How Bacon Can Improve You Saliva Production
Saliva is a reliable, noninvasive, and cost-effective method to measure active hormone levels. However, in certain populations, saliva sampling may be difficult because of insufficient saliva flow.
Methods recommended to increase saliva include using lemon or vitamin C water or chewing gum, has been found to potentially compromise sample integrity, especially if the methods involve the presence of a collection aid in the oral cavity like a cotton swab.
A recent review of the literature reveals a potentially more tantalizing option for saliva production....bacon!
A 2015 study evaluated an over-the-counter anhydrous crystalline maltose lozenge (intended to increase saliva production for patients with xerostomia long after the lozenge dissolves) and the smell of freshly cooked bacon on saliva output compared to passive saliva collection, without assistance.
Results revealed that both the lozenges and bacon significantly decreased collection time compared with the passive saliva collection day. Furthermore, no significant changes to the levels of cortisol, testosterone, or DHEAs were seen when comparing lozenge or bacon to the passive collection. Post-bacon saliva hormones values also did not differ from post-lozenge saliva hormones values.
Further studies are needed to support the use of an OTC anhydrous crystalline maltose lozenge, but smelling bacon is an easy way to improve saliva production without the risk of compromising the integrity of the saliva sample. If you are struggling to produce saliva while collecting your hormone sample, fry up some bacon while you are collecting and see what happens.