Off the Soy, On the Cushion, and Other Questions about Musical Fruits

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?   


Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, is The Naughty NutritionistTM because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths. A popular guest on radio and television, she has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, ABC's View from the Bay, NPR's People's Pharmacy and numerous other shows. Her own radio show, "Naughty Nutrition with Dr. Kaayla Daniel," launches April 2011 on World of Women Radio. Dr. Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, a popular speaker at Wise Traditions and other conferences, and recipient of its 2005 Integrity in Science Award. Her website is and she can be reached at

5 Responses to Off the Soy, On the Cushion, and Other Questions about Musical Fruits

  1. Lou Philips says:

    Dr. Daniel,

    While I’d like to take your “what ever happened to common sense” comment vis-a-vis resveratrol supplements at face value (especially since common sense tends to work so well with most things), have you seen specific instances in the literature that make you hesitant about these supplements? I ask this because those promoting them often tout the research that would seem to highlight the upside of them, and they claim that resveratrol has a high potential upside with no downside as opposed to being a tightrope act between the two or being a case of risk vs. reward. Of course they may simply be playing it up and concealing any less than favorable data.

    That said, Strength Coach Charles Poliquin offers a supplement that was developed by Dr. Mark Houston ( px.htm

    I mention this, because I also noticed that Coach Poliquin has recommended your book [u]The Whole SOy Story[/u] in the past. While this recommendation doesn’t make his entire though process identical to your own, I find it somewhat odd that he’d direct people toward work of yours and then go so far off the beaten path by touting a supplement that may have potential risk in larger doses. (note that I don’t consider spending money for no effect to be a risk in this case, since people may do as they wish with their funds, so I limit risk strictly to negative issues, not no or minimal effect at great cost)

    Would these supplements have any value if consumed less frequently, so as to approximate a diet high in resveratrol without consuming wine or any other food and drink with limited quantities of resveratrol present in it? I have a relative that has been using a resveratrol product from the company Biotest, so I would like to have some solid ground to stand on so that I can confidently recommend discontinuation of using that product. Evidence put forth by the company selling it may not rank as reliable proof, but “common sense” can be a rather nebulous term in matters such as these. So if you have seen instances in the literature that give you pause, I would love to report them back to my family member. I’m also going to guess that your thoughts also apply to supplemental form of things like curcumin, as well. Basically it is frustrating to think that things put forward as potentially health-enhancing may be the reverse. And as a layperson who has neither the time nor desire to scour research journals simply to have the necessary ammunition to formulate a position on even one or two nutrition-related topics, I am left to place my faith in a handful of sources I have deemed as likely trustworthy.

    Sometimes I think the fretting caused by the constant push and pull between opposite viewpoints on these issues causes more harm to people via the elevation in cortisol than the actually substances themselves!

    Any clarity-providing feedback would be greatly appreciated, and thank you for your time. I also apologize if the tone of my message came across as accusative or surly in any way. as that was not my intention at all.

  2. Kaayla Daniel says:

    I was being a bit facetious, but not completely. First we hear that the reason for the so-called “French Paradox” is the resveratrol in their red wine (The French Paradox couldn’t after all be actually due to all that “dangerous” fat and cholesterol, could it! ) So resveratrol gets proposed as the miracle nutrient that gives the French their joie de vivre and then we get supplements that provide doses equivalent to 113 glasses! As for your family member, I can’t say whether such a product would be useful or not. Is he or she taking resveratrol based on needs determined by laboratory assessment? Or does it just seem like a good idea?

  3. elen says:

    Dear Dr. Daniel: Can you please suggest how much red wine, if any, one should drink? And, can one get the same level of benefit from eating olives, figs, and other dark, nutrient-dense foods?

    Thanks so much!

  4. Kaayla Daniel says:

    I don’t think you need to drink any red wine. If you enjoy it, sip a single glass with a fine meal and make it a high-quality, organic wine. Figs, olives and other real foods are all excellent in the context of a varied omnivorous diet.

  5. Spice Rack says:

    “An Apple A day Keep The Doctors Away” Is this really true? Why?

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