Essential fats have been studied for several decades and entire books have been written on the subject, yet we are still learning about the role these fats play in regulating inflammation. Within the study of essential fats, some new players have emerged—the specialized pro-resolving mediators or SPMs. These are important metabolites of omega-3 fats and arachidonic acid that, as the name implies, specifically help to resolve inflammation. So how do they do that, where do they come from, and how can we get some?…


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Moderating and Resolving Inflammation with Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators

We are nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. Lives have been lost around the world and the virus continues to mutate with several strains of concern circulating globally. At the time of this writing the Delta variant is responsible for most of the infections in the US and elsewhere, while the Omicron variant is rapidly emerging.…

Tags: Covid19, Metabolic Health

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Comorbidities and COVID-19: Addressing Type II Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

The Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) is the predictable rise in cortisol within the first hour of awakening. There are two events that contribute to this dynamic rise in morning cortisol. The first is in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone output from the pituitary as a part of the normal circadian activities of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis with involvement from the sympathetic nervous system. The second occurs in response to exposure to daylight with the activation of the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus, which happens within 30-45 minutes after awakening and can increase cortisol by 50-60% from the waking value. These events take place in a timed and metered fashion, allowing for a rise and fall of cortisol over a one-hour period [1].…

Tags: Anxiety, Depression, Cortisol Awakening Response, Cortisol, Mental Health

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Anxiety, Depression, and the Cortisol Awakening Response

Anyone who has dealt with issues related to chronic fatigue has likely evaluated their hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis performance through a multi-point salivary test. Cortisol is readily measured in saliva when samples collected at predetermined intervals throughout a single day, revealing one’s physiological resilience and metabolic reserve in response to daily stressors.…

Tags: Covid19, Adrenal and Cortisol, HPA Axis

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Part IV: Long COVID and HPA Axis Dysregulation

Training for athletic competition or exercising to stay healthy is already hard, but the unique physiology of hormone fluctuation due to the menstrual cycle can make it downright tough at times. However, your menstrual cycle does not have to be a bad thing and there are many changes that occur that can be taken advantage of while training. The US Women’s World Cup Championship teams use specialized training approaches that conform to the different phases of the cycle [1]. I hope after reading this blog, you can better understand what changes happen at the hormonal level and how to better harness these changes to perform your best.…

Tags: Athletes, Menstruation

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Athletic Performance and the Menstrual Cycle: How to Tailor Workouts to Achieve Optimal Performance

In parts one and two of this series, we looked at the issues related to long COVID and its impact on the nervous and the immune systems. The effects of COVID-19 on the nervous system can present as localized effects such as loss of smell and taste to chronic fatigue, headaches, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and cognitive issues. The potential to trigger an autoimmune reaction is a very real possibility with any infection and is provoked? stimulated? by molecular mimicry, bystander activation, and viral persistence. The presence of a healthy and diverse gut and lung microbiome helps to regulate the immune system and supports a robust and balanced innate immune response.…

Tags: Covid19, Neurotransmitters, Saliva Testing, Thyroid Health, Heavy Metals

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Part III: Long COVID and Mitochondrial Dysregulation

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to threaten the United States in early 2020, ZRT began work on dried blood spot (DBS) COVID-19 antibody testing. This was prior to the molecular (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) testing boom starting in mid-2020 that eventually became the most dominate and useful test for detecting current COVID-19 cases using nasal/oral samples. Antibody testing took a backseat to molecular testing for most of 2020, but with rapidly dropping case counts and the introduction of vaccines, antibody testing is making a comeback for research, public health surveillance, and clinical testing in 2021.…

Tags: Covid19, Blood Spot Testing, Research

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ZRT Dried Blood Spot COVID-19 IgG Antibody Testing: An Update

Discovering the detailed interplay between neurotransmitters and perhaps other endocrine signaling molecules, has helped fortify our understanding of how biological function in the body influences brain health. The results of the test provide a biochemical basis that helps explain mental health-related symptoms the patient is suffering from and enable the practitioner to move forward with creating a highly individualized therapeutic intervention, usually based on a combination of lifestyle and dietary changes that include personalized nutritional intervention strategies (e.g., methylation support, antioxidants, targeted amino acids, vitamins + minerals, adaptogens, etc.).…

Tags: Neurotransmitters, ZRT Laboratory, Dried Urine Testing, Cortisol

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New Frontiers in Neurotransmitter Lab Assessment: Everything You Need to Know About the Expanded NeuroAdvanced Profile

In the first part of this series on post-COVID illness, I reviewed some of the issues of post-viral syndromes and their relationship to the current pandemic with a deeper look into the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the nervous system. Many of the symptoms associated with long COVID present as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) with some additional symptoms specifically associated with COVID-19. Post-viral syndromes are not new, but it is not completely clear as to why some patients experience lasting symptoms after a viral infection and some do not. We do know that immune system activation by a virus increases systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and tissue damage. We also know that our genetics play a role, as evidenced by the tendency to develop autoimmune conditions for those with specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) phenotypes that can be triggered by certain infections.…

Tags: Covid19, Neurotransmitters, Adrenal and Cortisol

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Long COVID: Immune and Systemic Effects of Post-Viral Infection Part II: Ongoing Inflammation and Autoimmunity

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