New York: Saliva has tremendous medical and scientific value and a simple saliva test could lead to early detection of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and perhaps neurological disorders and autoimmune diseases, a research shows.
Saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are contained in blood, the findings showed.
"If we can define the boundaries of molecular targets in saliva, then we can ask what the constituents in saliva are that can mark someone who has pre-diabetes or the early stages of oral cancer or pancreatic cancer," said senior study author David Wong from University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA).
"We can utilise this knowledge for personalised medicine," Wong added.
The study is dubbed as the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of RNA molecules in human saliva.
RNA, widely known as a cellular messenger that makes proteins and carries out DNA's instructions to other parts of the cell, is now understood to perform sophisticated chemical reactions.
Using state-of-the-science genomics and bioinformatics, the researchers analysed 165 million genetic sequences.
"Saliva carries with it non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, piRNAs and circRNAs that are biomarkers for disease and health monitoring," Wong added.
"If you do not look in saliva, you may miss important indicators of disease," Wong said.
The study appeared online in the journal Clinical Chemistry.