Scientists out of the University of Exeter in the U.K. said harnessing the power of one particular bodily function could prevent cancer, among a host of other diseases, the Western Daily Press noted.
Which one, you ask? (We know you’re asking…)
More precisely…smelling it.
“Although hydrogen sulfide gas” — generated when bacteria breaks down food — “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,” Dr. Mark Wood said in a university release.
Yup, researchers believe a few whiffs here and there could actually reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria, the report noted.
Researchers are even generating a compound to mimic that unpleasant — but apparently quite life-preserving — odor.
“‘We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria,” said Prof. Matt Whiteman, who worked on the study set for publication in the “Medicinal Chemistry Communications” journal.