Saliva is a reliable, noninvasive, and cost-effective method to measure active hormone levels. However, in certain populations, saliva sampling may be difficult because of insufficient saliva flow.
Methods to improve flow rates (eg, administering citric acid, chewing gum, or collecting cotton) may compromise biomarker integrity, especially if the methods involve the presence of a collection aid in the oral cavity.
Labrix often recommends chewing paraffin wax prior to collection in order to stimulate saliva production as it does not affect the integrity of the samples. A recent review of the literature reveals a potentially more tantalizing option for saliva production….bacon!
A 2015 study evaluated an over-the-counter anhydrous crystalline maltose lozenge (intended to increase saliva production for patients with xerostomia long after the lozenge dissolves) and the smell of freshly cooked bacon on saliva output compared to passive saliva collection, without assistance.
Results revealed that both the lozenges and bacon significantly decreased collection time compared with the passive saliva collection day. Furthermore, no significant changes to the concentrations of cortisol, testosterone, or dehydroepiandrosterone were seen when comparing lozenge or bacon to the passive collection. Post-bacon saliva hormones values also did not differ from post-lozenge saliva hormones values.
Additional studies are necessary to support the use of an OTC anhydrous crystalline maltose lozenge, but smelling bacon is a sure way to improve saliva flow without the risk of compromising saliva sample integrity. This provides a simple method for saliva stimulation and another tool to help support your patients ensure ease of collection.
Want to learn more? Advance your expertise in neuroendocrine assessment and treatment at the upcoming LENS conference, held in February at the Platinum Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas. For more information, visit our LENS website at www.fx-ed.com
Happy Holidays from all of us at Labrix!