Discover Magazine has a great profile of VA Medical Center’s Dr. Michael Levitt, who is a world expert on flatuence:
To study a problem of extraordinary flatus, Levitt needed data on what ordinary flatus is. Recruiting seven highly cooperative volunteers, he requested that they spend at least a week keeping flatugraphic logs of their own, recording how frequently they stirred intestinally and when these events occurred. While taking the time to note such events would not make for an especially social week, it would make for a scientifically enlightening one, providing Levitt with what was almost certainly scienceâ€™s first flatulence control group. When the results were in, it was clear that control was just what his seven volunteers did have and what his troubled patient didnâ€™t.
In the group I chose, Levitt says, the mean flatus frequency turned out to be 13.6 episodes per day, with no statistically significant differences attributable to age, gender, or other discernible variables. The upper limit for even the most gaseous of these subjects was less than 20. In all cases the daily output was considerably lower than my patientâ€™s 34, indicating that his problem was quite real.
What causes the most “episode” among foods?
At the top of the explosiveness list are the Fat Man and Little Boy of our diets–those foods that are practically nothing but complex sugars. Among these most eruptive edibles are beans, carrots, raisins, bananas, onions, milk, and milk products.
I’m off to have a banana/raisin/carrot milkshare with onion rings on the side.