Whoever smelt it dealt it – but did you know that whoever smelt it could also have a reduced risk of cancer?
Scientists have discovered the smell of flatulence may have some surprising health benefits. It is thought hydrogen sulfide – one of the potent smelly gases produced by bacteria as it breaks down food in the gut – can stave off cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and dementia.
Experts at the University of Exeter found that in small doses, the toxic gas can help protect cells and fight illness by helping to preserve mitochondria, which drive energy production in blood vessel cells and regulate inflammation.
Preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage is a key strategy in treating conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and ageing.
According to the ‘MailOnline‘, Professor Matt Whiteman from 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.”
While hydrogen sulfide gas is harmful in large doses, the study suggests that “a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria,” Time reports.
‘You’ll have to decide for yourself, though, whether exposure to hydrogen sulfide in flatulence is worth the potential health benefits’. – Meghan DeMaria.