Beano works with the body’s digestion to prevent gas before it starts. It contains an enzyme from a natural source. This aids in the process of breaking down complex carbohydrates found in foods that are potentially gaseous. It converts them into digestible sugars before reaching the colon, which helps to alleviate and eliminate gas. To learn more about Beano and gas, continue reading.
Due to the shortage or absence of certain enzymes, the body has a difficult time absorbing and digesting certain carbohydrates in the small intestine. Food that cannot be digested properly in the small intestine passes down to the large intestine where bacteria breaks it down, which results in the production of gas. Abdominal bloating, flatulence, and digestive discomfort are the most common symptoms of gas. Foods such as whole-grain breads, grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, beans, and cereals are gas-causing. The body lacks the proper enzymes needed to break down the carbohydrates contained in the aforementioned types of foods. This is what Beano is used for.
Beano, an enzyme-based dietary supplement, improves digestion by reducing gas in the digestive track. It also helps to soothe discomfort and reduce bloating and flatulence caused by gas. It contains an enzyme called ‘alpha-galactosidase’ which breaks down oligosaccharides such as raffinose. Beano was first introduced in liquid form, but that has since been discontinued. Beano is now available as a strawberry-flavored tablet called “Meltaways”.
After research on gas-causing vegetables had begun in 1981, a man named Alan Kligerman of AkPharma would later develop Beano in 1990. Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea for such a product during the 1780s in an essay entitled, “A Letter To A Royal Academy”.
GlaxoSmithKline acquired the patent for Beano in 2011 from Block Drug. In a deal that took effect in 2012, GlaxoSmithKline sold Beano and 16 other brands to Prestige Brands.
Potential Side Effects of Beano
The possible side effects that have been reported while taking Beano are: Cramping, diarrhea, and allergic-type reactions involving conditions such as a rash or pruritus. There are, however, a few rare reports of more severe allergic reactions to Beano.
Alpha-glucosidase has been known to be problematic in people with diabetes or a rare condition called ‘galactosemia’. That said, it is generally safe for those in good health to take. Because alpha-glucosidase breaks down complex carbohydrates into sugars that are more easily digestible, this can cause the blood sugar levels to rise in patients with diabetes. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, drugs that will block alpha-glucosidase, have proven to help those with diabetes. In one study, it was found that alpha-glucosidase supplements reduced the effectiveness of acarbose — a drug that is used for diabetes that inhibits alpha-glucosidase.
It is because of this reason that people who have diabetes, and are on alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, should avoid alpha-glucosidase supplements altogether. Additionally, it is entirely possible that alpha-glucosidase may increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes are not take alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. This, however, has not been thoroughly tested. Those with the rare genetic condition galactosemia should also avoid alphagalactosidase, because it has the potential to worsen the disease. Safety while using this product has not been established in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney disease.