The first-of-its-kind Lumen device can accurately measure metabolism through a CO2 sensor and flow meter, providing everyone with the freedom to monitor metabolism at home

Research led by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge has evaluated a new breath device claiming to be the first of its kind to allow individuals to monitor metabolism at home.

The data has been published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

What is the Lumen device?

Lumen is the world’s first hand-held, portable device to measure metabolism accurately. Though the science itself isn’t new, the technology of Lumen is.

Once the luxury of top athletes, metabolic testing is now available to everyone in the comfort of their own homes.

Lumen uses a CO2 sensor and flow meter to determine the CO2 concentration in a single breath.

How did researchers monitor metabolism at home using Lumen?

The study aimed to test how effectively Lumen could monitor metabolism at home.

This meant measuring metabolic changes related to carbohydrate intake.

The first step was to compare Lumen to the Douglas bag test, a gold standard measure of respiratory analysis, and prove that the Lumen device could detect an acute change in carbohydrate use.

The second part of the study involved 27 healthy, active adults.

Researchers found that the Lumen device could detect changes in %CO2 over a week in response to acute dietary modifications.

However, Lumen was not sensitive daily.

The researchers are confident that the breath test could support dietary changes, particularly concerning carbohydrate intake.

‘The first study to investigate the practical use of this breath device’

Lead author Dr Justin Roberts, Associate Professor in Nutritional Physiology for Health & Exercise at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “Ours is the first study to investigate the practical use of this breath device. What makes this technology interesting is that up to now, the only way to assess metabolic function has been under laboratory conditions using advanced and expensive respiratory analysers.

“When people leave the lab there are limited means to accurately assess metabolic changes at home, such as fuel use and whether the person is likely burning more fat or carbohydrates, either in response to a diet or exercise.

‘It may offer a practical solution to tracking dietary changes’

“Therefore, the findings from our study demonstrate that a home-use portable device like Lumen could be a useful way of tracking weekly changes in dietary interventions when dietary carbohydrate is the main variable being changed.

“It should be noted that our study only tracked for a short period, therefore, longer-term studies are needed to assess whether the device can detect metabolic adaptations over time.

“However, the Lumen device could be a useful tool to support research and dietary interventions.

“It may offer a practical solution to tracking dietary changes, particularly in relation to regular exercise, but users should be mindful of the complexity of metabolic adaptations and interpretation of data on a day-to-day basis.”


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