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From: Dr. Neal Pinckney (
Subject:         Re: supplements
Date: August 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm PST

In Reply to: supplements posted by Bob Waite on August 17, 2009 at 5:32 am:

You're looking for an answer to a question that is centuries old - and although many suggestions have circulated, they are more urban legend than reality.

The problem comes from oligosaccharides that are not completely metabolized and create gas in the intestines.

The most effective solution seems to be ingesting enzymes that aid in breaking down these proteins - just before or at the time the beans are eaten. (After the meal, this doesn't do any good) One over-the-counter enzyme product is called Beano.

Another way to help lessen (but not eliminate) the problem is to soak beans overnight and then cook them in enough liquid until they are soft. Adding any of the many things suggested during cooking has not proven to be effective.

Beware of canned beans. They usually are very high in sodium and are no better in the gas department. The myth of pouring off the liquid in the can to stop the gas is not effective. The problem is in the bean, not the liquid.

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