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Nutrients. 2019 Jul 17;11(7). pii: E1636. doi: 10.3390/nu11071636.

Validity of a Portable Breath Analyser (AIRE) for the Assessment of Lactose Malabsorption.

Author information

1
The Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland, 85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand.
2
The Riddet Institute, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
3
Department of Food Technology and Nutritional Science, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Tangail 1902, Bangladesh.
4
Food Nutrition & Health Team, AgResearch Limited, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
5
The High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, Auckland 1023, New Zealand.
6
The Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland, 85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand. d.cameron-smith@auckland.ac.nz.
7
The Riddet Institute, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. d.cameron-smith@auckland.ac.nz.
8
Food & Bio-based Products Group, AgResearch Limited, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. d.cameron-smith@auckland.ac.nz.

Abstract

Hydrogen (H2) measurement in exhaled breath is a reliable and non-invasive method to diagnose carbohydrate malabsorption. Currently, breath H2 measurement is typically limited to clinic-based equipment. A portable breath analyser (AIRE, FoodMarble Digestive Health Limited, Dublin, Ireland) is a personalised device marketed for the detection and self-management of food intolerances, including lactose malabsorption (LM). Currently, the validity of this device for breath H2 analysis is unknown. Individuals self-reporting dairy intolerance (six males and six females) undertook a lactose challenge and a further seven individuals (all females) underwent a milk challenge. Breath samples were collected prior to and at frequent intervals post-challenge for up to 5 h with analysis using both the AIRE and a calibrated breath hydrogen analyser (BreathTracker, QuinTron Instrument Company Inc., Milwaukee, WI, USA). A significant positive correlation (p < 0.001, r > 0.8) was demonstrated between AIRE and BreathTracker H2 values, after both lactose and milk challenges, although 26% of the AIRE readings demonstrated the maximum score of 10.0 AU. Based on our data, the cut-off value for LM diagnosis (25 ppm H2) using AIRE is 3.0 AU and it is effective for the identification of a response to lactose-containing foods in individuals experiencing LM, although its upper limit is only 81 ppm.

KEYWORDS:

breath hydrogen; carbohydrate malabsorption; dairy; milk; personal health device

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