December 04, 2013
Passing gas is perfectly normal, although a bit embarrassing when you’re in a public place! The average person produces 400 to 2400 milliliters of gas a day and passes around 30 to 120 milliliters a day. That’s a lot of gas! What causes flatulence in the first place? Several things may play a role such as swallowed air and the breakdown of indigestible carbohydrates, usually fiber, caused by bad bacteria in your gut. If you eat a meal too fast, sip liquid through a straw, drink a carbonated beverage, chew gum or talk while you’re eating, you suck in air and that ends up in your intestinal tract where it can become gas. Anxious people also sometimes gulp air subconsciously and experience gas as a result.
Another other cause, indigestible carbohydrates, stems from the fact that you can’t break down all of the fiber in the food you eat, but unhealthy bacteria can and they produce gas as a by-product. That’s why good digestion is important for curbing this problem. You don’t want lots of undigested food reaching your intestines so the bad bacteria can have a field day with it and produce lots of gas. At best, gas is only a slight inconvenience and an embarrassment. At its worst, it can lead to uncomfortable intestinal distension.
Certain foods, usually carbohydrates, are more likely to cause flatulence than others. Some of the most common culprits are beans, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, whole grains and beverages and foods sweetened with sugar alcohols. A number of adults have lactose intolerance and experience frequent gas and bloating when they consume dairy products. What causes gas in one person won’t necessarily cause it in another. One reason is the population of bacteria in our guts differ from one person to another. Some of us have more gas-forming bacteria in our guts than others.
If you produce lots of smelly gas, it could be a sign that your digestive tract needs a “tune-up.” The unpleasant aroma that goes along with gas usually comes from hydrogen sulfide gas produced by bacteria. Contrary to popular belief, most gas is not foul-smelling. It’s just that our noses are sensitive to even small amounts of hydrogen sulfide. If you’re noticing frequent foul-smelling gas, you may have lots of bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide breaking down your undigested carbohydrates.
Is there a solution? For some people, it’s a question of maintaining a healthier balance of gut bacteria. Having more gut-friendly, probiotic bacteria is beneficial for digestion. These bacteria create an environment that’s optimal for carbohydrate and protein digestion and for nutrient absorption as well. They also help to keep hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria in check, creating a healthier intestinal balance. Many people find that a taking a daily probiotic such as Healthy Trinity makes them less prone to gas – which is welcome relief for them, and everyone around them!
There’s no way to completely eliminate gas since it’s a normal product of digestion but maintaining a healthier bacterial population in your gut can help keep the unpleasantness in check.
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