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Portable Breath Acetone Analyzer Measures Fat Burning

Prototype portable breath analyzer accurately measures breath acetone concentration

FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- A portable breath acetone analyzer can be used to measure breath acetone concentrations and to monitor fat burning, according to a study published online July 24 in the Journal of Breath Research.

Noting that acetone in exhaled breath is expected to be an indicator of fat burning, Tsuguyoshi Toyooka, from NTT DOCOMO in Yokosuka, Japan, and colleagues prototyped a portable breath acetone analyzer, which enables acetone concentration to be calculated while accounting for the presence of ethanol, hydrogen, and humidity. To test the accuracy of the prototype, 17 healthy adults with body mass indexes (BMIs) above the Japanese standard blew into the handheld prototype for six seconds before breakfast for 14 consecutive days. The subjects were in three groups: no controlled caloric intake or light exercise; light exercise; and controlled caloric intake and light exercise.

The researchers found that there were strong correlations between breath acetone concentrations from the prototype and from gas chromatography. In individuals with controlled calorie intake and engaging in light exercise, there was a decrease in body fat, while breath acetone concentrations increased significantly.

"Experiments on 17 healthy adult volunteer subjects with BMIs above the Japanese standard have proved that our prototype can be used as a practical breath acetone checker for diet-conscious people, within an acceptable range of measurement error," the authors write. "Our experiments also proved that breath acetone could be a good indicator for monitoring fat burning and our prototype is useful for self-monitoring."

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