Rather than blow smoke out of our ass, we might actually be able to breathe air into them.

A study by a team of Japanese scientists has shown it is possible for mammals to absorb oxygen through the anus.

Intrigued by how sure the sea creatures breathe through their intestines in emergencies, researchers at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University were able to prove the same was true under experimental circumstances for mice, rats and pigs, publishing their findings in the journal 'Med' on Friday.

They theorize that the findings would also apply to humans who are in respiratory distress, in situations where ventilators aren't available.

For higher order animals, respiration involves breathing in oxygen and excreting carbon dioxide using lungs or gills.

However, species have "evolved alternate ventilatory mechanisms." Catfish, sea cucumbers, loaches and certain kinds of spiders can also use their butthole to oxygenate so that they survive in emergencies.

The method of oxygenation is called EVA - enteral ventilation via anus.


“The rectum has a mesh of fine blood vessels just beneath the surface of its lining, which means that drugs administered through the anus are readily absorbed into the bloodstream,” lead author Ryo Okabe said.

To answer the question, they decided to carry out experiments on oxygen-deprived mice, pigs and rats by using two methods: delivering oxygen into the rectum in the form of a gas, and through the infusion of an oxygen-rich enema in the butt.

To prepare the anuses for the oxygenation, they rubbed the lining of the rectum by rubbing it to cause inflammation and increase blood flow, improving the effectiveness of oxygen delivery.

Both methods of oxygenation normalized the animals' behavior and helped their survival, due to an increase of oxygenation.

“Patients in respiratory distress can have their oxygen supply supported by this method to reduce the negative effects of oxygen deprivation while the underlying condition is being treated,” added co-author Takanori Takebe.

So, if you end up in the hospital with breathing problems, you better figure it out quick, or cover your butt. The journal suggests if another shortage of ventilators occurs, this could be a solution to help those unable to get one.


Read more at Japan Times

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