Serum v/s salivary hormone testing
An ongoing battle rages within the field of anti-aging medicine as to the importance of testing hormones in the serum (blood) versus saliva.
As this topic gains media coverage, we’d like you to know our professional opinions. At Synergy, we primarily utilize serum testing.
I recently attended the national conference of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and one of the keynote addresses was on this topic. At the beginning of the conference, the speaker asked the physicians for a show of hands of who tested serum and who tested saliva. In a room of approximately 3,000 physicians, the results were 50/50.
Anti-aging pioneer Dr. Neal Rouzier, my mentor, believes physicians should practice “evidence-based medicine” — which at this time supports the use of blood testing. Dr. Ryder and I agree with him.
At Synergy, we test serum for progesterone, dhea, thyroid, estrogen and testosterone levels. We use saliva to test cortisol.
Where saliva testing falls short
The thought process behind saliva testing is that saliva represents the level of active hormone in tissue rather than blood. However, a recent study on progesterone compared serum versus salivary testings and showed an enormous discrepancy between the two tests in the same patient at the same time.
Obviously this is a big problem as progesterone is critical to protect the uterus and breast against the effects of estrogen. A serum level of 10 ng/ml is generally thought to convey protection against uterine cancer; whereas no studies have been done to document what level of salivary hormone would be protective.
Good doctors choose protocols that have the research to support their validity. Serum testing has been documented as the best way to perform hormone testing.
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