Saliva's Secrets

May 22, 2003, midnight | By Lauren DalBello | 18 years ago

Careful where you spit! The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered that saliva can be very revealing. They're working to uncover other discoveries saliva can expose, but here's a list of already-known findings:

Saliva can…

1. Reveal fertility. This January, MaybeMOM became the first-ever salivary ovulation test approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The tests are simple to administer and reusable, making them more cost-effective than urine tests.

2. Identify drug use. Saliva can be used not only to detect the presence of nicotine and drugs in your system but can also measure blood alcohol levels nearly as well as a standard blood test.

3. Identify infection. Salivary tests for antibodies are a new alternative to blood sampling. HIV-1 antibodies can be tested with Orasure, the only oral AIDS test approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

4. Measure risks of contaminants. Saliva can be used to show traces of lead or pesticides, and salivary tests are also capable of quickly identifying people who require treatment.

Compiled from an Apr 8
Washington Post article

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Lauren DalBello. Not be confused with Eva Cassidy, Lauren DalBello likes having fun. She can most often be seen smiling. She is excited about Switzerland next year, but she will also miss everything from her little hometown better known as Takoma Park. More »

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