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Wednesday, May 17, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Why do beans give people gas?

This question remind me of that ancient proverb, as recited by Bart Simpson: "Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot." Bart speaks the truth, for few foods inspire as much gastrointestinal activity as a plate full of beans. Hold your breath as we sniff out the science behind the smells.

Kidz World explains that beans contain sugars the human body simply cannot digest. Once these sugars (called oligosaccharides) reach a person's lower intestines, "the bacteria go berserk, start feasting, and make loads of gas." Before you know it -- toxic fumes.

This rather amusing list of "fart facts" states the most "offensive sugars" are raffinose, stachiose, and verbascose, all of which are found in beans. The site goes on to explain that while it's possible to ignite a fart, it's definitely not recommended, as severe injury and a potentially humiliating trip to the emergency room can result.

Bon appetit.

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