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In saliva, only the free active hormone is found. The preanalytic is of utmost importance for obtaining reliable results. It is important to use a sampling device which does not interfere with the salivary analyte under investigation. Unlike serum or plasma, saliva contains very low analyte levels, so interactions between the surface of the sampling device and the analyte are much more likely. Any saliva sampling device needs to be validated by measuring the recovery of the analyte in saliva.

It is of utmost importance to avoid any significant blood contamination, as the total steroid hormone concentration in blood can be up to times higher than in saliva. Blood contamination is saliva is a critical issue. Every patient should be aware that they must discard any sample which shows even a slightly red color. In this case the patient should rinse the sampling device 2 times with tap water, wait for another 10 minutes and sample again. The IBL International assays are high sensitive and have been very well evaluated for saliva.

This is of utmost importance for detecting the very low concentration of hormones in saliva. Sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, reference values and usefulness of testing method for the intended medical purpose should be checked. IBL International offers an extensive range of immunoassays for measurement of saliva samples.

Hormone Assays In Biological Fluids by Michael J. Wheeler

Assays for salivary hormone determination must be extremely sensitive as the concentrations of biologically active free fractions are significantly lower than the concentrations of total analytes in serum. We provide you with highly sensitive luminescence immunoassays and ELISAs which have been specially developed and validated for saliva.

Chemiluminescence assays were considered to be approximately ten times more sensitive than enzyme immunoassays for some years. For this reason IBL International developed first saliva assays using glow luminescence in microtiter format. Chemiluminescence is a specific term describing light emission as a release of energy created during chemical reaction. This technology allows exact measurements below the picogram range.

Instrumentation for measuring glow luminescence is relatively inexpensive compared to flash luminescence as no injectors are needed. There are many manufacturers of luminometers on the market.

Please contact us if you should need any recommendation. Although the luminescence method offers high sensitivity, few laboratories own a luminometer. The main difference is the substrate reaction which is responsible for the colorimetric or luminescence signal generation. Of course not only steroids can be measured in saliva. IBL International also offers assays for determining the concentration of melatonin, alpha amylase activity, IgA and other parameters such as cytokines and also neopterin. Please contact us with any particular requirements: we may be developing the very product you are looking for!

Saliva is the specimen of choice in a variety of traditional medical care situations as well as in the emerging areas of health measurement and monitoring. With the ability to evaluate a pooled saliva sample from multiple collections it is possible to get a reliable assessment of hormone concentration even in cases of marked diurnal fluctuation. Adrenal stress is a general term for a great number of symptoms that indicate how the body is coping with stress.

Stress is any kind of physical, mental or emotional pressure. It begins by producing ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone in the pituitary gland, and activates the production of other stress markers such as cortisol or DHEA in the adrenal glands located just above the kidneys. Their role is to manage the flow of stress-related hormones and regulate various of body functions such as control of the immune system, sleep and mood levels, fat and protein metabolism etc. The higher the continual level of adrenal stress, the lower the hormone concentration.

Cortisol helps to evaluate the stress response and generally has a catabolic effect, whereas the counterpart DHEA is an anti-stress hormone and determines the stress adaptation. Adrenal imbalance may be a factor in many related clinical conditions, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression, for example.

The adrenal stress index includes the determination of levels of both hormones cortisol and DHEA that may reveal adrenal dysfunction. Adrenal function is also closely coupled with immune system control. Acute or chronic stress can lead to inflammatory disorders. For this reason there is currently much research aimed at understanding the relation between the HPA axis and the immune system.

Please contact us for any details you may require and we shall be happy to give you the support you look for in your research applications. Hormones are chemical messengers in a very low concentration which affect organs and tissues. A proper hormone balance is the key to good health: any excess or deficiency in hormone concentration should be treated, or serious medical conditions may appear. The measurement of saliva offers many advantages.

Determining optimal hormone levels for each individual patient may lead to an indication of hormone replacement therapy. Most often estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are involved in such treatments, in which a set of drugs is administered to artificially boost hormone levels.


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Hormone replacement treatment may readily be adjusted by measuring salivary hormones. All IBL International assays comprise a broad and physiologically relevant measuring range. Occupational medicine is the branch of clinical medicine most actively involved in occupational health.

Occupational health aims at the promotion and maintenance of the greatest physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations. Recent stress research indicates that more and more managers are concerned about workrelated stress; this makes occupational stress as important for companies as workplace accidents. Cortisol is a well-known marker of hypothalamuspituitary-adrenal HPA axis activity.

This steroid can easily be measured in saliva, enabling patients to collect samples in comfort at any time of day, even in stressful situations. Alpha amylase is a sympathetic system marker and can also be used in research projects. IBL International also offer assays for measuring catecholamines adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine, etc. Please visit our homepage www. Occupational diseases include sleep disorders, occurring mostly in shift workers and leading to psychological and physical stress.

In this kind of disorder it is helpful to evaluate individual circadian rhythms, combining measurements of melatonin and cortisol concentration: both hormones are produced according to a circadian rhythm, with contrary circadian patterns. Melatonin is the key substance promoting night-time sleep; it is extremely low during the day and rises rapidly around p.

Normal cortisol concentration in human saliva during the day is highly dynamic. Both hormones are regarded as stress markers. Recent studies have shown that melatonin can influence cortisol levels.

Hormone Assays In Biological Fluids

These results are useful in the testing of sleep disorders. The study of inflammation markers is also becoming more and more important nowadays, because the immune system is also strongly related to the HPA axis and has an impact on the health balance. IBL International offers cytokine measurement assays which are validated for serum, plasma and other biological fluids. Measurement of salivary samples is also possible and may be highly useful in enhancing your patient records.

Psychological research is related to the science of behavior and mental processes; it includes areas such as biological psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology.

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Many of the hormones in the body maintain a roughly hour rhythm. The hypothalamus pituitary adrenal HPA axis is one of the most important circadian rhythms in the body, with a great influence on health, vitality and the immune system. Abnormal hormone rhythms have been implicated in many diseases, and more and more research is devoted to understanding them and finding medication. Parameters such as levels of cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, alpha amylase exhibit relationships with chronic stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, behavior, cognitive function, and health.


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  4. Cortisol concentrations are found to be higher when the individual is subject to a stress situation. To differentiate the varying nature of individual reactions to stress a standardized test is needed which can be applied to all participants. There are suggestions that other factors can influence the level of cortisol in response to stress in humans: gender and the menstrual cycle seem to have an impact on this hormone profile, and the application of drugs such as oral contraceptives seems to diminish the cortisol response to stress.

    It studies the biosynthesis, storage and physiological function of hormones and their pathology, along with the cells of the endocrine glands and tissues that secrete them.

    Hormone Assays In Biological Fluids

    The endocrine system consists of several glands, in various locations within the body, that secrete hormones directly into the blood rather than into a duct system. Hormones have many different functions and modes of action; one hormone may have several effects on a number of different target organs, and conversely one target organ may be affected by more than one hormone. There are many endocrine disorders which are quite often complex due to hyposecretion or hypersecretion of one or more particular hormones.

    This disease is characterized by failure to reach the circadian nadir in cortisol secretion late at night. This is quite a difficult endocrine pathology to diagnose because of the very common phenotype: obesity, hypertension, depression, alcoholism, etc. Furthermore it is relatively unusual, though growing increasingly common. This method shows high specificity and sensitivity, and ELISA or luminescence assays are very easy to handle.

    Free Testosterone is an ideal testing tool for androgen levels in both men and women, but accurate measurement of testosterone remains a challenge. The determination of the blood testosterone concentrations in serum by conventional immunoassays is inaccurate in men, and even more so in women and children. Directly measuring testosterone in saliva is a better alternative to blood measurement: only the free, biologically active fraction is represented in saliva.

    Studies show that free salivary testosterone levels in morning samples correlate well with calculated free testosterone in blood, both in healthy men and in patients with androgen deficiency. Our assay is particularly well suited to differentiating between healthy men and patients with androgen status disorders.


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    6. Saliva sampling is very easy, non-invasive and no medical assistance is required. Samples can be collected under circumstances where blood collection is difficult or inadvisable. For these reasons saliva measurement is the right choice for evaluating physical conditions during exercise. Salivary cortisol, DHEA and testosterone determinations are useful in sports medicine research. The use of these biological markers is based on the assumption that these salivary steroids may reasonably be taken to reflect the hypothalamic pituitary- adrenal HPA axis function.

      Indeed, in the diagnostic setting, salivary cortisol levels parallel those in plasma following ACTH and CRH stimulation, and following exercise-induced stress. During physical exercise, free salivary cortisol, DHEA and testosterone concentrations increase with the intensity of the exercise.

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