Next time you let loose with some gas know that it’s a healthy act even if others around you back away. The aroma of a fart comes from hydrogen sulfide and it’s helping rid the body of bacteria.
Researchers have found that the cells lining mice’s blood vessels make the gas and that the normal release of it lowers blood pressure. Those researchers believe that principle is the same in humans.
“Now that we know hydrogen sulfide’s role in regulating blood pressure, it may be possible to design drug therapies that enhance its formation as an alternative to the current methods of treatment for hypertension,” said Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., a co-author of the study detailed in the Oct. 24th issue of the journal Science.
Using normal mice and mice missing a gene for an enzyme known as CSE the researchers found that the mice without the gene depleted the gas through their cardiovascular system.
The mice were then subjected to higher blood pressure which was comparable to what would be serious high blood pressure in humans. The scientists then had the mice respond to a chemical called methacholine that relaxes normal blood vessels. Those mice missing CSE hardly relaxed. This proved to the researchers that hydrogen sulfide is a contender for keeping blood pressure regulated.
The research could provide scientists to new treatments in the future for diabetes and neurodegenerative disease.
The research is being funded by U.S. Public Health Service and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as well as a Research Scientist Award.