Vegan Nutrition with Dina Aronson, M.S. R.D.

Dina AronsonDina Aronson, MS, RD is a vegan dietitian whose specialties include chronic disease prevention, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, and lifestyle management. She is the founder and director of, a nutrition consulting company. Active in many vegetarian nutrition organizations, Dina was the recipient of the American Dietetic Association's Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award in 2002.

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I have had this problem since becoming vegan--a ridiculous and "has-to-go" amount of flatulence. I can't take Beano obviously, as both the tablet and liquid forms are made with fish gelatin. What can I take, if anything, to get rid of this problem? It's so bad that my husband stopped sleeping in the same room with me and I am chronically embarrassed at work. Please help. It is all sources of fiber so I obviously can't make diet changes since the foods causing it are needed sources of nutrients (and are my main source of calcium as well).

Thank you,

Dear Shelley,

Gas is caused mainly by the breakdown of food fiber in our large intestine. The good news is that gas production is actually healthy. It may protect the intestine from cancer, and promotes healthy bacterial growth, keeping us regular and better able to handle infections.

The bad news is that, at least from what I have observed, vegans seem to have more flatulence than others in general. I'm not sure how long you've been vegan, but keep in mind that for most vegans, the body gets accustomed to the dietary changes and produces less overall gas over time. It's a shame that our society regards a normal, natural, healthy bodily function as an embarrassing thing we feel the need to conceal at all costs.

It is doubtful that your flatulence will be eliminated (no matter what your diet), but there are a few things you can try that might decrease gas production.