Breath acetone analyzer: diagnostic tool to monitor dietary fat loss

Clin Chem. 1993 Jan;39(1):87-92.


Acetone, a metabolite of fat catabolism, is produced in excessive amounts in subjects on restricted-calorie weight-loss programs. Breath acetone measurements are useful as a motivational tool during dieting and for monitoring the effectiveness of weight-loss programs. We have developed a simple, easy-to-read method that quantifies the amount of acetone in a defined volume of exhaled breath after trapping the sample in a gas-analyzer column. The concentration of acetone, as measured by the length of a blue color zone in the analyzer column, correlates with results obtained by gas chromatography. Using the breath acetone analyzer to quantify breath acetone concentrations of dieting subjects, we established a correlation between breath acetone concentration and rate of fat loss (slope 52.2 nmol/L per gram per day, intercept 15.3 nmol/L, n = 78, r = 0.81). We also discussed the possibility of using breath acetone in diabetes management.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetone / analysis*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Breath Tests*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality Control
  • Weight Loss*


  • Acetone