Smelling flatulence could have benefits, according to science
Having gas or flatulence is often a cause for embarrassment and something that is often embarrassing. That is why it is normal that talking about the possible benefit of smelling flatulence is curious and funny.
We have all experienced that uncomfortable moment of being alone with someone and hearing or smelling flatulence from that person. It has also happened to us. Although it seems shocking, Recent studies claim that this may have health benefits.
It seems that certain gases present in flatulence help prevent certain pathologies, such as kidney problems or heart disease. In this article we explain why smelling flatulence can be beneficial and what the research says on the subject.
What are flatulence?
Flatulence, also called gases, winds or meteorism are an excess of gas inside the digestive tract. Specifically, they are usually located at the intestinal level, causing abdominal spasms and bloating.
This gas comes, for the most part, from the decomposition of food by bacteria in the intestinal flora. That is, it is the result of chemical reactions that occur during digestion. Also from the air that is ingested when swallowing food.
According to a study published in Offarm, flatulence is made up of different gases. It is estimated that 60% is nitrogen, 20% hydrogen, 10% carbon dioxide, 6% methane and 4% oxygen. However, its composition is variable.
One of the main influencing factors is the food that has been eaten. When you eat products rich in sulfur, such as eggs, cauliflower or meat, a remarkable amount of hydrogen sulfide is generated.
Hydrogen sulfide has an unpleasant odor, similar to that of a rotten egg. This is explained in an article by EcuRed, which states that people can perceive its presence even in very low concentrations.
What do the latest studies say about smelling flatulence?
As we noted in the introduction, there are a number of studies that discuss the possible benefits of smelling flatulence. Specifically, it is a study that was carried out at the University of Exeter (United Kingdom). The idea is that hydrogen sulfide could have healthy effects on the body.
According to this study, it is produced physiologically in the body. This gas is synthesized, above all, in certain situations in which there is damage or stress at the level of the blood vessels.
Hydrogen sulfide helps mitochondria regulate oxidative stress. Mitochondria are a part of cells that are responsible for producing energy for them. Oxidative stress is a situation that is produced by oxygen free radicals and that can irreversibly damage.
This way, hydrogen sulfide is understood to aid cell survival. So much so, that as observed in this research, a compound similar to hydrogen sulfide called AP39 significantly improves survival.
In summary, what was seen in this study is that both hydrogen sulfide and a similar compound (AP39) improve the function of mitochondria. Therefore, they reduce cell death and improve diseases related to this problem.
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Possible benefits of smelling flatulence
As a result of this research, a series of studies began to verify what were the effects of AP39 on health. As far-fetched as it may sound, many of them give weight to the idea that smelling flatulence can be beneficial.
In one of them, published in the magazine Biology and Chemistry, AP39 was found to be able to help maintain low blood pressure. This is because the stiffness of the blood vessel wall decreases. High blood pressure is one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors.
For this reason, AP39 could help reduce the chances of suffering an acute myocardial infarction-type event. Likewise, it protects the brain from any damage as a result of circulatory failure.
It is also believed that smelling flatulence (or, rather, AP39) could improve kidney health. The idea is that this organ is dependent on adequate blood circulation.
We must bear in mind that all these studies have been carried out in animals. Today much more information is needed to know what the effect is in humans. Also, inhaling hydrogen sulfide in high concentrations is toxic.
Therefore, no mistakes should be made in the interpretation of these data. No one should believe that breathing too much hydrogen sulfide will help improve your health.
When is it important to visit a doctor?
As we've seen, smelling flatulence could be beneficial. Regardless of this, it is something natural and physiological. Everyone has gas and it is usually smelly or unpleasant.
Nevertheless, there are situations where having too many can indicate an underlying problem. In fact, this is another benefit of smelling flatulence. When the smell is different and is accompanied by certain symptoms, it points towards some pathology.
The alarming symptoms are changes in intestinal transit, like diarrhea or constipation. It is also significant if there is a lot of bloating, cramps, or vomiting. Even if there is a fever or abnormal weight loss.
All these data can indicate that there is a condition, such as a gastroenteritis or an intestinal obstruction. Hence, it is essential to pay attention and consult the doctor.
What to do to avoid having so much flatulence?
Although smelling flatulence might be a good thing, the truth is that it is still uncomfortable for most people. Especially when abdominal swelling or pain appears. That is why it is interesting to know some ways to prevent so many from appearing.
The first thing is to eat slowly, trying to chew your food well. Eating fast causes us to swallow more air, which ends up leading to flatulence. It is also recommended to avoid chewing gum.
Any fizzy drink causes an increase in flatulence. For example, beer or soft drinks. If a person tends to have a lot of gas, they should reduce the intake of these infusions.
There are certain measures that can help to expel flatulence and reduce the discomfort that it produces. Medicines such as simethicone can be taken, but it is more advisable to try certain yoga postures. One of them consists of lying on your back, holding your legs against your chest.
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Smelling flatulence may be healthy, but studies are unclear
The truth is that there are still more studies to confirm this fact. However, everything indicates that the hydrogen sulfide present in flatulence could have benefits. Especially at the cardiovascular, brain and kidney level.
Either way, we must remember that having gas is normal and common. We can practice some measures to reduce their presence.
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