I couldn’t resist this bit of natural health news. It seems that expelling flatulence, “cutting one”, or otherwise – farting – lowers blood pressure. Okay, you don’t really have to smell the health benefits, but the next time the wife protests, remind her that you’re simply trying to stay healthy. (Girls don’t fart).
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in Maryland, have discovered that the gas leading to flatulence is produced from an enzyme called CSE – a substance that also relaxes the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. CSE production starts inside the cells that line the blood vessels. The odor comes from bacteria in the gut that generate small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, a toxic gas whose use might now be further developed to help with blood pressure treatment.
Scientists engineered mice that were deficient in CSE, depleting their levels of hydrogen sulphide. The mice were found to have blood pressure readings 20 mm/Hg higher than normal mice. They then added a blood pressure drug, methacholine, but it didn’t help. That told the researchers that hydrogen sulphide is responsible for the blood vessel relaxation.
“This study shows that smelly hydrogen sulphide is also likely to have a role in regulating blood pressure and it will be a bit of an impetus for scientists to develop more specific tools to work out what’s going on, says Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, an expert in vascular pharmacology at Barts and The London Medical School. Now we see that low levels of hydrogen sulphide are necessary for better health, while high levels are toxic. Scientists hope the findings will lead to new options for treating high blood pressure, a condition that has steadily become more prevalent worldwide.
How perfect we really are, right? Is this why we’re seeing an increased incidence of high blood pressure in women? – Hmmm……