Scientists out of the University of Exeter believe that smelling farts actually prevents cancer, among other diseases.
“Although hydrogen sulfide gas”—produced when bacteria breaks down food—”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,” Dr. Mark Wood said in a university release.
Although the stinky gas can be noxious in large doses, scientists believe that a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria.
Researchers are even coming up with their own compound to emulate the smell’s health benefits.
“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,” Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School said. “Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive.”
So instead of getting upset the next time you catch a whiff… be thankful.
Sources: Time.com, University of Exeter, Western Daily Press. The study was published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications.