Hydrogen sulphide that a rotten egg releases may smell like flatulence and carry a reputation of being extremely toxic, but apparently if you juggle and consume the right dosage, you will receive health benefits in a range of diseases such as heart attack, diabetes and dementia.
A certain newly found compound called AP39 that was developed at the University of Exeter, may hold key to future therapies by targeting delivery of really small amounts of the substances to the right places in the cells.
Scientists in Exeter have already found that the compound protects mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of cells that drives energy production in the blood vessel cells.
One of the key strategies to prevent or reverse mitochondrial damage is a key strategy for the treatment of different conditions such as heart failure, stroke, dementia, diabetes, arthritis and ageing. Mitochondria determine whether the cells will live or die and they help in the regulation of inflammation. In the clinic, dysfunctional mitochondria are strongly associated with disease severity.
When the cells become stressed as a result of a disease, they draw in enzymes so as to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulphide. This helps to keep the mitochondria from ticking over and allows the cells to live.
Professor Matt Whiteman of Exeter Medical School, said, “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”.
Dr Mark Wood 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 research is currently being conducted in several models of disease and pre-clinical results are promising.
Article source: financial express
Image courtesy: Getty
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