Lumen.me promises to help you lose weight with your iPhone

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2018
Startup firm Lumen is running an Indiegogo campaign to create a device that analyzes your breath to deduce metabolism information and produce dietary advice. AppleInsider spoke with co-founder Dror Ceder about this CO2 sensor, and got a chance to try it out.




The device and companion app, both called Lumen, are chiefly for determining your metabolism by way of analyzing a sample of your breath. Much as the police have been breathalyzing American drivers since the 1950s, you breathe or blow into Lumen and get instant results.

It's just that with Lumen, you should get more detailed results than the police need -- and then you get advice based on that.

Lumen's device is a carbon dioxide analyzer, and based on the on-device test, the companion iOS or Android app calculates conclusions about your metabolism. That advice can be comprehensive such as producing a personalized meal plan for you. Or it can also just be convenient: you could use the device ahead of a workout and be told whether you need to eat some carbs first.

Ultimately the advice is intended to help you lose weight and that'll be why it's been backed to the tune of 1,374 percent of its target already. Even if we don't watch our weight, we all know that we should and we worry about it.

Typically we don't worry quite enough to actually do anything, though, so this is where a device that can advise you easily, quickly and accurately could be a boon.




Speed is really a key factor. That's not just in the sense that it's quick to breath into Lumen but more that it's then very fast at showing you the results. If you're on a diet, typically you suffer along with it for a week or more before you can possibly tell if it's working. With Lumen, you at least get an indicator of what immediate effects you're achieving.

None of which is of any use if the data from a device like Lumen is wrong. The company claims to have spent four years developing its CO2 sensor and there have been studies along the way from medical experts examining the work.

AppleInsider has seen a paper about a study that was done by doctors from Metaflow Ltd., San Francisco State University and The Sourasky Medical Center in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Their combined research states:
The studies concluded Lumen's ability to identify changes in the metabolic fuel usage of an individual following exercise, a change in diet and consumption of a high carb meal.

When using the Lumen device to assess changes in metabolic fuel usage, the same trends as described in well-accepted literature are seen. The Lumen method was found to effectively differentiate between different metabolic states of an individual Following aerobic exercise, the body shifts towards the fuel usage of fats. This is well-known physiological responses that have been well document-ed. In a T-test analysis, the Lumen method was found to effectively differentiate between different metabolic states of an individual following a single bout of exercise (p
So, it's not going to replace your local doctor or a full medical check-up, but Lumen's data is at least accurate enough to be useful. It's the way that data is used that will determine if Lumen is as beneficial as claimed.

We've only tried a demonstration unit, and final software may change, but the steps were clear and simple. You set a goal from options including losing weight or build muscle, then breathe into the device as prompted.

Right away you get a result about where you are on the scale of carb-burning to fat burning. It's just a figure from 1 to 7 with no units or definition but based on where you fall on this scale, you will get advice like "you should have a no carb day".

There are then also menu recommendations and in its current form Lumen makes these ranging from recipes in its own database to food options from companies like Amazon Fresh and Instacart.




It's up to you whether you then follow its dietary advice but the next time you breathe in, Lumen will be able to see if there's been an improvement. More importantly, so will you: whatever its accuracy and medical science basis, Lumen is certainly a motivational tool.

You can't know how good a device can be until it's fully on sale and in daily use. Yet we spoke with Lumen.me's Dror Ceder about the company's hopes and expectations for their product.





Lumen is not yet available but you can order it for $199 by backing the Indiegogo project which remains live for the next month.

It's still a month away from completing its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign but already Lumen.me's proposed device has raised well over ten times its target. The money pledged -- currently $687,177 against a target of $50,000 -- means the project is backed. Yet it also speaks to just how much demand there is for the use that it claims to address.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,840member
    Calorie restriction combined with exercise is the only thing proven to work in every case. It's not complicated. If buying this device encourages people to do either of those two things, it's a win.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 13
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 670editor
    Calorie restriction combined with exercise is the only thing proven to work in every case. It's not complicated. If buying this device encourages people to do either of those two things, it's a win.
    What Dror explained to me is that calorie restriction with exercise is an oversimplification of understanding metabolism, and it's why people who are doing that may plateau, and have a harder time continuing to lose weight after initially losing more easily.

    What the device does is understand whether you're burning fat calories or burning carbohydrates, and then uses that information to tell you information about what kind of meals you should have in order to promote fat burning, and what kinds of exercise will help you the most based on where your metabolism is at.

    That is, it takes what you're suggesting, and then goes further.

    christopher126
  • Reply 3 of 13
    vmarks said:
    Calorie restriction combined with exercise is the only thing proven to work in every case. It's not complicated. If buying this device encourages people to do either of those two things, it's a win.
    What Dror explained to me is that calorie restriction with exercise is an oversimplification of understanding metabolism, and it's why people who are doing that may plateau, and have a harder time continuing to lose weight after initially losing more easily.

    What the device does is understand whether you're burning fat calories or burning carbohydrates, and then uses that information to tell you information about what kind of meals you should have in order to promote fat burning, and what kinds of exercise will help you the most based on where your metabolism is at.

    That is, it takes what you're suggesting, and then goes further.

    Well said, Victor. I maintain it's very important the type of calories one is taking in. I.e. I'd prefer 300 cals from a green organic kale shake than 500 from a Gatorade (read, sugar).

    Jack Lalane (lived to 93?) and his philosophy was simple, "Don't eat anything from a box, bottle, can, bag, packet or jar. B/c it's 'man-made.' Eat only whole foods and nothing processed." 

    P.S. Also, if the food manufacturers could grind down old car tires, add red food coloring and sell it as 'Tomato Sauce' they would! :) Don't let a corporation feed your family! :)
    edited July 2018 fotoformat
  • Reply 4 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,154member
    Nice Scam!
    It's whole premise is based on the rather shaky premise of the Ketogenic diets where so called "carbs" are bad.   Always bad.   "Carbs make you fat and sick".   ROFL...

    The failure of the premise lies in two misconceptions:
    1)  That "carbs" cause Type 2 Diabetes.  They don't.   High sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetes are a symptom, not a cause.  The cause is insulin resistance which is caused by fat clogging up receptors in the muscles.
    2)  The assumption that all "Carbs" are processed and refined foods such as sugar, white bread, white pasta, etc.   Those are junk foods masquerading as real food.

    The healthiest, longest lived peoples on the planet eat mostly "Carbs" -- like 70-80% "carbs".   But, they are not processed junk foods.   They are Whole Plant Foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.  In addition to preventing and reversing heart disease, diabetes, and many common cancers they will also produce weight loss because of their low caloric density (calories per pound of food).   Essentially you will fill up before you fatten up.

    People switching to these ketogenic (fat burning) diets abandon junk food (soda pop, donuts, cakes, cookies, white bread, etc) and, because they lose weight they think they are eating a healthy diet.  Instead they are simply trading one toxin for another.

    There is a reason why every major public health agency advises people to eat whole, unprocessed plant foods:   Fruits, veges, beans and whole grains.   It's healthy and you lose weight.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 210member
    1)  That "carbs" cause Type 2 Diabetes.  They don't.   High sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetes are a symptom, not a cause.  The cause is insulin resistance which is caused by fat clogging up receptors in the muscles.
    Increasingly, it looks like insulin resistance is often caused by too much intake of one specific sugar: fructose. Specifically, it looks like the liver preferentially digests fructose to the exclusion of many of its other functions, which leads to fatty liver. That then leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and so on. The problem is fructose is many times sweeter than most other sugars, and people buy sweet things, so food manufacturers are incentivized to use it a lot.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,154member
    zimmie said:
    1)  That "carbs" cause Type 2 Diabetes.  They don't.   High sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetes are a symptom, not a cause.  The cause is insulin resistance which is caused by fat clogging up receptors in the muscles.
    Increasingly, it looks like insulin resistance is often caused by too much intake of one specific sugar: fructose. Specifically, it looks like the liver preferentially digests fructose to the exclusion of many of its other functions, which leads to fatty liver. That then leads to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and so on. The problem is fructose is many times sweeter than most other sugars, and people buy sweet things, so food manufacturers are incentivized to use it a lot.
    Nope....   It's fat.   Fat you wear or fat you eat -- or both.   But, you can get fat by eating too much sugar so in that sense it is true.  But, if you eat the sugar and burn it before it gets stored as fat you don't get diabetes. 

    The confusing part is that the criteria for diabetes is testing blood glucose levels -- and that doesn't show up till you eat carbohydrates.   But lowering blood sugar levels by avoiding all carbohydrates doesn't mean the insulin resistance went away.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 670editor
    These comments are why the device is so attractive to me. Everyone has a different understanding, and all claim 'no, the other comment is wrong' - where instead, this device and its science have been tested by research at medical centers. While the app has ketogenic as one possible goal, it's not the only, or even main, use of the device. Obviously, carbs are required by the body, but you don't want so many that it turns into fat. Knowing what the right amounts and sources are can be really difficult. Just meal planning is a huge problem for most people, much less knowing whether they've eaten well or badly (beyond the really obvious examples of pizza, beer, fries (chips) and cake). 

    The app is essentially like having a nutritionist on call that can tell where your carbs/fat metabolism is at and make sane recommendations for what to do next. I'm happy with that.  Metabolism is something that can be really hard to understand in the moment, and this product sets out to shed light on that. 
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 8 of 13
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 990member
    I was with keto for a few months before and knowing the state between burning fats or burning carbs is all guesswork. Hence, I failed. If this tool proved to be what it says, then I am all for it.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,265member
    vmarks said:
    These comments are why the device is so attractive to me. Everyone has a different understanding, and all claim 'no, the other comment is wrong' - where instead, this device and its science have been tested by research at medical centers. While the app has ketogenic as one possible goal, it's not the only, or even main, use of the device. Obviously, carbs are required by the body, but you don't want so many that it turns into fat. Knowing what the right amounts and sources are can be really difficult. Just meal planning is a huge problem for most people, much less knowing whether they've eaten well or badly (beyond the really obvious examples of pizza, beer, fries (chips) and cake). 

    The app is essentially like having a nutritionist on call that can tell where your carbs/fat metabolism is at and make sane recommendations for what to do next. I'm happy with that.  Metabolism is something that can be really hard to understand in the moment, and this product sets out to shed light on that. 
    I agree, provided it is in fact medically proven as you say. Could be huge. 

    I hope in fact that theres a beginning of medical devices like this, telling me if I am low or low in sodium, high in carbs or whatever. And Apple should get the check book out if this is proven. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,154member
    asdasd said:
    vmarks said:
    These comments are why the device is so attractive to me. Everyone has a different understanding, and all claim 'no, the other comment is wrong' - where instead, this device and its science have been tested by research at medical centers. While the app has ketogenic as one possible goal, it's not the only, or even main, use of the device. Obviously, carbs are required by the body, but you don't want so many that it turns into fat. Knowing what the right amounts and sources are can be really difficult. Just meal planning is a huge problem for most people, much less knowing whether they've eaten well or badly (beyond the really obvious examples of pizza, beer, fries (chips) and cake). 

    The app is essentially like having a nutritionist on call that can tell where your carbs/fat metabolism is at and make sane recommendations for what to do next. I'm happy with that.  Metabolism is something that can be really hard to understand in the moment, and this product sets out to shed light on that. 
    I agree, provided it is in fact medically proven as you say. Could be huge. 

    I hope in fact that theres a beginning of medical devices like this, telling me if I am low or low in sodium, high in carbs or whatever. And Apple should get the check book out if this is proven. 
    Most modern physicians and researchers realize that you can prove pretty much anything with "a study" and "science".   The tobacco companies used that to prove the smoking "in moderation" was not harmful.   And, Big Pharma milk it to the hilt to prove that your life depends on taking their pill as well as to dismiss the side affects of taking their pill.

    What makes sham science even worse in nutrition is that the human body can extract energy from darn near anything.  And further, the ravages of the chronic diseases they cause (heart disease, dementia, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, etc.) don't show up for years and decades later.   And that problem is compounded when results are measured in isolated, short term stats like weight, blood glucose, HDL levels -- or CO2 levels.

    And today, since so many are overweight, that method has become one of the primary ways of measuring the success of a diet -- if it causes you to lose weight.   But, while weight is very important, it should not be the only or even the primary concern.  The concern should be on the overall, long term effect on health and well being.

    But, the proponents of these sham diets try to convince people using any means necessary and, like the proponents of this device try to normalize that which is abnormal -- and using pretty charts and graphs to view isolated stats is a great way to do that. 

    But, that said, if it gets you to quit eating junk food -- mostly sugar water or white flour products laced with fat, sugar and salt to add taste -- then it is doing a little bit of mostly short term good.   But, if it gives you heart disease or cancer in a couple decades, then it may not be the best way to go...

    Buyer beware....

    After thought:  Beware of anybody or any product that tries to sell itself by tearing something else or somebody else down without offering any conclusive evidence that it itself is good.   That's true in both politics and in nutrition.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 11 of 13
    I agree, provided it is in fact medically proven as you say. Could be huge. 

    You make some good points, and yes, it's good to be skeptical. I think Victor and this company are on the right track. Is it a panacea? No. More a tool to help people become more conscious of the type of food they take in and the resulting effect in just about real-time.

    Weight is important. I read (WSJ) a Neurosurgeon's comment, "If you're ~30#'s overweight, you have 'everything,' hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, pre-diabetes, and some forms of cancer, etc., etc." (Sorry, I don't have the link to that article.) 

    You're correct that cancers can and do sometimes take years or even decades to manifest themselves. The interesting fact is when young men and women  (< 30 years old), unfortunately, die in a car accident, an autopsy is usually performed and the findings are that a good portion of young men have small cancerous cells in their prostate gland and a good portion of young women have small cancerous cells in their breasts.

    So how do these small cancerous cells become life threatening later on in life? Not environment (~1-2% of cancers), not heredity (~2% of cancers), but overwhelming more and more cancers are attributed to a bad diet.

    As you say, a diet high in sugar, animal fats, salt and processed foods. The evidence is overwhelming.

    Americans obtain 97% of their calories from processed foods and only 3% from fresh fruits and vegetables. And even more damning, half of the 3% of the vegetables (1.5%) are French fries.

    The processed food manufacturers are making food for 'profit' without regard for our good health. And we, as a society, are paying the price!

    Best regards.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,154member
    I agree, provided it is in fact medically proven as you say. Could be huge. 

    You make some good points, and yes, it's good to be skeptical. I think Victor and this company are on the right track. Is it a panacea? No. More a tool to help people become more conscious of the type of food they take in and the resulting effect in just about real-time.

    Weight is important. I read (WSJ) a Neurosurgeon's comment, "If you're ~30#'s overweight, you have 'everything,' hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, pre-diabetes, and some forms of cancer, etc., etc." (Sorry, I don't have the link to that article.) 

    You're correct that cancers can and do sometimes take years or even decades to manifest themselves. The interesting fact is when young men and women  (< 30 years old), unfortunately, die in a car accident, an autopsy is usually performed and the findings are that a good portion of young men have small cancerous cells in their prostate gland and a good portion of young women have small cancerous cells in their breasts.

    So how do these small cancerous cells become life threatening later on in life? Not environment (~1-2% of cancers), not heredity (~2% of cancers), but overwhelming more and more cancers are attributed to a bad diet.

    As you say, a diet high in sugar, animal fats, salt and processed foods. The evidence is overwhelming.

    Americans obtain 97% of their calories from processed foods and only 3% from fresh fruits and vegetables. And even more damning, half of the 3% of the vegetables (1.5%) are French fries.

    The processed food manufacturers are making food for 'profit' without regard for our good health. And we, as a society, are paying the price!

    Best regards.
    Yep!  Totally agree!

    As for the last statement:
    The meat, dairy, processed food and health care industries have a nice racket going:   The food industry serves us stuff that tastes delicious to point of being addictive ("I could never give up my cheese!") -- then the healthcare industry steps in with a pill to "fix" the problem.  And both have all the research studies to prove that they're doing us a favor!
  • Reply 13 of 13
    I agree, provided it is in fact medically proven as you say. Could be huge. 

    You make some good points, and yes, it's good to be skeptical. I think Victor and this company are on the right track. Is it a panacea? No. More a tool to help people become more conscious of the type of food they take in and the resulting effect in just about real-time.

    Weight is important. I read (WSJ) a Neurosurgeon's comment, "If you're ~30#'s overweight, you have 'everything,' hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, pre-diabetes, and some forms of cancer, etc., etc." (Sorry, I don't have the link to that article.) 

    You're correct that cancers can and do sometimes take years or even decades to manifest themselves. The interesting fact is when young men and women  (< 30 years old), unfortunately, die in a car accident, an autopsy is usually performed and the findings are that a good portion of young men have small cancerous cells in their prostate gland and a good portion of young women have small cancerous cells in their breasts.

    So how do these small cancerous cells become life threatening later on in life? Not environment (~1-2% of cancers), not heredity (~2% of cancers), but overwhelming more and more cancers are attributed to a bad diet.

    As you say, a diet high in sugar, animal fats, salt and processed foods. The evidence is overwhelming.

    Americans obtain 97% of their calories from processed foods and only 3% from fresh fruits and vegetables. And even more damning, half of the 3% of the vegetables (1.5%) are French fries.

    The processed food manufacturers are making food for 'profit' without regard for our good health. And we, as a society, are paying the price!

    Best regards.
    Yep!  Totally agree!

    As for the last statement:
    The meat, dairy, processed food and health care industries have a nice racket going:   The food industry serves us stuff that tastes delicious to point of being addictive ("I could never give up my cheese!") -- then the healthcare industry steps in with a pill to "fix" the problem.  And both have all the research studies to prove that they're doing us a favor!
    Well said, George. I agree. Only 25% of Medical schools even address nutrition. And those schools have a one hour class on basically how common vitamins interact w/ pharmaceuticals. We are, indeed, being scammed by the industries you mention above. Dairy is the number one source of saturated fats, seafood is the number one source of toxins, and the number one killer is heart desease which is mainly attributable to the consumption of meat. At the risk of sounding too alarmist, if I had to distill what we’re discussing to three words, I’d say, “Sugar feeds cancer!”

    best. Enjoyed the conversation. :)
    GeorgeBMac
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