Tag Archives: science

Farts can lower your blood pressure

From the ‘I swear I’m not making this up’ file.

For years, I have been sitting at my office and my co-worker has been letting go. And not just regular farts but ones so horrific that tears would form in my eyes as I would grasp for air praying for a clean breath. His argument for sharing the putrid offense was that he had hypertension and it was great for his blood pressure.

Turns out, my co-worker had been telling me the truth.

The unpleasant aroma of the gas, called hydrogen sulfide (H2S), can be a little too familiar, as it is expelled by bacteria living in the human colon and eventually makes its way, well, out.

The new research found that cells lining mice’s blood vessels naturally make the gas and this action can help keep the rodents’ blood pressure low by relaxing the blood vessels to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). This gas is “no doubt” produced in cells lining human blood vessels too, the researchers said.

“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.

I picked up 2 amazing facts in the above 3 paragraphs.

First, there are scientists that observe and measure farts produced by mice.

Second, they are planning on designing a drug that will help my co-worker and others like him to produce more farts. And the way I am interpreting this article, not just regular farts – but of the all terrifying ‘silent-but-deadly’ variety.

From the article: A smelly rotten-egg gas in farts controls blood pressure in mice, a new study finds.”

Didn’t I also recently read that the methane produced from moose farts is a major contributor to Global Warming? Kill the planet – save a life. I’m just saying.

The article caught my attention because the title The Stink in Farts Controls Blood Pressure seemed more like something from The Onion than from LiveScience.

And now I know why kids don’t have high blood pressure. There is nothing you can do to stop them from letting ‘em rip. They love cutting farts. Now we can encourage people to be themselves.

Now, does this mean that we’ll need to set up Farting Zones in restaurants, airports and the workplace? I can picture the annual physicals at my doctor’s office. I’ll have blood, urine and farting tests. Turn your head and fart.

The full article includes quite a bit of scientific information, but my mind couldn’t get past the thought of thousands of people on this drug therapy cutting ghastly farts everywhere I went. I know that’s a tad immature, as I’m not thinking of the long-term benefits, but whenever I get a whiff of the sulphur farts, my mind thinks of little else.

Hydrogen sulfide is the most recently discovered member of a family of gasotransmitters, small molecules inside our bodies with important physiological functions.

This study is the first to reveal that the CSE enzyme that triggers hydrogen sulfide is activated itself in the same way as other enzymes when they trigger their respective gasotransmitter, such as a nitric oxide-forming enzyme that also regulates blood pressure, Dr. Snyder said.

Because gasotransmitters are common in mammals all over the evolutionary tree, these findings on the importance of hydrogen sulfide are thought to have broad applications to human diseases, such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

I was supposed to learn here that releasing these gasotransmitters, we could one day see a reduction of hypertension, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. But all my mind got out of this was that SBD’s (silent-but-deadly farts) are common to all mammals.

I’m guessing the product that will be welcomed by the public once this drug therapy is released is one that deadens our sense of smell or a product that you rub just below your nostrils that blocks the fart smell and may even offer scented varieties – like new car smell.

The other item that caught my attention in this article was “the research was supported by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as well as a Research Scientist Award.”

In other words, three research centers cooperated in funding this grant. That would mean that these 3 research centers had to review a request to fund the study of noxious farting by mice in order to reduce blood pressure.