Uh, Can Smelling Your Partner’s Farts Make You Live Longer?

Whether you’re cool with letting rip in front of your partner and letting him do the same or you’d rather die than pass gas in front of the guy, the truth is that everyone farts. Luckily, research has found that smelling farts might actually be good for your health. Say what?

  1. It’s because farts contain hydrogen sulfide. Research by the University of Exeter in England has found that smelling your partner’s gross fart might actually not be as bad as it smells. The reason farts can be good for you is because of their main ingredient: hydrogen sulfide. This is a chemical compound that’s basically the reason why farts smell so nasty, so it’s a bit of a conundrum.
  2. Hydrogen sulfide’s toxic but good in small quantities. You don’t have to be told that hydrogen sulfide is toxic—just the smell of a fart can make you want to gag, right? But, in small quantities, hydrogen sulfide is harmless and might even boost your health.
  3. It prevents mitochondrial damage. Being exposed to small amounts of hydrogen sulfide can prevent mitochondrial damage. OK, quick biology lesson coming up. Your body has mitochondria, which are cells that are responsible for its output of energy. When these mitochondria stop working effectively, they can make you grow older more quickly. When they’re damaged, this can cause a variety of health problems, such as neurological disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.
  4. So, farts keep you young? It would seem so! Hydrogen sulfide has other benefits for the body, such as reducing your risk of cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Since it keeps your mitochondria young and kicking, it can also reduce age-related diseases from striking, such as dementia and arthritis.
  5. The study created a new compound. An exciting part of the study was the synthesis of a new compound, known as AP39, which is important for the body to know how much hydrogen sulfide to produce and maintain. This could result in scientists finding new, beneficial health therapies in future to keep people living for longer. In fact, AP39 could be sent to specific cells in the body, feeding the mitochondria so that they can be protected and remain alive for longer. Total nerdgasm.
  6. Just how much could it help? AP39 would be able to help as many as 80% of damaged mitochondria so that they survive. Early research has also found that AP39 could help your body in a variety of ways, such as by keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level and improving your chance of surviving a heart attack.
  7. Ready to breathe in your partner’s fart? Not so fast. Farts might be good for you, but don’t get too excited about breathing them in. Being exposed to farts might not actually be the way to heal damaged cells in the body. Scientists are using the compound to reel in enzymes that will produce hydrogen sulfide in mitochondria. Sorry to say, but they don’t actually say that you should be getting your hydrogen sulfide fixes from an external source, like farts, or that this will keep you healthy.
  8. Phew, that’s a relief. As much as farting might be good for your health, it’s gross as hell to smell farts—and who would want to smell another person’s fart, even if said person is one’s romantic partner? It’s so nasty. Plus, let’s not forget that farting in front of your partner could actually kill the romance. It’s like popping each other’s back pimples. Gross and totally unnecessary, right?
  9. However, farting might be good for your relationship. A 2016 survey conducted by Mic shows evidence that people aren’t that icky about farts. Basically, farting in front of your partner could be a good thing. It might not make you live longer, but it could boost your relationship health. Wait, really?
  10. Breaking the fart barrier is a game changer. In the study, over 125 people in their 20s and 30s were asked when they “broke the fart barrier” in their relationship. Most people tended to wait to let rip between two and six months into dating someone. Over half of the respondents said that they’d farted in front of their partner within six months of dating. Around 22% said that they farted after a few weeks—brave souls!
  11. It’s about comfort. The study found that around 25% of people waited between six months to a year before they felt totally comfortable to fart in front of their partners. So there’s a link between farting and feeling comfortable with your partner. For some people, it seems that being comfortable enough to fart is a relationship milestone. Hey, if you can fart in front of someone and feel good about it instead of worrying that they’re going to run for the hills, you’re definitely with the right person.
  12. If you’re down with it, don’t hold it in. Basically, whether or not you fart in your relationship boils down to what you feel about farting as well as what your partner prefers. It’s probably not going to do your health much good to breathe in that horrible smell, but hey, it might make your relationship healthy. At the very least it’ll definitely make it funnier.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.