Can smelling farts cure cancer? No, right? Right. But also: maybe!
Scientists at the University of Exeter have found that fart smell can potentially offer health benefits in a range of issues, like cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and dementia. Oh! Dr. Mark Wood wrote in a release from the university, via Time:
"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."
Although farts are toxic in large doses—and really, what dose isn't a large dose?—small amounts can help protect cells by preserving mitochondria:
"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.
Researchers have created a compound called AP39 to exploit this process and slowly deliver the gas to mitochondria, according to a study published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications. Professor Matt Whiteman writes, "Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."
The study doesn't specify how many farts you have to smell in order to live forever, though, so I guess just smell all of them? Get all the farts you can into your body, or back into your body as the case may be, and I'll see you in the year 4000!
[image via Shutterstock]