Rotten Eggs and flatulence have hydrogen sulfide, which when used in the right dosage, can help in the treatment and cure of diabetes, arthritis, heart failure, dementia and ageing, says scientists at the University of Exeter. The findings of the study were published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications.
Few scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a new compound - AP39, using hydrogen sulfide, present in rotten eggs and flatulence. The compound, when delivered in very small amounts to the right places inside the cells, can offer health benefits in a range of diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart failure, dementia and aging.
AP39 protects mitochondria, also termed as the "powerhouse" of cells. The mitochondria drives energy production in blood vessel cells. They determine the life or death of the cells and regulate inflammation. By preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage, various conditions can be treated.
Professor Matt Whiteman of Exeter Medical School, said, "When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide. This keeps the mitochondria ticking over and allows cells to live," He further added, "If this doesn't happen, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation. 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. Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."
Speaking about the benefits of hydrogen sulfide, Dr Mark Wood, from the department of Biosciences, at the University of Exeter, said, "Although hydrogen sulfide 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." The pre-clinical results of the research are promising, and hence both Wood and Whiteman are working towards advancing the research, so that it can be tested in humans.