Difference diet makes to gas production detected

(iStock)
(iStock)

A new smart pill has been designed which could reveal which foods give you gas – with some unexpected findings.

Intestinal gases have been linked to colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but there remains no easy way to detect them inside the gut.

Now animal trials have been carried out in Australia using new gas sensing pills. They send data from the gut to a mobile phone, allowing researchers to examine the impact of high and low-fibre diets.

Lead investigator at RMIT Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh says the results reversed current assumptions about the effects of fibre on the gut.

"We found a low-fibre diet produced four times more hydrogen in the small intestine than a high-fibre diet. This was a complete surprise because hydrogen is produced through fermentation, so we naturally expected more fibre would equal more of this fermentation gas."

However, a diet high in fibre produced more methane gas in the large intestine.

The smart pills are hoped to offer new clues for the development of diets and drugs for those affected by digestive disorders and diseases.

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