Fancy Laser Shows If You've Been Eating Your Veggies

Staff Writer
You can never hide your unhealthy habits ever again

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Sure, having a wristband track everything you drink is incredibly scary when you think about it, but in similar technology news, there's a laser that can prove whether or not you've eaten your vegetables. Mothers everwhere would approve.

Basically, shining a blue light on skin energizes carotenoid pigments in the skin, and a technique called resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS) can measure the changes without having to draw blood. Cartenoid pigments usually come from vegetables and fruits, such as beta-carotene in carrots, LiveScience reports.

Yale University's Susan Mayne, head of chronic disease epidemiology, and laser physicist Werner Gellermann at the University of Utah have created the laser-RRS technique to accurately measure cartenoid levels in skin, almost on par with the infinitely more painful blood-and-skin samples nutritionists use today.

"When people have high-vegetable diets they develop a yellow skin coloration that is particularly noticeable in the palm of the hand because of the accumulation of carotenoids in the skin," Mayne said.

Further research needs to be done to see how cartenoids last in the skin, to determine if the tests show the last week's diet or simply the last day's. Still, good news for those with with a fear of needles, seeing as the device measured some 60 preschool kids during their naptime.

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