised to learn today that high levels of arsenic and cadmium are being detected at an air monitoring station in Southeast Portland, Oregon according to the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Watch the News: Dr. Zava comments on toxin exposure in SE Portland

The state began monitoring air quality after moss samples taken from the area last October were found to be high in arsenic and cadmium. The results, which were only made public in the past few days, show cadmium at 49 times the acceptable level and arsenic at 159 times the acceptable level for air.

Of key concern is that the testing location is in an area populated with businesses, schools, and parks. It is not clear yet how long exposure has occurred or whether it is caused by a nearby glass blowing facility. As of this week, the glass blowing facility decided to cease use of arsenic and cadmium.

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Bioaccumulation of Toxic Elements - Can Persistent Low Exposure Lead to Large Problems?

Posted by Ted Zava on Friday, 02 October

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Bioaccumulation is the concentration of toxic substances by an organism over an extended period of time. This occurs in all species, and is magnified progressively up the food chain.

Toxic elements we consume in liquids and foods, breathe in from the air, or absorb through our skin are retained in the body for different durations, depending on their chemical properties. The amount of time it takes for the body to eliminate half of a specific substance is called its half-life.

Toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, and lead can accumulate over a lifetime and have long half-lives in different organs and tissues. 

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