The next time you surreptitiously fart in an elevator — don’t feel guilty!
The Daily Mail reports scientists have discovered that a good burst of flatulence has secret health benefits: it helps prevent cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. It also helps in cases of dementia, so you’ll no longer have the luxury of not even remembering you farted.
What is the scientific explanation for such a bizarre claim? The answer is — Hydrogen sulfide, which is the chemical name for the smelly gas produced by bacteria as they break down food in the digestive system.
Researchers at Exeter University in the U.K. explain that, while the gas is toxic in large amounts, much small volumes protect cells and fight off infection.
They discovered that when cells become affected by disease, they attempt to draw in enzymes to generate their own tiny quantities of hydrogen sulfide. The gas assists in the preservation of mitochondria, which drive energy production in blood vessel cells and regulate inflammation; without it, the cell can just die.
They have produced a new compound, named AP39, which helps the body to produce the optimum volume of hydrogen sulfide. It will help prevent or reverse mitochondrial damage, which is the main element in treating conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and aging.
Professor Matt Whiteman from the University of Exeter’s medical school said:
“When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide. This keeps the mitochondria ticking over and allows cells to live. If this doesn’t happen, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation.
“We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria. Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive.”
Preliminary results show that the chemical helps around 80 percent more mitochondria survive highly destructive conditions,
Dr. Mark Wood, a member of the research team, added:
“Although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases.”
So, the next time you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to break wind in a closed room, don’t feel embarrassed.
Just own up, and explain to those around you that they should be grateful for the fact that your fart is helping to extend their lives!