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Are There Benefits to Tracking Your Farts?

A team has created an ingestible tracker to monitor gas in the gut. Paired with a mobile phone app, the pill tracks gas as it moves through the digestive system in real time. You’re probably wondering why any legit scientists would care that much about farts. The team is hoping to understand once and for all each part of the digestive system’s role.

By tracking gas in the guts, the scientists are hoping to learn about the microbes each part of the digestive contains, how the gut is doing, what the microbes are doing, and how food affects the system — including which may cause problems. Until the development of the ingestible pill, efforts to figure out the digestive system have been difficult — bottling it is nearly impossible and tubing is invasive and unpleasant. Early trials have shown that the pill can provide new info about how gas works and which foods cause it.

Now that early studies have shown some success, the authors of the study are looking for a commercial company to further develop the tool.

So far, the pill has been used in six human trials. In the first, it took 20 hours to make its way through the digestive system and confirmed some of the information already known about gas in the gut.

In other trials, one man was placed first on a high fiber diet before swallowing the pill and then on a low fiber diet. The high fiber diet caused considerable pain as the pill made its way through the digestive system. In the low fiber diet, it took the pill several days to make its way through the guts.

The researchers concluded that the pill could prove useful in the future as a diagnostic tool to understand gut function and how diet causes changes.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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