A Breathalyzer for Disease?

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Posted on: September 27, 2015

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By Dr. Mercola

Humans have been given five interesting “super powers” — hearing, sight, taste, touch and smell, without which life may arguably be less rich and perhaps even dangerous. Today, however, recently developed breath-analysis technology can use “smell” to analyze and accurately diagnose 17 different diseases with 86 percent accuracy.

For example, the Na-Nose technology can identify multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, several types of cancer, kidney failure and Crohn’s disease through the use of nanorays. According to CNN:

“The theory behind the technology is that each of us has a unique chemical ‘fingerprint.’ Each disease also has a particular chemical signature, which can be detected on our breath. The Na-Nose technology, which consists of a sensor chamber with a breathing tube and software, is able to detect this precise chemistry of disease by interpreting the impact on our usual chemical fingerprint.”1

Researchers used nanorays (aka nanoarrays) for breath analyzation, which the journal ACS Nano noted was “validated by an independent analytical technique, i.e., gas chromatography linked with mass spectrometry [GC-MS].”2

Around 1,400 participants from different countries were tested using the Na-Nose technology, which accurately diagnosed disease approximately nine out of 10 times, Medical Daily reports, adding that if other diseases (besides the 17 specifically mentioned in the study) happen to be present in an individual’s “breathprint,” the device may detect those, as well.3 Those 17 detectable diseases include:

Lung cancer

Colorectal cancer

Head and neck cancer

Ovarian cancer

Bladder cancer

Prostate cancer

Kidney cancer

Gastric cancer

Crohn’s disease

Ulcerative colitis

Irritable bowel syndrome

Idiopathic Parkinson’s

Atypical Parkinsonism

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Pulmonary arterial hypertension

Pre-eclampsia

Chronic kidney disease

The study stated, “One breath sample obtained from each subject was analyzed with the artificially intelligent nanoarray for disease diagnosis and classification, and a second was analyzed with GC-MS for exploring its chemical composition.”4

Na-Nose Technology: ‘Inexpensive, Noninvasive and Easy to Use’

It turns out that the study, conducted by colleagues from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and led by Hossam Haick, from the department of experimental technology development, revealed 13 exhaled chemical species known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are each associated with certain diseases, the composition of which differs from one disease to another, according to ACS Nano.5

Quartz cited research conducted over the last decade showing that with cystic fibrosis, for instance, patients’ bodies produce nearly quadruple the acetic acid — the base chemical in vinegar — compared to healthy people.6 Haick noted that besides boasting an equivalent accuracy to what’s currently...


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