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.

Mitochondria & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Peter Bongiorno on Friday, 04 May

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Why are Mitochondria Important? 

Mitochondria are organelles that are present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Probably everyone reading this learned about these little guys in high sch­ool biology, where they were described as "the energy packs of the cells."

About 20% of our body weight is mitochondria. This translates to about 250 quadrillion of these organelles. There are 37.2 trillion body cells with an average of 1 to 2000 mitochondria per cell. Sperm each have about 16 mitochondria and oocytes have 100,000 (which shows you where the power is).

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 06 April

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This is part one of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part two can be found here. Part three can be found here. 

When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis.

Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters. In fact, the signaling neurotransmitters that manage mood and affect often overlap with measures of HPA axis activation, and cannot be easily distinguished in some subjects. [1]

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Collection Timing Matters for Urine Testing

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 02 March

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Urine is rapidly becoming the preferred medium for neurotransmitter testing to ensure objective neurobiological assessment. This is because a) urine is the primary route of peripherally-produced neurotransmitter elimination; and b) it is non-invasive and cost-effective. This blog takes a look at how dried urine testing provides a superior advantage over standard liquid urine collection methods.

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The Impact of Hormones on Serotonin in Depression

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Friday, 09 February

Serotonin Blog Images-609310-edited.jpgSerotonin, or rather its deficiency, frequently steals the spotlight in conversations regarding depression.  Initially discovered as a component of serum in 1948 to regulate vasoconstriction (serotonin = serum + tone), the role of serotonin in depressive disorders wasn't implied until a few years later. Since then, much effort has been dedicated by scientists and clinicians alike to understand the wondrous complexity of the seemingly inscrutable code that is serotonin neurotransmission. In fact, some of the major breakthroughs in psychopharmacology happened with serotonin in mind – the discovery of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prominently expanded the therapeutic toolbox for mental health practitioners.      

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