How does a medicine like Gas-X break up the gas in your gut?


How does a medicine like Gas-X break up the gas in your gut?

In: 113

Edit: I was mistaken and corrected below. While some medicines work as I described, Gas-X does not.

The reason you get extra gassy after eating certain foods, such as beans, is because the carbohydrates are complex and din’t get fully broken down. Once those remaining carbs make it to your intestines, the microbes there feast on them and produce methane as one of several byproducts. Gas-X and other products help break down the complex carbohydrates so that the microbes in your intestines have less to feast on, and therefore produce less methane.

Gas-X’s active ingredient is a chemical called simethicone. Simethicone is an anti-foaming agent, which basically is a chemical that hits gas bubbles in your stomach and intestine, and causes those bubbles to break apart; the specifics of how it does THAT are a separate conversation involving surface tension and stuff that are a little beyond my ability to ELI5, lol.

TL;DR Gas-X hits gas bubbles, bubbles pop more easily.

I think it’s important to note that it’s not clear if it works better than a placebo. So whatever mechanism by which this medication “works” that people are proposing could be complete nonsense.