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Rotten egg boost for medicine

Thursday July 10th, 2014

The smell of rotten eggs could provide the key to an all-purpose medicine to prevent age-related illness, British researchers say.

The Exeter University researchers have now "bottled" the smell in chemical which could work as a medicine, they have announced.

The work centres on the gas hydrogen sulphide - the smell of rotten eggs.

Their compound, AP39, will release small amounts of the gas to human cells.

The scientists say this can help protect the mitochondria, which, they say, need minute quantities of the gas to keep ticking over in situations of stress.

Laboratory studies have been testing the benefits of the treatment for heart disease.

Researcher Dr Mark Wood said: "Although hydrogen sulphide 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 health care hero with have significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases."

And Professor Matt Whiteman, from the university's medical school, added: "Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."

Tags: General Health | Heart Health | UK News

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