Breaking wind can be a socially embarrassing problem. So wearing gas tight pantaloons, into the seat of which is stitched a cushion containing charcoal, is likely to draw attention to your affliction, and is hardly the ideal apparel for a dinner party.

Nonetheless, this is exactly what one team of researchers has devised. In tests, the product is remarkably successful, and it absorbed more than 90 per cent of sulphurous gases when eight volunteers tried it (Gut, 1998; 43: 100-4).

If you don’t think your affliction quite warrants dressing up like a spaceman, perhaps having a dog constantly at your side may be a better alternative.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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