Let’s be honest for a second and admit that farting openly in public will pretty much make you into a social pariah. Which is why even when one does cut the cheese, they go to extreme lengths to deny the fact that they were the culprit. Think back to your childhood: did you ever openly admit to passing a fart in front of your friends? 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.
Research conducted at the University of Exeter indicates that your partner’s flatulence may not be such a bad thing and might present significant health benefits. So, the next time your beloved decides to hotbox you in your bed after letting one rip, maybe you should thank them! The beneficial effects of farts have to do with one of the primary ingredients responsible for the foul, rotten eggs smell, hydrogen sulfide.
Despite the atrocious smell, the hydrogen sulfide is, for all intents and purposes, practically harmless in small quantities. However, being exposed to a higher concentration of the chemical may have detrimental results on one’s health, including various respiratory and nervous system disorders.
This new study, published by the researchers in the Medical Chemistry Communications journal, analyzed the impact of the gas on humans when they were exposed to minute quantities of it. Found to be poisonous in large doses, researchers also discovered that cellular exposure to small amounts of the gas can prevent mitochondrial damage, which in turn has many further health implications.
Mark Wood, one of the lead researchers in the study, said: “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.”
Hydrogen sulfide was shown to have a plethora of health benefits, including the reduction of the possibility of life-threatening conditions such as cancer, stroke, and heart attacks. It has also been shown to prevent inhibiting diseases such as arthritis and dementia in old age.
The ultimate success to emerge from the study was the synthesis of a new compound christened AP39, which ensures your body produces and retains the right amount of hydrogen sulfide and which researchers believe will be key to the inception of future therapies.
To explain how, it’s important to know how your body fights illness at a microbial level. When your cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide. This keeps the mitochondria—the powerhouse of the cell—ticking over and allows the cells to fight off the disease and live. If this process stops, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation.
The creation of AP39 and the ability to have it delivered to specific cells mean stressed mitochondria can be drip-fed the compound, thus staying protected and in turn, keeping the cells alive.
Their research also indicates that administering AP39 to distressed mitochondria in destructive conditions may help as many as 80% survive. Some early results also suggest that the compound helps regulate blood pressure and dramatically increases the chances of survival after a heart attack by slowing down a person’s heartbeat.
Since the research is still in its early stages, results may not be definitive and conclusive. But the team hopes to eventually move to human trials and hopes their discovery changes the way we fight certain diseases.