What Is Beano?

A Supplemental Enzyme That Prevents Gas, Discomfort, and Bloating

Beano capsules and chewable tablets

Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak

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, legumes, 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.

Foods That Beano Helps

Foods that Beano can help you digest include:


  • Bagels
  • Barley
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Granola
  • Oat bran
  • Pasta
  • Rice bran
  • Rye
  • Sorghum grain
  • Wheat bran
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole grain breads


  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers, sweet 


  • Black-eyed peas
  • Bog beans
  • Broad beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Mung beans
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Pinto beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Seed flour (sesame, sunflower)
  • Soybeans and soy milk

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
  • 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 can impact 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

Dosage and Preparation

Beano may be taken as a chewable tablet and 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.

The following doses are recommended:

  • Chewable tablets: 2 to 3 per meal
  • Meltaway tablet: 1 per meal

Meltaway tablets are placed on the tongue and dissolve without chewing or swallowing. Beano tablets can also be crumbled onto your food and eaten with your meal if you prefer. Beano should not be used in cooking. Heat will break down the enzymes, and it won't work.

Beano can be taken with every meal. You can double the dose if you are eating more than a standard serving size of problematic foods.

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

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.


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 if you have diabetes or any other concerns before taking this supplement.

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 best 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.

  • How many Beano can you take per day?

    You can take Beano with every meal. You can take a double dose if you are eating larger than typical serving sizes of problematic foods. As a digestive enzyme, there is no upper limit for the amount of Beano you can safely take in a day.

  • Does Beano get rid of gas?

    Beano helps to prevent gas when taken before or shortly after eating. It works by improving digestion, so gas does not form in the large intestine. Once you are already experiencing gas, it is too late to take Beano.

    Instead, try simethicone to relieve gas. It is sold as the brand name Gas-X.

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.

Additional Reading

By Brittany Ferri
Brittany Ferri, MS, OTR-L, CCTP, is an occupational therapist, consultant, and author specializing in psychosocial rehab.