Fear of eating beans may be overblown

“People’s concerns about excessive flatulence from eating beans may be exaggerated.” That conclusion emerges loud and clear at the end of a study published recently in the Nutrition Journal.

Donna Winham [pictured here], of Arizona State University, and Andrea Hutchins, of the University of Colorado, call their report Perceptions of Flatulence From Bean Consumption Among Adults in 3 Feeding Studies.

“Many consumers avoid eating beans because they believe legume consumption will cause excessive intestinal gas or flatulence”, they explain.

Winham and Hutchins had volunteers eat half a cup of beans daily. Every week everyone answered a questionnaire.

In the first week, fewer than half of the bean eaters reported increases in gas production. Then came a further surprise…

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

BONUS: Overblown fears about dinosaur flatulence?

BONUS: Should the new findings be confirmed, this scene from the movie Blazing Saddles would prove slightly exaggerated: