Monday, February 4, 2008

Is Beano Safe?

A question that comes up occasionally about the digestive aid Beano is, "Is it safe to use it?"

Beano is a preparation delivering a tiny dosage of a human digestive enzyme (made by bacteria which are killed in the manufacturing process) alpha-galactosidase.

In studies of children who need alpha-galactosidase as a mediation (for Fabry disease), about 1 in 20 develops an almost undetectably mild allergy to Beano in the course of 3 years. People with Fabry disease, however, take vastly more alpha-galactosidase than the average person who takes Beano to avoid gassiness from eating beans or vegetables.

There's no evidence Beano causes problems during pregnancy or nursing, but because it has never been tested for safety in expectant or nursing mothers, the manufacturer recommends they not use it. For almost everyone else, there should be very few problems even with very long use.

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