The family of Johnson’s are sitting in the living room as it is Good Friday holiday today. Dad suddenly emits a “deadly explosion”. “Ha Daddy” everyone muffled as they held their nose shut. “Keep quiet, you should say thank you”, replied Dad. The whole family busts out in laughter. This is the typical scenario in an African family.

When we were younger, our parents would fart and insist that you say thank you. According to African custom, when an elderly person farts you shouldn’t display disgust. This never made any sense to me until I read a recent study that suggests farts are good for your health. “This is not true”, you might say.

A recent study at the University of Exeter in England suggests that exposure to hydrogen sulfide — a.k.a. what your body produces as bacteria break down food, causing gas — could prevent mitochondrial damage.

What are mitochondria? According to Brad S. Lichtenstein, “the mitochondria are the energy factories of the cell, which are tiny, rod-shaped structures, or organelles, within each cell responsible for producing roughly 90% of all the energy that cell needs in order to survive. The number of mitochondria in a particular cell is based upon the energy needs of that cell and can range from 200-2,000.”

Does this mean smelling farts could prevent diseases even cancer?

Mark Wood, a professor at the University of Exeter said, ” hydrogen sulfide gas 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.” This natural gas is being replicated in a new compound, AP39, by researchers.



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