Why Do We Like The Smell of Our Own Farts

4 months ago

Even if you aren’t aware of it, your body expels gas through farting up to 25 times a day, including 3-5 times during your sleep. But the beauty lies behind the question of why we actually like our farts and find others’ to be gross. Well, we have an answer for you.

Farting is not bad at all.

Perhaps you accidentally passed gas in a car full of friends, and they quickly opened the windows while you thought to yourself: not bad at all! This leads us to the timeless question: Why do we find it gross when others fart, but we’re fine with, and maybe even enjoy, our own?

Regrettably, there haven’t been any studies specifically focusing on this aspect of gastroenterology. However, some theories can illuminate why we may find our fart smell tolerable or even appealing.

The more we are familiar with something, the more we like it.

One plausible explanation is that we tend to become accustomed to our own odor. In other words, since we pass gas regularly (about half a liter a day on average), we have become used to the smell, according to Loretta Breuning, Ph.D., an expert in brain chemistry and the social behavior of mammals.

“In nature, survival depends on your ability to detect other smells, so you tend to ignore your own,” she says. But all this speculation becomes irrelevant if you can’t stand your own odor. In that case, the food you consume likely is to blame, and it might be time to make some dietary adjustments. Dietician Tracy Lockwood, R.D. explains that gas is simply the result of bacterial or organism metabolism, essentially a by-product of digestion.

Depending on your gut microbiota and colonic flora, your gas can either be pungent or odorless.

One initial step you can take is to reduce your intake of foods high in sulfate, a compound that is not well absorbed in the small intestine and is commonly found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and nuts. Lockwood suggests that consuming these foods in smaller quantities can decrease the likelihood of producing smelly gas.

Of course, if you actually enjoy the aroma, then by all means, continue indulging—but perhaps in a more private setting.


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