Your unique breath print

Just ask anyone who has found herself or himself immersed in the medical system and you will find out that there are a myriad of test procedures today aimed at finding out what ails you. There are blood tests, urine tests, saliva tests, DNA tests, and so the list goes. Now, according to a new study, we can add “breath tests” to that long list.

Your body fluids tell a lot about you. They can indicate infection, heart disease, cancer, hormonal imbalance, organ problems, and much more. Now there is evidence that your breath can be equally revealing and not just of whether you have had a drink or three.

There have been studies before which have shown that animals, such as dogs, can “smell” cancer. So in this study researchers analysed the breath of subjects using mass spectrometry. For each subject they analysed their breath each day for a period of 11 days. What they found was that while there were daily variations in the breath for each person there was a core “breath print” that remained the same. This core breath print was highly specific and tied just to that individual.

The supposition is that a person’s diet, health, illnesses, chemical exposure, and even emotions contribute to their unique breath print. The great advantage of the breath print of course is that it is a non-invasive way to investigate what is happening in the body.

This could be a boom for health practitioners wanting to test for various health conditions by adding another analytical weapon to their arsenal. Of course, practitioners of Chinese medicine and other traditional healing methods have been using the breath to diagnose for a long time; there’s nothing really new under the sun, things are just repackaged.

Aside from health though, the other area where these findings could have immense application is the dating scene. If someone can develop an app that allows you to scan the breath of people you are meeting at a party it could make the dating decision a whole lot easier. It might not be romantic but then again it adds an extra dimension and meaning to “breathless romance”.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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