Enhancing fat metabolism can improve health through a variety of mechanisms, and helping patients determine the best ways to burn fat can help them prevent or delay disease. Acetone is a byproduct of fat metabolism and is therefore produced in higher concentrations following caloric restriction and moderate exercise.
Though there are multiple ways to track fat metabolism by measuring indicators of ketosis, the conventionally used blood and urine testing limit both the patient and the provider in critical ways. To overcome these weaknesses, the measurement of ketosis using breath was developed, which offers the following advantages.
1. Sensitivity and Accuracy.
Blood and urine tests were developed to identify ketoacidosis, which occurs once ketone levels are extremely high and blood becomes acidic. These tests are therefore not sensitive to lower levels of ketones that are indicative of healthy fat loss. Breath measurements, on the other hand, were designed specifically to accurately measure low levels of fat metabolism for weight loss and can be combined with any weight loss program.
Whereasblood and urine tests measure concentrations of the large molecules beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, respectively, the breath test measures levels of acetone. Because acetone is a small molecule, it can rapidly volatilize and move into the gas space of the lungs, making it measurable in the breath.
Breath acetone analysis provides a quantitative readout of breath acetone concentration. Unlike with urine measurements, which must be interpreted based on color changes on strips, the information provided by breath acetone measurements prevent interpretation variability and allow for a more precise understanding of the current level of fat metabolism. Breath acetone measurement with LEVL allows electronic compilation of measurements.
3. Ease and Comfort for Patients.
Breath tests are noninvasive and require no privacy. Unlike urine and blood tests, breath tests do not require needle pricks or privacy.
They are fast and provide immediate feedback. Measuring breath acetone takes seconds, and results are immediate. Because data are provided in real-time, patients can more readily link their behavior to their tendency to burn fat and adjust accordingly.
Use isn’t limited to specific diets. Breath acetone measurements are useful for monitoring fat loss a regardless of food intake and exercise – so patients do not have to adhere to a ketogenic diet to benefit from it.
4. Burden Reduction for Providers.
Measuring breath acetone can prevent the effects of reporting bias. When providers use breath acetone measurements, they have an objective marker of fat metabolism and are not limited by patient recall or recording of diet and exercise adherence.
Breath tests can reduce labor. Patients can perform breath tests on their own, the analyses are automatic, and the results displayed rapidly. The nature of these tests precludes workflow bottlenecks resulting from the need for staff to collect or test samples.
5. Reimbursement for Providers.
LEVL breath acetone tests are reimbursed when used in the clinic. Cash pay practices also have the option to use superbilling. This scheme prevents cost from being a barrier to the use of the most accurate, precise, and rapid test of fat metabolism.
6. Remote Patient Monitoring.
The LEVL device is consumer friendly and can be placed in a patient’s home as part of a telemedicine weight loss program. Testing breath acetone levels daily keeps patients engaged at home while allowing clinicians to review daily fluctuations in fat metabolism.
It is clear that monitoring breath acetone levels is the best way to predict fat loss from a scientific standpoint, but these measurements are also uniquely beneficial for clinical practice and telehealth weight loss programs. They improve the likelihood of helping patients achieve and maintain fat loss goals while increasing convenience and reducing burdens for both patients and providers.
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