Antiflatulent

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An antiflatulent agent is a drug used for the alleviation or prevention of excessive intestinal gas, i.e., flatulence.

Mechanisms of action[edit]

Preventing gas[edit]

  • EnzymesEnzyme-based dietary supplements break down indigestible substances and prevent these substances from reaching the large intestine intact – where anaerobic bacteria produce gas. Substances indigestible by humans are usually present in foods associated with flatulence, like beans. When these substances reach the large intestine intact, they may be fermented by intestinal bacteria, thereby causing gas production. These supplements are usually taken with foods associated with flatulence. It is important to take the appropriate enzyme with the appropriate food. When consuming beans and other vegetables high in complex carbohydrates, it may be helpful to take a product that contains alpha-galactosidase, such as Beano. Additionally, for individuals with lactose intolerance, taking a lactase-containing product with lactose-containing foodstuffs may reduce flatulence.

Relieving gas[edit]

For the alleviation of flatulence, an antifoaming agent such as simethicone may be taken orally. This agent will coalesce the smaller gas bubbles into larger bubbles, thereby easing the release of gas within the gastrointestinal tract via burping or flatulence.

Classification[edit]

Antifoaming agents[edit]

Enzyme-based dietary supplements[edit]

Herbal antiflatulents[edit]

  • Epazote is claimed[by whom?] to have antiflatulent properties.[2]
  • Asafoetida reduces the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut thereby reducing flatulence.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A. Savitri, T. N. Bhavanishankar and H. S. R. Desikachar. Effect of spices on in vitro gas production by Clostridium perfringens Food Microbiology, 1986, 3, 195-199
  2. ^ NE Longnecker (2000). "Passion for pulses: health benefits of pulses and why Australians should eat more of them" (pdf). Proceedings of the nutrition society of Australia 24: 191–195. "Some herbs are also thought to counteract the flatulence effect, including cumin seed, epazote, asafoetida and winter savoury." 
  3. ^ S. K. GARG, A. C. BANERJEA, J. VERMA. and M. J. ABRAHAM, EFFECT OF VARIOUS TREATMENTS OF PULSES ON IN VITRO GAS PRODUCTION BY SELECTED INTESTINAL CLOSTRIDIA. Journal of Food Science, Volume 45, Issue 6 (p 1601-1602).