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Many foods can cause gasiness, including beans (legumes), broccoli, cabbage, onions, and whole grains. This occurs because these foods contain complex carbohydrates that are not entirely broken down in the digestive tract, and these left-over carbs then serve as "food" for intestinal bacteria. These bacteria then produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas as they digest the carbohydrates. While everyone develops intestinal gas to some extent, certain people have an intolerance of complex carbohydrates and develop relatively more severe symptoms.1 The enzyme alpha-galactosidase has been advocated as a treatment for both complex carbohydrate intolerance and ordinary gassiness. Beano contains this enzyme, which helps break down the complex carbohydrates. When taken as a supplement, it may enhance the digestive process and thereby deprive gas-producing bacteria the left-over carbs it needs in order to create gas.
This enzyme, alpha-galactosidase, that is supplemented through Beano, is normally produced in adequate amounts in the body of each individual. Though it is true that some people may not be able to produce much or any of this enzyme, which results in their gassiness and pain, some people may simply been eating too many of the foods that cause gassieness to begin with - our bodies may not be able to handle infinite amounts of these foods, so limiting the consumption of gas-inducing foods is also a good way to attempt to rid one's self of these adverse side-effects. If that doesn't work however, Beano is a wonderful supplemental option.
Alpha-galactosidase is ordinarily manufactured in adequate amounts by the body. It is found in particularly high quantities in the yeast Aspergillus niger, which is the source of alpha-galactosidase in commercial products like beano.
A typical supplemental dosage of alpha-galactosidase provides 450 GalU (galactosidase units) per meal.