Historically, the nutrition and health guidance presented to the masses has been done in a blanket approach. Everyone should eat the same—eat low fat, avoid cholesterol and salt, eat every two hours. Everyone should avoid the sun. Everyone should walk 10,000 steps every day. And on and on. For decades we’ve all diligently followed this advice and adhered as best we can to the conventional nutritional doctrine of the day. Unfortunately, we’re now arguably less healthy than ever before, with life expectancy declining and today’s kids set to live shorter lives than their parents.
Thankfully, a growing number of folks are starting to realize that this one-size-fits-all approach may not be the ideal solution. Rather than blindly following these standard guidelines, more and more of us are starting to pay greater attention to how our diet and lifestyle choices can affect our individual bodies. Fortunately, while this ability to track how our bodies respond to certain foods and lifestyle choices wouldn’t have been possible just a generation ago, with a growing number of apps and devices available, it’s now possible to track the effect these various factors have on us in real-time.
One of these devices, launched just this year, is a revolutionary ketone breath meter from Biosense. The first, and only, clinically backed meter on the market to track acetone (ACEs), the device offers unlimited, effortless tracking of ketone levels simply by blowing into it. No more painful, inconvenient fingersticks or having to buy expensive test strips. Biosense elevates tracking your ketones to a whole new level and makes it as painless as utilizing any wearable device.
Revolutionizing Ketone Tracking
Like most other biological tracking devices, the validity, accuracy, and even what we should be tracking tends to change as our understanding of whatever system we’re trying to track improves. When it comes to monitoring ketones for things like weight loss, intermittent fasting, and keeping tabs on your overall metabolic health, research suggests blood measurements may not be optimal.
A 2019 clinical trial found that “the relatively high daily variability of ketone levels indicate that single blood or breath ketone measurements are often not sufficient to assess daily ketone exposure for most users.” This alludes to the fact that taking measurements numerous times each day, as opposed to just once or twice, will give users a much more valid snapshot of their overall metabolic picture. With blood-based meters, using test strips that average $1 per strip, this can quickly become prohibitively expensive. When you also consider that blood ketones are storage ketones, keeping a watchful eye on breath ketones may actually be a better, more accurate long-term biomarker.
Biosense is also a game-changer when it comes to intermittent fasting, removing the speculation and estimation of when you’re actually in ketosis or have reached that holy grail of ketone levels for autophagy to really kick in. According to Biosense CEO Jim Howard, “Biosense is designed for multiple measurements per day, revealing a full-day trend of the impact of our behaviour on nutritional ketosis. We tell the full untold story.” Prior to now, users had to rely on simplified, general, time-based IF programs and hope that they were reaping the health benefits after a set, arbitrary amount of time. For example, research has demonstrated that 15 ACEs is a level when autophagy happens. By tracking your ACEs, you can now easily figure out if you need to fast for a day, or five, to reach that level. With Biosense you can finally stop guessing.
Biosense includes a free app that helps you better understand your ongoing ketone trends, with multiple viewing options to see daily, monthly, and yearly levels at a glance. You can also input basic information such as food intake, exercise, and fasting times to get a clearer understanding how those factors affect your ACE levels. You can also add a custom goal for daily tracking, note any current medical conditions, and select any health goals you have. The company plans on adding a suite of biomarker and AI metabolic insights to the app in 2021 that will provide more actionable info to users.
After having the opportunity to use the Biosense device for several months, I found it to be incredibly accurate when comparing it to a blood ketone meter. It was also ridiculously easy to use. Out of habit, when I first started using it, I stuck to testing in the morning, after meals (only when it was convenient), and at night before bed. As I used it more, however, I began testing with increasing frequency. The most surprising use was in the car, driving home from the gym. Turn it on, let it “prepare” (which takes about 2 minutes), and blow. Ten seconds later you have your results, which are automatically synced the next time you use the app. (Interesting side-note, “preparing the device” means the sensor is heating up to 300°F to burn off any acetone from previous measurements.)
No matter your reason for wanting to track your ketone levels—you’re following a low carb diet to lose weight, you’re at high risk for ketoacidosis, you’re wanting to realize the benefits of fasting—the Biosense breath meter is a groundbreaking innovation. The design is elegantly simple and it has successfully removed any previous barriers to tracking, making ketone tracking accessible to anyone (good-bye needles!). Things are going to get even more exciting as the company is actively pursuing areas of research where this new technology can be most beneficial, and they have several upcoming clinical trials with pharma and academic partners for obesity, neurocognitive decline, and oncology coming up.
The Biosense breath ketone meter is currently available in the US for $299 (use this link to get $20 off – automatically applied at checkout) and Canada. Folks in Europe will be able to grab one in early 2021.