Stress Biochemistry: Non-Invasive Measurement Techniques in Military Subjects
Final rept. Oct 80-Jun 83
HARBOR-UCLA MEDICAL CENTER TORRANCE CADEPT OF PSYCHIATRY
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The focus of the studies was on the relationship between saliva and plasma steroid hormones, under basal conditions, suppression with dexamethasone, and simulated field conditions of exercise. The results demonstrate a very good correspondence between saliva and serum cortisol, such that saliva cortisol measures can be substituted for blood drawing for cortisol, as a non-invasive means of measuring levels of this stress-related hormone. Under conditions of physical exercise, saliva and serum cortisol levels did not change. Results with testosterone suggest that saliva testosterone also reflects serum testosterone fairly closely, although the relationship is not as good as that for cortisol. Physical exercise did result in an approximately 20 increase in both plasma and saliva testosterone concentrations. Finally, the correlation between saliva and serum melatonin was examined. While melatonin is measurable in saliva, it appears to correlate very poorly with serum melatonin, thus not being a useful reflection of serum melatonin. Work continues on the possibility of measuring a melatonin metabolite in saliva, which might more accurately reflect circulating melatonin levels in serum or plasma.
- Stress Physiology