Sensors in a pill determine the composition of gases in your gut and check whether important intestinal bacteria can do their job.
A new electronic pill, recently tested on humans, can provide valuable knowledge about our digestion, so that the perfect diet can be tailor-made for everyone.
Scientists from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed the pill. It is 2.6 centimeters long and contains a thermometer, batteries, a transmitter and sensors for hydrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide.
As the pill travels its way through the digestive system, it sends information about the content of these three gases, which gives an impression of the efficiency of the intestinal bacteria.
Diet with many or few fibers
The scientists examined the gases twice with a test subject, who followed a fiber-rich diet the first time and a fiber-poor diet the second time.
The fiber-rich diet gave the subject abdominal pain, and the pill reported that the oxygen content in the colon was increased during the first four hours after eating. This is not beneficial for the anaerobic bacteria that do not consume oxygen and are important for digestion because they convert food residues into fatty acids that can be absorbed.
The low-fiber diet also caused problems. In the large intestine, the pill measured too low a hydrogen level, indicating that the bacteria were not doing their job properly.
The pill can therefore find out the cause of digestive problems.
The researchers even think that it is very common to take an electronic pill during a visit to the doctor.
Pil goes on a discovery at 0.5 meters per hour
The pill stays in the body for around 20 hours. The first few hours he is in the stomach, after which he goes through 15 meters of intestine in 15.5 hours.