Researchers at the University of Exeter have been working hard investigating the link between hydrogen sulphide, mitochondria and conditions like arthritis, dementia, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and even aging.
The compound AP39 was identified as being particularly important. This compound protects mitochondria, which are known as the ‘powerhouses’ of cells as they generate the energy that cells require to function properly.
Professor Matt Whiteman from the University of Exeter explained that when cells become stressed due to disease they draw in enzymes to regulate minute amounts of hydrogen sulphide. If this process fails to occur, cells become unable to regulate the cell survival rate or control inflammation.
Dysfunctional mitochondria are strongly linked to disease severity, but researchers believe AP39 could prevent and repair mitochondria damage. Their research suggested that if cells were treated with AP39 (which slowly releases a small quantity of hydrogen sulphide directly into the mitochondria) they functioned like normal.
Dr Mark Wood from Biosciences at the University of Exeter commented that hydrogen sulphide could be a ‘healthcare hero’ with ‘significant’ implications for future treatment of a variety of diseases.
Scientist wish to advance the findings of this research to a point where tests on humans can begin.
Although the idea of ingesting a form of sulphide sounds unappealing, the amount being discussed is minute and naturally occurs in the body anyway, so there is no need to fret. Plus now you might not have to throw out those rotten eggs.