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Age dependent breath methane in the German population

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons128452

Polag,  Daniela
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101055

Keppler,  Frank
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Polag, D., Leiß, O., & Keppler, F. (2014). Age dependent breath methane in the German population. Science of the Total Environment, 481, 582-587. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.02.086.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-B3C0-2
Abstract
Methane which can sometimes be found in exhaled breath of humans is known to reflect in situ intestinal methanogenic activity. In recent years, several factors have been studied in order to understand their relevance to methane production in the intestinal tract. However, the relationship between age and methane producing status has hitherto not been sufficiently investigated. In the present study we evaluated the relationship between age and percentage of breath methane producers in the German population in 428 subjects with ages ranging from 4 to 95 years. When subjects were divided into age groups of 15 years, an increase in the percentage of breath methane producers with age was observed. The near linear increase (R-2 = 0.977) from 5% for children (1-15 years) to 57% for the elderly (> 75 years) may indicate a continuous development in the human gut methanogenic flora throughout lifetime. However, when subjects were compared on 5 year age intervals, an interruption in the percentage of methane producers in the sixth and seventh decade was noted. We further revealed an age dependence on the ratio of female to male producers. This is shown by a dominance in female breath methane producers during the first half of life which afterwards is replaced by a dominance in male breath methane producers with an approximately linear decrease in the ratio between 20 and 65 years (R-2 = 0.926). These observations might suggest a relationship between methanogenic activity and hormonal factors. Using our data, we predict that the percentage of breath CH4 producers within the German population will increase from its current value of 30% (2013) to 35% by 2050. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.