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.

Metal Elements on a Mineral Mission to Mars

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Friday, 12 August


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 - nutritional elements - that you might want to take with you if you were on a mission to Mars.

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Understanding Selenium Supplementation

Posted by Margaret Groves on Tuesday, 30 June

Selenium - Element Table

A balance of nutrients is required by our bodies to maintain good health, and selenium (Se) is an important one that often gets overlooked.

This essential element is a required component of the selenoproteins, which include those that are needed to convert thyroid hormone from the inactive to the active form, and several important anti-oxidants.

While optimal selenium levels are imperative for proper thyroid function, abnormally high selenium intake can be toxiccausing gastrointestinal disturbances, changes in nails and hair, weakness, convulsions and decreased cognitive function. So it’s important to understand the ways in which we take in selenium, both in the diet and as supplements.

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Flaws in the Iodine Loading Dose Urine Test

Posted by Dr. David Zava on Thursday, 18 December

Periodic table

I began the study of iodine because I believe it has benefits to human health. As a breast cancer researcher I believe that iodine protects the breasts and uterus against toxic and mutagenic estrogen metabolites that form in some people more than others. Thus, choosing the most reliable test to a) determine iodine status, and, b) supplementation to maintain levels seen in populations with lowest rates of breast cancer (ie. the Japanese), is a key health consideration with or without breast cancer risk factors.

That leads us to the all-important discussion of iodine testing methods. Have you ever had your levels evaluated with a 24-hour iodine loading test and been found to be deficient? If so, you are not alone. This is a test where 98-99% of people who take it will be deemed “whole body iodine deficient”. On the basis of this test result, you may be advised to take iodine supplements at a dose that makes some people ill, and raises iodine to hundreds of times the levels recommended by health organizations around the world. In the most serious cases, the dosing recommended to get you to “whole body iodine sufficiency” may cause your thyroid to stop working normally, producing either too much (hyperthyroid) or too little (hypothyroid) thyroid hormone.

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Bromine: An Essential Element?

Posted by Ted Zava on Friday, 06 June

bromine_essential_element_6.6.14.jpgAccording to researchers at Vanderbilt University, bromine should be recognized as the 28th essential element for all species, from fruit flies to humans. Study results were published June 5, 2014 in Cell, and demonstrate that without bromine, collagen type IV molecules will not bond together properly to form the structural proteins of connective tissues, leading to disrupted tissue development. 1   

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