Last week’s post about serotonin and the immune connection got me thinking about the clinical utility of evaluating urinary serotonin levels. I have recently been fielding calls from practitioners questioning the value of urinary serotonin measures for patients with depression.
I find urinary serotonin measures to be very valuable for patients suffering from depression and other mood disorders. Just over a year ago a study was published in the respected journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry by Nichkova, et al. at Pharmasan Labs entitled, “Evaluation of a novel ELISA for serotonin: Urinary serotonin as a potential biomarker for depression.” This original research demonstrated a significant link between depression and low urinary serotonin levels.
In fact, Psychology Progress (a forum to alert the scientific community of breaking journal articles considered to the best in psychology research) recently featured this Pharmasan Labs publication as a significant contributor in the study of depression. A full text copy of the article is available here.
The Pharmasan Labs study reviewed serotonin concentrations in urine for 60 depressed individuals and 60 healthy controls. The depressed population was found to have significantly lower levels of urinary serotonin as compared to the control population.
Furthermore, the study evaluated the clinical utility of using urinary serotonin measures to monitor the efficacy of serotonin-focused treatments. 46 depressed patients were evaluated based upon three treatment classes: 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) supplementation, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) usage, or a combination therapy (both 5-HTP and SSRI). Urinary serotonin measures were significantly higher in treatment groups when compared to the control group. The authors concluded that urinary serotonin measures can be effectively used to evaluate and guide treatment for depressed patients.
Peer-reviewed literature supports the clinical utility of urinary serotonin levels for evaluating and guiding treatment for depressed patients as well as monitoring the efficacy of these treatments. The research and development team at Pharmasan Labs works tirelessly to offer high-quality research-supported laboratory testing. Future publications will reveal additional Pharmasan Labs’ efforts in the R & D arena. Their comprehensive test menu and wide-ranging services are tailored to support the needs of research institutions and healthcare businesses. Pharmasan Labs, Inc. is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments program (CLIA) and the New York State Department of Health.
More information about urinary neurotransmitter measures can be found below.