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.

Heavy Metals, Nutrients & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Wednesday, 23 May

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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.

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Is Sweating a Good Bet for Heavy Metal Detox?

Posted by Ted Zava on Thursday, 08 March

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A couple years back, I wrote a blog about iodine deficiency in athletes resulting from excessive sweat loss.

Later, while studying the kinetics of the iodine loading test which involves taking a 50-mg dose of iodine and collecting urine for 24 hours, I investigated the excretion of iodine in sweat along with urine.

Surprisingly iodine levels in sweat tracked urine iodine excretion over a period of 3 days. The goal was to show that the loss of iodine through sweat can represent a significant portion of the 50-mg dose, something the creators of the Iodine Loading Test had not accounted for.

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Toxic Baby Food: A Look Beyond the Labels

Posted by Ted Zava on Friday, 27 October

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A recent news story [1] reports that the Clean Label Project, a non-profit organization focused on health and transparency in consumer product labeling, tested 530 baby food products for toxic elements and chemicals. The results were not good.

Sixty-five percent of products tested "positive" for arsenic, 36% for lead, 58% for cadmium, and the tests even showed high levels of BPA in “BPA Free” products. These toxins are harmful to infants (and adults), and can lead to developmental delays and permanent damage to the brain, kidneys, liver, bladder, and many other organs in the body. Arsenic and cadmium are known carcinogens while lead, a damaging neurotoxin, accumulates in bone and is released back into the bloodstream when bones develop (a continuous source of exposure) [2].

All toxin exposure should be limited, especially during infancy and childhood when the brain and other organ development is at its most sensitive.

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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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