salivary cortisol - image to accompany article

The negative impact stress has on health and performance is well documented. Consequently, stress assessment and mitigation strategies are the subject of ongoing study. Cortisol is often considered the gold-standard biomarker in clinical sciences and psychology, and cortisol levels are commonly measured to assess stress levels in humans and animals.

Recently, a study by Balters et al. investigated salivary cortisol to determine if this non-invasive method is a valid metric for measuring stress in critical incident training and emergency scenarios on a ship bridge.  In the study, saliva was collected from subjects experiencing low- and high-stress marine navigation simulations. Cortisol levels were measured using Arbor Assays’ Cortisol ELISA Kit (K003-H1) and compared to metrics like heart rate and its variability.

The results clearly validated salivary cortisol as a successful and valuable tool for detecting distress in critical high-stress and emergency situations. Salivary cortisol strongly correlated with standard stress assessments and provided additional objective information about the psycho-physiological stress response.


  • Measure Cortisol in 90 minutes
  • Use saliva, fecal extracts, urine, serum, plasma, and TCM from multiple species
  • Cited in over 100 publications
  • Each kit contains enough reagents for 39 or 231 samples in duplicate
  • Includes stable 4˚C liquid reagents


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