There aren’t many bodily sounds and emissions as embarrassing as passing gas. It’s the noise, and the smell that makes it so mortifying for a person who just couldn’t hold it in any longer. And then the social backlash for farting in public is comparable to committing a crime!
Children giggle at them, however by the time you reach adulthood it becomes deeply ingrained in you that farting is just not socially acceptable. If the thought of passing gas in front of your significant other is enough to send you into sleepless nights with worry, we have some good news for you. Smelling flatulence might be actually beneficial for your health!
This breaking news comes from research conducted by Exeter University, which found some surprising effects of hydrogen sulfide, the component of gas responsible for its unmistakable rotten eggs smell. So next time you are worried about letting one rip in presence of your sweetheart, don’t let it concern you too much as you might be actually doing them a favour!
Even though awfully smelly, hydrogen sulfide is actually completely innocuous in small quantities. Higher concentrations of the gas can be dangerous, and have adverse effect on the respiratory and nervous system. However exposure to a flatulence is not going to cause any harm.
The denial becomes that much more vehement when you do it in front of your partner; at least in the initial stages of the relationship. However, new research suggests that smelling your significant other’s farts may, in fact, help you live longer.
The results of this study were published in Medical Chemistry Communications journal, and they revealed a surprising effect hydrogen sulfide has on cells exposed to tiny doses of it. Even though toxic in large quantities, in minimal doses the gas was found to prevent mitochondrial damage, which has many beneficial health implications.
One of the researchers involved in the study, Mark Wood, put it this way: “Although hydrogen sulphide 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.”
The gas was found to have many impressive health benefits, such as preventing life-threatening conditions like heart attack, stroke and even cancer. It was also found to inhibit progression of age-related conditions, such as dementia and arthritis.
The final and most exciting discovery of the study was the synthesis of a new compound named AP39 responsible for the body producing and retaining the right levels of hydrogen sulphide in the cells. It is believed this will be the advent of new therapies utilizing this discovery.
In order to understand how hydrogen sulfide helps fight and prevent illnesses, we need a basic biology lesson on how our cells fight disease. They do so by drawing on an enzyme, which then generates small amount of hydrogen sup hide. This in turn sustains the mitochondria, responsible for energy production in the cells. As a result, the cells remain well-nourished and able to fight off the disease. If the process gets hindered, opposite will happen – the cell will die and inflammation will progress on to the next cell.
The discovery of AP39 means cells can be targeted with it to make sure the disease-fighting process runs smoothly, sustaining the cells in their role. Some of the data also indicates that targeted delivery of AP39 to distressed mitochondria increases their survival rate to as much as 80%! It has also been found to help regulate blood pressure, and help in cardiac arrest recovery by bringing the heart beat down too.
This pioneer research is still in its early days, but those initial results look very promising. The team is hoping to progress onto human trials soon in the anticipation the findings will change the way we approach treating certain diseases.