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Farting in public is generally frowned upon due to its unappealing, if not funny, sound and smell, but according to Medical Daily, this natural occurrence can be an indicator of your health.

Passing gas is a sign that you have healthy gut bacteria. These are the ones that break down food and absorb nutrients, while ensuring smooth and proper execution of gastrointestinal processes. Food with more complex carbohydrates such as dairy, nuts, sweet potatoes, and beans can cause your body to produce more gas. This is because your gut bacteria are working overtime, resulting in increased flatulence.

The act of farting isn’t only healthy. An interesting University of Exeter study reveals that farts – or the chemicals that they produce – can also influence your overall wellness. Findings suggest that hydrogen sulfide, a gas that is generally viewed as dangerous in large amounts but can be safe in small dosages, does the trick. 

“Although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotting 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,” explains Dr. Mark Wood of Biosciences at the University of Exeter.

His colleague, Professor Matt Whiteman supports his statement: “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.”

With more studies being made on the subject, hydrogen sulfide may soon become a potential health factor in the avoidance of diabetes, stroke, heart attacks and dementia.

Of course, science is not telling you to go around inhaling farts, but it’s good to know that even if they do smell bad, they aren’t really that horrible.

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