The last thing you want to do is smell it, but it turns out sniffing farts has secret health benefits.
Hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives flatulence its repulsive smell, can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and help stave off dementia, research suggests.
Researchers at the University of Exeter discovered that hydrogen sulfide could help the body ward off illness.
Experts have created a compound called AP39 to help the body produce the right amount of hydrogen sulfide.
The compound is believed to help reverse mitochondrial damage in cells, a key part in treating conditions such as stroke, heart failure and diabetes.
Matt Whiteman, from the university’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.”
Dr. Mark Wood, of the university’s biosciences department, 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.”