Researchers compared normal mice to mice that were bred to lack a gene for an enzyme known as CSE. CSE has been suspected as being responsible for making hydrogen sulfide.
As they measured hydrogen sulfide levels taken from tissues of the CSE-deficient mice, the scientists found that the level of the gas was depleted in the altered mice. The researchers also found that the mice with CSE deficiencies had blood pressure levels that were 20% higher than normal mice.
The affected mice were then given methacholine, a drug used to relax blood vessels. Once done, their blood pressure was not significantly different than those with normal levels of CSE. The researchers said this suggests the hydrogen sulfide gas relaxes blood vessels, which explains the lower blood pressure in normal mice.
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., a co-author of the paper, said in a press release:
“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."
“In terms of relaxing blood vessels, it looks like hydrogen sulfide might be as important as nitric oxide."
Nitric oxide was the first gasotransmitter that was discovered two decades ago to regulate blood pressure. Gasotransmitters are small molecules inside our bodies with important physiological functions.
Perhaps its time for all of us to stop using Beano and start eating more beans, eh?