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Surprising Science

A Device That Actually Confirms Whether You’re Burning Fat

The pocket-sized breathalyzer uses sensors to measure and calculate acetone levels -- a key indicator of fat breakdown -- and sends data to a smartphone app within 10 seconds.

What’s the Latest Development?


A group from Japan’s NTT DOCOMO Research Laboratories has developed a pocket-sized, battery-operated device that, when breathed into, measures and calculates acetone levels and then sends the results to an Android smartphone app in a matter of seconds. Sensors in the lightweight device can detect acetone concentrations in the breath — a key indicator of fat breaking down in the body — between 0.2 and 50 parts per million. On tests with different groups of subjects with body mass indexes above the Japanese standards, the device showed significant amounts of fat loss for those who combined light daily exercise with dietary changes.

What’s the Big Idea?

With all the products and techniques available that claim to burn fat, having a device that all but certifies it would appeal to many people who are watching their weight, says principal investigator Satoshi Hiyama: “Considering that the effect of dieting could be estimated from changes in breath acetone concentrations, we’ve shown that our prototype is a practical and alternative checker that can be used in individual dieting programmes.” He also suggests that diabetics could use the device to ensure that their condition is under control, since an elevated acetone reading could signal a problem.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Phys.org


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