Salivary testosterone and cortisol measurement in sports medicine: a narrative review and user’s guide for researchers and practitioners

Article English OPEN
Hayes, Lawrence D. ; Sculthorpe, Nicholas ; Cunniffe, Brian ; Grace, Fergal M. (2016)

Since the initial reporting of salivary hormone measurements in marathon runners in the early 1980s, the practice of utilizing salivary testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) to reflect acute and rhythmic changes to their systemic counterparts has gained considerable momentum. However, substantial variability exists between studies with respect to methodological protocols, laboratory techniques, and interpretation of study findings. These differences can directly influence the salivary hormone values, thus hampering interpretation, limiting cross-study comparison, and constraining the generalizability of individual study findings. This article examines the current body of saliva derived hormone literature before proposing a sequence of practical guidelines to minimize sample variability in salivary hormone research. The guidelines are grouped into three major categories which ultimately coalesce to limit comparison between studies; A) study design, B) sample acquisition and biological variation, and C) technical and analytical error. To achieve this, the present article critically appraises research employing salivary T and C measurements, identifies potential sources of error before proposing appropriate methodological considerations for researchers and practitioners wishing to obtain T and C measurement from saliva.
  • References (6)

    1. Aakvaag A, Sand T, Opstad PK, Fonnum F. Hormonal changes in serum in young men during prolonged physical strain. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1978; 39: 283-291

    2. Abbasi AA, Prasad AS, Rabbani P, DuMouchelle E. Experimental zinc deficiency in man. Effect on testicular function. J Lab Clin Med 1980; 96: 544-550

    3. Adlercreutz H, Harkonen M, Kuoppasalmi K, Naveri H, Huhtaniemi I, Tikkanen H, Remes K, Dessypris A, Karvonen J. Effect of training on plasma anabolic and catabolic steroid-hormones and their response during physical exercise. Int J Sports Med 1986; 7: 27-28

    4. Anderson KE, Rosner W, Khan MS, New MI, Pang S, Wissel PS, Kappas A. Diethormone interactions - protein carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma-levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci 1987; 40: 1761-1768

    5. Archer J. The influence of testosterone on human aggression. Br J Psychol 1991; 82 ( Pt 1): 1-28

    6. Arregger AL, Contreras LN, Tumilasci OR, Aquilano DR, Cardoso EM. Salivary testosterone: a reliable approach to the diagnosis of male hypogonadism. Clin Endocrinol 2007; 67: 656-662

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Insight - IRUS-UK 0 53
Share - Bookmark