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“Fart Gas” Link to Blood Pressure

November 4, 2008
“We know hydrogen sulphide is not good for us at high levels but it seems that at the lower levels in the body it is essential.”

Not good for people’s surroundings, either.

clipped from news.bbc.co.uk

‘Fart gas’ link to blood pressure

Nose
The gas best known for being used in many stink bombs may also control blood pressure, say US researchers.


Small amounts of hydrogen sulphide – a toxic gas generated by bacteria living in the human gut – are responsible for the foul odour of flatulence.


But it seems the gas is also produced by an enzyme in blood vessels where it relaxes them and lowers blood pressure.


The findings in mice may lead to new treatments for high blood pressure, the Science journal reported.


Researchers at Johns Hopkins University, in Maryland, found that the gas is produced in the cells lining blood vessels by an enzyme called CSE.


When the engineered mice were given a drug which relaxes normal blood vessels – methacholine – there was no difference, indicating the gas is responsible for the relaxation.

This study shows that smelly hydrogen sulphide is also likely to have a role in regulating blood pressure
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