Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Breathalyzer Device Tells When You're Burning Fat

Excerpt from article by Kathleen Doheny on WebMD

Would you buy a breathalyzer device if it helped tell you if your diet and exercise program were being efficient? Well, you may be in luck soon. This article below talks about a study performed in Japan using such a device.
A new, portable breathalyzer that pairs with a smartphone and Bluetooth can measure how well you're burning body fat and help you gauge the success of your diet and exercise program, according to a new report from Japan.
At this point, the device is only a prototype. It's pocket-sized, about 4 inches long, and weighs about 4.5 ounces. It operates on two AA batteries.
The device measures acetone, a metabolite produced from fat burning. When you burn fat, acetone levels rise in the blood, but are also exhaled. The new device is as reliable as a "gold standard" test (such as gas chromatography) to measure acetone, according to Satoshi Hiyama, senior research engineer at NTT Docomo, a Japanese mobile communications company.
The researchers tested the device in 17 healthy men and women, reporting their findings online July 25 in the Journal of Breath Research.
To operate the device, the user blows into it and the acetone concentration levels are calculated and sent via Bluetooth or cable to an Android-based smartphone. It takes about 10 seconds.
Hiyama and his team had assigned the participants to one of three groups for the 14-day study. All were overweight by Japanese standards. (Body mass index thresholds in Asian populations are similar but not identical to U.S. standards, for example.)
One group carried on with their normal routine, with no instructions to exercise or restrict calories.
A second group was required to take part in jogging or fast walking from one half-hour to an hour a day. The third group did the same exercise routine but also was instructed to restrict calories.
Each day before breakfast, the men and women used a bath scale to weigh themselves and measure body fat, then used the breathalyzer.
Those in the first two groups did not lose substantial amounts of weight -- their breath acetone levels were constant. The researchers suggested that the exercise-only group members, allowed to set their own pace, weren't working hard enough.
Those in the third group who followed instructions lost substantial amounts of fat and their breath acetone levels rose.
Hiyama could not say what the device might cost or how soon it could be on the market.
Read the complete article at WebMD.com.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit: SocialTimes.com

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