Smelly gas may help regulate blood pressure

An unpleasant gas could help control blood pressureCould the gas responsible for the unpleasant odor of rotten eggs and flatulence possibly have a health benefit?

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine think so. They have suggested that hydrogen sulfide – a gas expelled by bacteria in the colon – could have a positive effect on the blood pressure of rats.

The findings, published in the journal Science, say that scientists suspect humans would also be able to take advantage of the effect of the gas, which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

“Now that we know hydrogen sulfide’s role in regulating blood pressure, it may be possible to design drug therapies that enhance its formation as an alternative to the current methods of treatment for hypertension,” wrote co-author Dr. Solomon H. Snyder.

The researchers said that a different gas, nitric oxide, has already been recognized to play a role in regulating blood pressure.

High blood pressure affects around one-quarter of adult Americans, according to WebMD. Previous research has suggested that guided relaxation may be an effective health resource to lower blood pressure without using prescription drugs.