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  • Why Saliva Testing for Hormones

    How Can Saliva Hormone Testing Help You?

    • Saliva testing can identify hormone imbalances that may be causing unwanted symptoms and chronic health problems... like fatigue, low sex drive, hot flashes, foggy thinking, stress, mood swings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression...

    • It can be used to monitor the effect of hormone treatment programs

    • It is vital for disease prevention and anti-aging programs

    • It will tell you your best course of treatment

    Why Saliva Testing?

    • Saliva testing is the most reliable way to measure free, "bio-available" hormone activity - hormones actually doing their job at the cell level.  Most blood tests do not measure "bio-available" hormone levels.

    • Saliva hormones more accurately reflect tissue uptake and response of hormones delivered through the skin in creams, gels, or patches.  Blood and urine assays significantly underestimate hormones delivered topically, often resulting in overdosing.

    • Saliva collection is painless - no needles.  It negates the need for blood drawing, which often causes stress that can alter test results.

    • Saliva collection is easy and can be done anyplace at your convenience.

    Why Test Saliva Instead of Serum (Blood Tests for Hormones)

    WHY TEST SALIVA instead of SERUM (Blood tests)
    SPECIAL REPORT Dr David Zava, ZRT Laboratory

    Confusion exists among medical professionals and the general public about the question of progesterone absorption. This confusion often hinges on a misunderstanding of the test used to measure progesterone levels in the body. Let us try to clarify the issue.

    What a Blood Test Measures

    "Blood" tests for progesterone refer to the serum or plasma concentration of progesterone. Plasma is the watery, non-cellular portion of the blood from which cellular components such as red blood cells and white blood cells, are excluded. Serum is the essentially the same as plasma except that fibrinogen has been removed. Serum and plasma, being watery, contain water-soluble (hydrophilic) substances such as water-soluble vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins. Serum and plasma do not contain fat-soluble (lipophilic) substances. For the purposes of this discussion, serum and plasma are interchangeable and I will refer to them as serum. Sex hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone are fat-soluble steroids similar to cholesterol. When you have a serum cholesterol measurement, you are measuring cholesterol bound to protein, which makes it water-soluble. (Recall that serum cholesterol is described as HDL or LDL cholesterol, referring to the proteins to which it is bound.)

    How Progesterone Travels in Blood

    The ovary-produced progesterone found in serum is also largely protein-bound. Protein-bound progesterone is not readily bioavailable to receptors in target tissues throughout the body. It is on its way to the liver to be excreted in bile. Only 2 to 5 percent of serum progesterone is "free" or non-protein-bound. This is the progesterone available to target tissues and to saliva. Thus, progesterone measured by serum levels is mostly a measure of progesterone that is not going to be used by the body. A serum test can be used to compare one woman's progesterone production to that of another woman, or to test how much progesterone is being made by a woman's ovaries.

    When progesterone is given intravenously, 80 percent of it is taken up by red blood cell membranes that are fatty in nature and therefore available to fat-soluble progesterone molecules. Less than 20 percent will be found in serum. It is obvious that serum levels would not detect the great majority of the progesterone added to whole blood.

The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.