Japanese scientists say they have developed a pocket-sized sensor that would tell you how much fat you’ve burned while you’re working out or doing other physical activities. Senior author Satoshi Hiyama of NTT DOCOMO Research Laboratories said that the results of their study on the device’s capabilities has been published in the Journal of Breath Research.
Hiyama said that obesity increases the chances of people developing lifestyle-related illnesses so it is important to have something that will let them monitor their state of fat burning to make adjustments to their daily diet management. But the current point-of-care instrumentation do not allow diet-conscious people to monitor their fat metabolism whenever they want to. They came up with this device that measures the level of acetone that is expelled through a person’s breath. Acetone is produced when cells use fat cells for fuel and this breathalyzer-type device measures the subtle variations of exhaled acetone.
They tested the device on 17 volunteers that were divided into three groups. The first group just went about their normal routines, the second group added a 30-60 minute light exercise to their routine while the third group both exercised and dieted. Each member measured their acetone level with the device every morning for two weeks and the recordings were sent to their Android smartphones. The results showed that only the third group had significant changes in their acetone levels which correlated with a drop in their body fat content, measured through a weighing scale.
Hiyama said that this study concluded that their prototype for the breathalyzer was a practical and alternative checker that those who are dieting can use to check for their body fat levels. Another even more important use for the device would be to check on the diabetic control of those suffering from the disease since it has been proven that there is an increase in breath acetone if the diabetes is out of control.
[ via Medical Daily ]