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.

Your Checklist for Partnering with a Quality Lab

Posted by Margaret Groves on Thursday, 20 April

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Quality testing is a vital component of a physician's evaluation of a patient with a view to successful treatment. But how can health care providers ensure that the lab they are working with is giving them the quality they need?

We’re often asked "Why should I partner with your lab? What distinguishes you from the others?" While many providers are expecting the obvious answers like fair prices and fast, reliable results – which are definitely important – we like to dig a bit deeper than this.

At ZRT Laboratory, we think there are six important measures to help determine the quality of a lab.

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A Year of Saliva Testing in Research

Posted by Dr. Alison McAllister on Friday, 23 December

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I wanted to share a few of the studies using saliva testing that were published in the literature in 2016.

Just a hint, if you want to search for articles on saliva testing, use pubmed.gov and search saliva estradiol (or progesterone, testosterone etc.).

Be aware that saliva hormone testing is so standard in the research world that rarely is it mentioned in the titles of the papers. Over 310 studies were published in 2016 using saliva testing – 61 studies for testosterone and 189 studies on cortisol, while poor progesterone was neglected with only 14 studies this last year.

It’s always good to know that the work that ZRT has been doing for almost 20 years in the field of saliva testing is still cutting edge and useful. 

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Research Puts the "R" in ZRT

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 15 April

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I have to admit, I believe that "research" is one of those words that I think is often misused today.

I started my own career in a cancer research lab, continued it in a pharmaceutical company research lab, and then got into medical information research and scientific writing, which meant using a range of medical literature databases and complex searching strategies.

My early research career was back in the days before we had personal computers, so many hours – in between tending to assays and experiments (as well as late in the evening) – were spent thumbing through the pages of massive volumes of Index Medicus, the print version of Medline, in various university libraries to find relevant publications.

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How Reference Ranges Determine a "Normal" Lab Test Result

Posted by Margaret Groves on Friday, 13 November

normal.chalkboard.jpgCLIA-certified testing laboratories such as ZRT are required to provide reference ranges as an aid to interpretation of test results.

Ideally, reference ranges provide the expected range of values for a healthy population. When methodology and equipment is identical for testing a particular analyte among different laboratories, reference ranges for that analyte should be the same.

However, when methodologies or equipment for the same test differ somewhat from lab to lab, each lab must provide its own reference range established with its own methods. These ranges are usually very close, but may differ slightly depending on method. An example would be testing testosterone in blood or saliva by extraction and LC-mass spectrometry vs. direct testing by immunoassay.

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