The Health Benefits of Beano

A Supplemental Enzyme That Prevents Flatulence

Beano capsules and chewable tablets

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

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Beano is an over-the-counter supplement that contains a natural enzyme called alpha-galactosidase, which helps prevent flatulence (farting), abdominal bloating, and stomach pain.

When taken before eating, Beano works to break down and digest complex carbohydrates, such as those found in certain vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage), legumes (including lentils, beans, and nuts), whole grains, and more. These foods commonly cause gas.

This article explains the benefits of taking Beano. It also discusses possible side effects and precautions to take if you have certain health conditions.

Health Benefits

Beano works to digest sugars that are in many complex carbohydrates, including raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose. Beano also works on sugars known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.

The human digestive system has a hard time breaking down many of these carbohydrates. If they reach the colon (large intestine), bacteria ferment them and produce gas.

When taken before eating foods that contain these carbohydrates and sugars, Beano turns them into simple sugars that are easier to digest before they reach the colon. This helps prevent or reduce gas.

However, Beano is not effective in preventing gas caused by difficulties in digesting lactose or fiber.

Possible Side Effects

There are no known common side effects of Beano. However, it is always possible for any drug or supplement to cause side effects in some people.

If you have an allergy to alpha-galactosidase, you should not take Beano, as this is the primary ingredient in the supplement. Alpha-galactosidase is extracted from a food-grade mold, so it is also possible that some people could have an allergic reaction to that mold.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rashes, hives, swollen and blistered skin, fever, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, and/or throat.

There is no evidence that Beano is unsafe for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. Beano has not been tested in children, so you should consult your child’s healthcare provider before giving them Beano. There have been no recalls or warnings issued relating to Beano.

Precautions With Diabetes

If you have diabetes or a genetic condition called galactosemia, you should not take Beano without consulting your healthcare provider first. Both galactosemia and diabetes affect how the body processes sugar. The main ingredient in Beano breaks down indigestible sugars into digestible sugars, which has an impact on blood glucose levels.

Prescription medications for diabetes help regulate blood glucose levels. Taking Beano with diabetes medication may cause dangerous complications.

Beano capsules and chewable tablets

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

Recap

Beano doesn't commonly cause side effects. However, if you have an allergy to alpha-galactosidase or have diabetes, you should not take Beano.

Dosage and Preparation

Beano may be taken as a liquid, a tablet, or a meltaway tablet. Beano should be taken immediately before eating foods that cause gas, but this supplement is also effective if taken up to 30 minutes after eating. Don't use it in cooking. though. Heat will make it break down and it won't work.

Beano should be stored at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Don't use it if its expiration date has passed, and ask your pharmacist for the best way to dispose of it.

For mild to moderate cases of gas, take five liquid drops of Beano per serving of problem foods. If you are using the capsule or chewable tablet of Beano, it is recommended to take one tablet or capsule per serving. (Check the label for guidelines on how much counts as a serving.)

Only one meltaway tablet is needed per meal to be effective. Meltaway tablets are placed on the tongue and dissolve with no chewing or swallowing necessary. Beano tablets can also be crumbled onto your food and eaten with your meal, if you prefer.

What to Look For

It is typically recommended to take Beano rather than the primary enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which may be sold as a separate supplement. If you have questions or concerns regarding which is best for you to use, consult your healthcare provider or a pharmacist.

This supplement does not contain animal products and is considered vegan. Beano is largely considered a sodium-free product, containing only a very small amount of sodium at 5 milligrams (mg) per tablet.

There are no differences in the effectiveness of liquid drops, oral capsules, or chewable tablets, as long as each is taken as recommended.

Supplements are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, so be wary of product labels that claim to treat or cure medical conditions.

Summary

Beano is an over-the-counter product that helps prevent gas, farting, and bloating when you take it before meals that include vegetables, grains, and legumes that can cause these symptoms. It is considered safe for people who do not have diabetes or an allergy to the main ingredient, an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase.

A Word From Verywell

If you often have gas or bloating after eating foods like broccoli, cauliflower, beans, and whole grains, Beano may help prevent these uncomfortable symptoms. Ask your doctor before taking this supplement if you have diabetes or any other concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Beano safe?

    Yes, Beano has been evaluated as safe for use in a healthy adult and elderly population. Beano is not recommended for children or infants, nor has it been evaluated for use in pregnant women.

  • What are some Beano alternatives?

    Most pharmacies and drug stores have generic versions of Beano, and there are other over-the-counter gas medicines. You can ask your pharmacist to see which option is the best choice for you.

  • What foods does Beano work on?

    Beano is helpful at relieving gas and bloating resulting from foods such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, and whole-grain products.

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2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Treatment for gas in the digestive tract.

  2. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Treatment of gas.

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