UNTRUE STORIES OF FARTS

1. Holding it in vs. letting it go: can it harm your health to hold it?

While holding in the occasional fart that happens to come on while in an elevator won’t kill you, it may make you really uncomfortable.

Holding in farts won’t make the gases disappear by magic. In fact, it will likely lead to bloating and abdominal pain . If you feel the need to fart, you’ll be better off if you can let it go rather than holding it in.

2. Quiet vs. loud: does it matter?

Some farts are nigh on deafening, while others slip out surreptitiously.

Are loud farts different than quiet ones? The answer is: no. The volume of a fart has little to do with your health and a whole lot to do with your body’s position at the time the fart happens. Some farts will be loud, some will be quiet. Some will go on for a few seconds, while others are a mere puff of air. None of these factors have any bearing on your body’s health.

3. Male vs. female: is there really a difference?

Males often find themselves getting the short end of the stick when it comes to stereotypes surrounding flatulence, while women are practically venerated for being fartless angels.

The truth is, men and women fart at the same frequency and both men and women produce smelly gas.

While old-fashioned social conventions of the Victorian era and beyond dictated that polite ladies avoid passing gas in the company of others, this doesn’t mean they felt the need to fart any less often than their gentleman counterparts.

4. How Smelling a Fart could Actually be Helpful to You

Amazingly, a compound contained within farts called hydrogen sulfide—responsible for the rotten-egg scent of a stinky fart—can actually be good for your health. So, not only is the act of farting a normal, natural and relieving thing to do, getting a whiff of that yucky odor can actually pay off in the form of health benefits.

In a study performed at the University of Exeter, researchers found that inhaling small amounts of this gaseous compound had protective properties against damage of cell mitochondria and even against cancer.

The mitochondria is the “powerhouse” of cells. Preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage is a key strategy for treatments of a variety of conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes and arthritis, dementia and aging. Mitochondria determine whether cells live or die and they regulate inflammation. Dysfunctional mitochondria are strongly linked to disease severity.

The study was published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications, and a follow-up study, published in The Nitric Oxide journal with collaborators from the University of Texas Medical Branch also found that the compound selectively prevented damage to the mitochondria.

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