I was so tired. I needed a new word for tired. I felt exhausted and incapacitated, utterly drained and hollowed out. It was like my brain and body were fading. And yet, these words are still not descriptive enough to relate how I felt. Getting out of bed felt grueling, punishing. I was 24 at the time, in my 4th year of my PhD program at Purdue University. I was newly engaged and so in love with my…


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Glycine has a calming effect on the brain – it helps you wind down and prepare for sleep. Its role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter has been unfolding over many years of ongoing research efforts. Easily one of the most versatile amino acids, glycine serves as a building block to proteins (collagen, the most abundant protein in our body, is one-third glycine), and is heavily utilized for the…


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Testosterone, so meaningful to a man’s behavior, is the evolutionary force behind everything intrinsically “male.” Historical stereotypes peg testosterone as the macho elixir of legendary magnitude – the “chest-thumping hormone of aggression.” New research, however, is beginning to tease out previously unknown subtleties of testosterone’s effects on behavior. Testosterone is non-trivial for…


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Influenced by our environment, we are constantly being exposed to elements, whether nutritional or toxic. They are a big contribution to the yin yang dualism of health and disease. With heavy metals, contamination is so extensive nowadays that it is no longer a question of whether exposure took place, but rather what the level of exposure was or continues to be. Toxicity from low levels of exposure…


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I remember my great-grandmother’s hands. So capable, big and warm, covered in freckles, ready to comfort, unbending the clawed rigidity to softly wipe my tears. I remember her powerful, beautiful mind, endless with patience, tirelessly reading my favorite story over and over from a tattered book. I remember her, trapped in a creaky body, moving slowly around the kitchen in a sort of graceful dance…


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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.Is…


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Serotonin, 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…


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Not quite menopause. Throwing blankets off at night, keeping awake. Fatigue and irritation punctuated throughout the day by heat dissipating from every pore, clouding thoughts, reinforcing forgetfulness. Hair falling out so stubbornly fast. Clothes choosing when to fit. Flooding periods coming sporadically, unexpectedly. They call it “the change of life” – but I feel like a different person…


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Learning how to use a new test can be overwhelming, especially when it goes back to neurology which you might not have thought of since medical school. To assist health care providers in approaching neurotransmitter testing as a functional assessment, ZRT has outlined a series of key concepts below. As with any functional test that measures physiological function, the challenge lies in the…


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The diversity of the microbiome has profound implications for metabolic health. The micro-organisms that we host in our gastrointestinal tract maintain our gut integrity, break down complex carbohydrates to improve energy extraction from food, produce vitamins and minerals, aid in digestion and absorption, ferment dietary fibers and protect us against pathogens. Maintaining a delicate balance in…


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