If you’ve ever doubted the age-old “better out than in” wisdom, then now is the time to stop.
While breaking wind may be the sort of thing you prefer to do without an audience, this isn’t always practical or possible.
We’re not suggesting you make a point of letting rip during a job interview or your gran’s 90th birthday party, but holding a fart in could be doing you more harm than good.
In fact, by holding a fart in, there is a chance you may instead breathe it through your mouth instead.
According to Professor Clare Collins, a nutrition and dietetics expert at the University of Newcastle, holding in trapped wind may cause abdominal distension, “with some gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath”.
In a piece for The Conversation , she also warned that holding it in is actually futile:
“Holding on too long means the build up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart.”
Not only this, but you could end up with a condition called diverticulitis, which is where small pouches develop in the gut lining and become inflamed.
However, she did point out that more research was needed into this.
What’s important to remember is that breaking wind is completely normal and natural.
Our farts also come courtesy of different sources.
Some happen because of swallowing air.
Or, as Prof Collins explains: “[…] from carbon dioxide produced when stomach acid mixes with bicarbonate in the small intestine.
“Or gasses can be produced by bacteria that are located in the large intestine.”
If you need to break wind in public, try to make it to a toilet. But if that’s not possible, just let it go…