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DepressionAs published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of Cambridge have identified the first biomarker—a biological signpost —for major or clinical de-pression, “Salivary Cortisol”

Researcher Dr Matthew Owens said: ‘This new biomarker suggests that we may be able to offer a more personalized approach to tackling boys at risk for depression.’

“Depression is a terrible illness that will affect as many as 350 million people worldwide at some point in their lives,” said psychiatrist Ian Goodyer, M.D., from the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

Major, or clinical, depression is a debilitating mental health problem that will affect one in six people at some point in their lives.

Cambridge University researchers discovered that boys with raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol along with depressive symptoms are 14 times more likely to be affected than those with neither trait. The findings are first evidence of a biological marker which can predict crippling major depression later in life.

Serious clinical depression is distinct from having occasional depressive symptoms or ‘feeling blue’ and is regarded as a genuine illness. The condition, which affects one in six people at some point in their lives, is defined as including symptoms such as fatigue, feelings of worthless-ness, loss of interest, and sleep disturbances.

Doctors (Psychiatrist , Psychologist) think major depression will be the biggest burden on health services worldwide by 2030. The research team hope the new test could help people to get earlier treatment and stem the rising number of suicides among young men.


New studies have shown that Salivary Cortisol testing may be crucial in predicting the development of men-tal illness in the later stages of adolescent boys. This study, done by Cambridge University U.K researchers, showed that boys with elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and depressive symptoms were 14 times more likely to develop clinical depression later in life. These findings suggest that hormone levels of cortisol may in fact be a significant biological marker to predict major clinical depression.

This will help strategically target prevention’s and interventions of individuals to help reduce their risk of serious episodes of depression and their consequences in adult life.

Depression has various detrimental psychological and physiological consequences. Individuals who suffer from chronic stress and periodic stretches of depression exhibit shorter telomeres in white blood cells.

This is significant because scientists have suggested that telomere length can serve as a key measure of biological aging. Telomere length has also been shown to have a connection with age related diseases, unhealthy lifestyles, and longevity. Studies have shown that cortisol levels are indicative of chronic stress and are associated with shorter telomeres. Individuals who suffer from depression show greater signs of disturbed cortisol regulation, which is why cortisol monitoring is important as a preventative diagnosis for depression and depressive disorders.


Cortisol is a well-known marker of hypothal-amuspituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis activity. This steroid can easily be measured in saliva, enabling patients to collect samples in comfort at any time of the day, even in stressful situations.

Cortisol concentrations are found to be higher when the individual is subject to a stressful situation. Salivary cortisol measurement is a helpful tool to evaluate stress and depression in different situations.

Parameters such as levels of cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, alpha amylase exhibit relationships with chronic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, behavior, cognitive function, and health.



Cortisol and DHEA have opposing effects. DHEA levels get lowered with the release of cortisol, which in turn is released during stressful situations or depression. Studies show that low DHEA and depression go hand in hand. So, by increasing DHEA levels, you can get rid of the symptoms of depression. Increased levels of DHEA help cancel the adverse effects of stress hormones.


Saliva is the ideal choice of specimen to measure cortisol and other hormone levels. Saliva measures the “Unbound Biologically Active,” or free hormone levels in the body. When blood is filtered through the salivary glands the bound hormone components are too large to pass through cell membranes of the salivary glands. Only the unbound hormones pass through in the saliva. What is
measured in saliva is considered the “free” (bioavailable) hormone, and is indicative of hormone levels that will be delivered to the receptors in the tissues of the body.


Free unbound hormones in saliva produce a more accurate picture of the body’s physiological state and ability to achieve weight loss.

  • Provides accurate, fast, and reliable, results.
  • Interpretations of lab results provided with clear and detailed information.
  • Non-invasive: no needles or blood work is required.
  • No costly medical fees: no doctor visit or blood work required.


Saliva samples could predict an adolescent’s risk of mental illness later in life

  • Saliva test checks for raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  • Boys with higher levels of cortisol and depressive symptoms have 14-fold risk for major
  • Salivary Cortisol testing will help patients to get earlier treatment


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