Hi, I was perusing the internet trying to see, for lack of a better way to say it, an explanation for my constant “gaseousness.” I have pretty much narrowed it to soy, which is how I think I got linked to your site. I found your article “The Flatulence Factor.” Your writing was hilarious and helped me to feel a little less alone. I loved the part where you mentioned a charcoal seating device (funny, is it true?) and that you provide a more lighthearted side. Thanks for the best laugh I’ve had all day. I’m sure that my soy consumption will continue to produce these lovely little all day and all night long side effects, but at least I can smile about it. Thanks, Veronica
Dear Veronica, Yes, the charcoal seating device is a real product. Best of course, to just stay off the soy rather than on the cushion! Though gas is the butt of much schoolyard humor, the reality is it’s a symptom of serious digestive distress when experienced as an ongoing rather than occasional problem. I would also caution against consuming modern soy products because of known risks to the thyroid, reproductive and immune systems.
Dear Kaayla, Hey, in your book you mention a device called the TootTrapper. Where can I buy this? Thanks, Anil
Dear Anil, The TootTrapper– or something like it — is now available under other names. Products containing the gas-trapping charcoal filter include chair cushions, pads, briefs, panties, thongs and special products for ‘ostomy patients. Although the product launched with great fanfare on Regis and Kathie Lee and other shows, the inventors felt the TootTrapper name and accompanying publicity demeaned its importance. While it’s fun to joke about these products, the truth is they greatly improve the life of people with serious digestive disorders. Indeed, the importance of this invention to some patients was detailed in the respected journals Gut and Treatment Options in Gastroenterology. Interesting name you have. I’d say your letter was sent as a frat house joke, but I once knew an Indian medical student by that name at the University of Rochester .
Dear Dr. Daniel, I’m a college student, broke and eat lots of beans. Where can I volunteer for some of these studies? Do they pay their subjects? Frank
Dear Frank, Sorry, can’t guide you. Although in the past, scientists experimented on dogs, rats, college students and other animals, looks like they are now recruiting the fungus amongus. That’s the word anyway from Singapore, where Dejian Huang and colleagues developed a method of reducing the gas-creating oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose in soybeans while raising the levels of the supposedly “healthy antioxidants known as isoflavones” (J Agri Food Chem, Nov 12, 2008). They accomplished this by fermenting black soybeans into soy yogurt in the presence of a fungus that produced enzymes capable of degrading the undesirable oligosaccharide sugars. Although Science Daily and others suggested that this novel new method would help “soybeans drop off the list of musical fruits,” consider this: It’s a worthy goal to stop gas warfare, but soy isoflavones represent chemical warfare. Soybean plants use isoflavones to sicken predators and affect their ability to live long, strong and propagate. Increased consumption of soy yogurt would not be beneficial to the human race.
Dear Kaayla, I just got back from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) conference in San Francisco. Loved your speech. Another speaker there said we should eat two pounds of broccoli a day. I try, but it gives me so much gas. . Do you eat that much broccoli? Janet
Dear Janet, No. Broccoli’s a good vehicle for butter, but excess cruciferous vegetables are not a cross I choose to bear. Find Chris Masterjohn’s articles on this subject on this website to learn more about their goitrogenic properties and other risks. On a similar note, I don’t choose to drink to the new resveratrol supplements that would give me the amount I’d find in 113 glasses of red wine. Whatever happened to common sense?