Intestinal gas: A new healthcare therapy?
The same compound that makes flatulence smelly could actually possess some healing properties.
Scientists at the University of Exeter in the U.K. have created a new compound called AP39. The substance releases minuscule amounts of hydrogen sulfide—the pungent gas associated with rotten eggs and, um, cutting the cheese—into damaged mitochondria, which are the energy producers of cells. Early results indicated the targeted use of hydrogen sulfide helped struggling cells stay alive.
“(Hydrogen sulfide) 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,” Mark Wood, an organic chemist at the University of Exeter, said in a release.
A research model involving cardiovascular disease, for example, showed more than 80% of mitochondria cells survived perilous conditions when treated with AP39. The smelly compound could also help with the treatment of arthritis, diabetes, dementia and stroke.
The research was published in Medicinal Chemistry Communications— presumes with straight faces and no Outliers jokes made.