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article imageBreath test for obesity being developed

By Tim Sandle     Mar 29, 2013 in Health
A recent Cedars-Sinai study suggests that a breath test profile of microorganisms inhabiting the gut may be able to tell doctors how susceptible a person is to developing obesity.
New research shows that people whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gasses are more likely to have a higher body mass index and higher percentage of body fat. The gas production is linked to the different types of bacteria that reside within the gut.
For the study, scientists analyzed the breath content of 792 people. Based on the breath tests, four patterns emerged. The subjects either had normal breath content, higher concentrations of methane, higher levels of hydrogen, or higher levels of both gases. Med Page notes that those who tested positive for high concentrations of both gases had significantly higher body mass indexes and higher percentages of body fat. Therefore, the presence of both methane and hydrogen on breath testing is associated with increased Body Mass Index (BMI) and percent body fat in humans.
The study was led by Ruchi Mathur, MD, director of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the Division of Endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai and the findings have been published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Diet and bacteria appear to affect various body functions, like weight. The Digital Journal recently reported that diet history could impact fat absorption by changing the abundance of certain microbes that promote fat absorption.
More about Obesity, Gut bacteria, Bacteria, Health, Fat
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