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.

Does Following a Gluten-Free, Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Result in Increased Heavy Metal 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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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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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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Colorado Mine Spill Makes High Levels of Toxic Metals a Threat to Humans & Wildlife

Posted by Ted Zava on Monday, 17 August

colorado.mine.spill.blog_1On August 5, 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally breached a tunnel holding liquid waste as part of the cleanup of the Gold King Mine in Colorado.

This breach resulted in the release of 3 million gallons of toxic waste into Colorado’s Animas River. The waste stained the river yellow and continued to travel downstream into the San Juan River. The Animas and San Juan Rivers are a source of drinking and irrigation water, are heavily used for recreation, and are home to a wide variety of wildlife. 

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