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Fighting the Gassy Effects of Good Eating, From the Harvard Health Letter
Date:10/2/2007

BOSTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- Flatulence isn't much fun for the person having it - or those nearby. The October 2007 issue of the Harvard Health Letter lists tips for dealing with intestinal gas. For example:

-- Slow down your eating: A little bit of air goes down with

everything you swallow. To reduce the amount of air, eat and

drink slowly and chew food thoroughly.

-- Avoid airy drinks and foods: Air also gets into the gut if it's

incorporated into food and drinks like beer, soda, or sponge

cake.

-- Don't smoke: Some air gets swallowed when people smoke. Perhaps

flatulence should be added to the list of ill consequences of

smoking.

-- Shun sulfur: The bad smell of flatus comes from gases that

contain sulfur. Putting less sulfur into your system can

reduce the amount that comes out. Avoid sulfur-rich foods like

eggs, meat, and cauliflower.

-- Cook those beans: When colon bacteria feed on the sugars in

beans, they produce a gas by-product. You can reduce beans'

gas potential by boiling them briefly, letting them sit, and

then cooking them again in fresh water--or just by cooking them

longer.

-- Consider Beano: A study found that high doses of the

over-the-counter product Beano reduced flatulence, but a

normal dose did not produce statistically significant results.

-- Go low on high-fructose corn syrup: Foods containing this

sweetener can cause bloating and flatulence in people whose

small intestines can't absorb large amounts of fructose.

-- Adjust the ecosystem: Too few or too much of particular

bacterial species in the intestines can produce excessive

flatulence. Talk to your doctor about probiotics; in certain

cases, an antibiotic might be worth considering.

Also in this issue:

-- Making prescription bottles clearer

-- Radon in homes

-- Cranberry juice and warfarin

-- Selenium, diabetes link

-- Sugarless gum sweeteners

-- By the way, doctor: Snoring solutions

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $28 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 1-877-649-9457 (toll free).

Media: Contact Christine Junge at Christine_Junge@hms.harvard.edu for a complimentary copy of the newsletter, or to receive our press releases directly.


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SOURCE Harvard Health Publications
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