Before you pop another Beano® with a meal containing beans, vegetables or grains, it’s important to know the popular over-the-counter flatulence fighter is simply a digestive enzyme supplement.
And Beano is a low-potency and expensive one at that.
In fact, the main ingredient in Beano is alpha-galactosidase, a digestive enzyme that helps break down complex sugars found in legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.
These sugars are difficult for the body to digest and usually ferment in the colon, producing gas.
The problem with Beano is it contains only 150 GalU of alpha-galactosidase per tablet. These non-vegetarian tablets have a wheat filler, which contains gluten. It can cost $12 to $15 for 100 tablets, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A better solution is a 100 percent vegetarian, gluten-free digestive enzyme supplement that contains alpha-galactosidase and several other enzymes to support thorough digestion.
One capsule of Nutri-Essence™ Gas Ease™ has 600 GalU of alpha-galactosidase plus nine additional digestive enzymes.* These other essential enzymes include amylase, for digesting carbohydrates; lipase, for fats; and protease, for protein.
A 2007 study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences found alpha-galactosidase cut down flatulence after meals containing beans, the Times reports. The digestive enzyme was found to cut average episodes of gas down from 16 on placebo to the following:
- 10 episodes on 300 GalU
- Five episodes on 1,200 GalU
Digestive problems such as flatulence, bloating and reflux might be best addressed with a comprehensive digestive enzyme supplement that also contains soothing herbs for the digestive tract. An enzyme product, such as Beano, which contains one type of digestive enzyme, might not offer adequate digestive support.
*Note: Nutri-Essence™ Gas Ease™ is made with Malt Diastase, which is grown on barley but does not contain any gluten or gliadin. However, it may contain amino acids chains that can cause a reaction in individuals that are highly sensitive to these amino acids.
Beano® is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline.