Scientists have been studying body composition since the beginning of the 20th century. As measuring body fat becomes more accessible and cheaper, and the results of tests are getting more accurate, naturally more people want to know their measurements.
There is more than one way to measure body fat, and Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are widely used in various fields. While both methods can provide valuable information about the composition of a sample, they differ in their ability to account for factors such as hydration levels.
BIA technology measures the electrical resistance of the body to a small electric current, which is then used to estimate body composition. This method assumes that the electrical resistance is proportional to the amount of body water, which means that changes in hydration level can significantly affect the results. For example, when the body is dehydrated, the resistance will increase, leading to overestimating body fat and lean body mass. On the other hand, when the body is overhydrated, the resistance will decrease, leading to an underestimation of body fat and an overestimation of lean body mass. For instance, whether drinking too much fluids, caffeine, or alcohol, eating just before measuring can cause variations.
In addition, women particularly experience more changes in hydration levels than men due to their menstrual cycle. During the menstrual cycle, hormonal changes can cause water retention, leading to increased body weight and decreased body water. Therefore, BIA measurements taken during this time can be misleading, as they may indicate higher body fat levels than there actually are. Similarly, during pregnancy, women may undergo changes in body water, which can affect BIA measurements and lead to inaccurate results.
In contrast, NIR technology uses near-infrared light to analyze the chemical composition of a sample, which means directly detecting changes in body composition in real-time.
NIR measures total hemoglobin concentration, oxygen saturation in capillaries and water, and lipid in the tissues of the spots of interest. This method is not affected by changes in hydration levels, making it more reliable for analyzing body composition and minimizing variations from outside factors such as diet, water intake, and urination.
In addition to its resistance to hydration level changes, NIR has several other advantages over other methods. NIR is highly accurate, versatile, non-invasive, and non-radioactive, making it more reliable and comfortable for analyzing body composition and other parameters. NIR also provides rapid results, typically within seconds, allowing more efficient data collection and analysis.
With these all good features, we designed and developed our Bello 2 which is the most smallest body fat monitor in the world. Bello 2 uses eight discrete NIR wavelengths to complete a spectroscopic analysis of cells, directly quantify body components underneath the skin and provide the most accurate measurement, anytime, anywhere. Bello 2 could be the best option for those seeking a more accurate, versatile, and efficient method for measuring body fat and visceral fat level.
If you are interested in NIR for measuring your real-time body fat, please learn more about bello 2.