New breathalyser could help diabetes sufferers

A new breath test which lets you know when the fat starts to get burned off when at the gym has been developed by scientists in the UK. The gadget is able to detect the point at which the body used up the last of its reserves of food energy and switches over to breaking down fat instead.
It operates by detecting small changes in the levels of acetone, a molecule that is in the breath, which is given off when the body starts to burn fat. Diabetes creates higher levels of acetone in breath, and the device uses spectroscopy to measure the wavelengths of light that are absorbed by different molecules in a gas. When an infrared laser is shone through a series of mirrors, it can detect even tiny changes in the levels of acetone when somebody breathes into the breathalyser.
Gus Hancock, who started the company, Oxford Medical Diagnostics, to help develop the machine as a way of screening patients for diabetes, commented “Acetone is associated with diabetes and we have already developed a detection system that can see acetone at about the levels that are important for the diagnosis of diabetes.
He added “We would like to set this up as a screening method for diabetes as there are so many people who suffer from it, particularly type 2 diabetes, but they don’t know they have it.”
Professor Hancock is also looking into the possibilities of using acetone to monitor glucose levels in the blood.

To Top