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Do probiotics work?

Probiotics is the term for ?friendly bacteria' found in some fermented products. The two main types of bacteria thought to have health benefits include strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The notion is that probiotics work by repopulating the gut with good bacteria to help fight off pathogens and toxins. Many people believe probiotics can help conditions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to food allergies. Research results are mixed, but in a recent, well-respected study, probiotics were found to reduce the duration of diarrhoea by 25 hours.

Do beans really make you fart?

The short answer is ?yes'. Beans contain fibre and sugar that our bodies find hard to digest. When food isn't broken down in the stomach and small intestine it ends up undigested in our bowels where hungry bacteria gobble it up producing smelly gasses as they do so. Most of the gas is absorbed into our bloodstreams but the rest is released as flatulence. You can reduce the chances of this happening by cooking beans for longer or letting them sit and then cooking them again in fresh water.