Ingestible sensor capsule discovers new digestive mechanisms

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In Australia, RMIT University researchers have uncovered mechanisms in the human body that have never been seen before, including a potentially new immune system. The researchers conducted trials using a new ingestible capsule (the size of a vitamin pill) that detects and measures gut gases – hydrogen, carbon dioxides and oxygen – in real time. This data can be sent to a mobile phone.

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, study lead and capsule co-inventor, said the trials showed that the human stomach uses an oxidizer to fight foreign bodies in the gut. And, another never before seen observation from the trial was that the colon may contain oxygen.

“Trials showed the presence of high concentrations of oxygen in the colon under an extremely high-fiber diet,” Kalantar-zadeh said.  “This contradicts the old belief that the colon is always oxygen free. This new information could help us better understand how debilitating diseases like colon cancer occur.”