When it Comes to Farting, Forget “Excuse me.” How ‘Bout “You’re Welcome,” Instead?

As parents, we all teach our kids to say “excuse me” after passing gas and burping. And we frequently find ourselves reminding them with a sarcastic “excuuuuse you.” But according to some new research about farting (yes, amazingly, there is such a thing), we should actually be thanking the kids instead.

It’s all about hydrogen sulfide, the stuff that gives rotten eggs—and farts—their delightful aroma. And researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School found that the smell may offer some significant health benefits, including reducing blood pressure, improving survival rates for victims of stroke or heart attacks, and treating diabetes, arthritis, and dementia.

Hydrogen sulfide protects our cells’ mitochondria, the part of the cell that acts like an engine, taking in nutrients and producing the energy the rest of the cell needs to do its jobs. “When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide,” said Matt Whiteman. the study’s lead researcher., in a press release. “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.”

Whiteman and his team created a compound called AP39, which delivers minute amounts of hydrogen sulfide to the places where they can be most helpful. In lab modeling, (the compound hasn’t been tested on humans yet), when AP39 is administered, 80% of mitochondria cells survive the destructive conditions created by cardiovascular disease.

Bottom line, so to speak: next time your kid farts, you may want to consider saying, “thank you.” And next time you fart, you can proudly claim responsibility, knowing that you may have saved a life.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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