Evaluating the Psychobiologic Effects of Fragrances through Salivary Biomarkers

Evaluating the Psychobiologic Effects of Fragrances through Salivary Biomarkers

Masaki Yamaguchi (Iwate University, Japan) and Vivek Shetty (UCLA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2521-1.ch017
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Olfactory stimulation by odorant molecules produces neurobiologic responses that manifest in the salivary proteome. This chapter highlights recent progress in the use of salivary biomarkers to augment conventional psychological assessments of the effects of fragrances and odors. New, low-cost, portable salivary biosensors enable point-of use measurements of physiological effects of fragrances in naturalistic settings. The ability to operationalize measurement of the sedative state induced by a fragrance will clarify the mechanistic underpinnings of olfactory stimulation and facilitate investigations of structure-odor relationships that are necessary for the synthesis of new odorant molecules.
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Salivary Manifestations Of Olfactory Effects

Olfactory stimulation by fragrances or odors may be viewed as a stressor that produces either a state of eustress (good stress) or distress (bad stress). The neurobiologic responses to both types of stress responses manifest along common autonomic, endocrine, and immune pathways. Because the central changes in the brain are difficult to monitor, researchers have commonly utilized peripherally accessible biofluids, such as blood and urine, as a source for identifying accompanying neuroendocrine perturbations. However, the intrusive nature of biofluid collection (e.g. blood) alters the plasma profile of related biomarkers and raises concerns about the confounding impact of measurement reactivity. An attractive alternative is human saliva, which largely contains the range of proteins, hormones, antibodies, and other analytes normally measured in blood tests (Yan, et al., 2009). Sampling saliva has multiple advantages in that it is non-invasive, readily accepted by the subject, easily stored and transported and stable for longer periods.

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