How to Reduce Flatulence Odor

Updated February 21, 2017

The average person emits digestive gas in the form of flatulence about 15 times a day. Much of this gas is actually swallowed air that passes through the digestive tract, while other gases are produced as chemical byproducts by microbacteria. Flatulence odour can be virtually undetectable and inoffensive or downright stinky, depending on the person's digestive system and diet. The stench of flatulence comes from the tiny quantities of hydrogen sulphide gas and mercaptan compounds in the mix. The best way to reduce flatulence odour is to simply lower the sulphur content of your diet.

Take one or two doses of a medicine containing bismuth subsalicylate, like Pepto-Bismol, four times a day, starting a few days before an important meeting or social gathering. Temporary use of this digestive cure-all can help reduce flatulence odour, though it should not be taken regularly.

Consider using charcoal undergarments or pads. These products are inserted into the underpants and help absorb some of the odour of flatulence.

Limit your daily intake of food with high sulphur content. Beer, cauliflower, pork, cabbage, broccoli, eggs and beef are notorious for producing smelly gas because they contain lots of sulphur. To reduce the amount of gas, reduce the amount of raffinose you consume. This sugar is found in beans, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, some whole grains, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Get tested for lactose intolerance. Those who are lactose intolerant will often produce foul-smelling gas because their stomachs cannot properly digest milk. Even those who are not lactose intolerant should be wary of milk's potential for generating unpleasant flatulence.

Try to eat slower and chew completely to reduce the amount of air intake. Smoking, chewing gum and sucking on candy can also make you more flatulent. Carbonated drinks are another cause of frequent flatulence.

Take steps to reduce stress in your daily life. Stress can hinder the body's ability to digest properly and leave you feeling gassy and constipated.


For extra help digesting beans and other flatulence-producing foods, try an over-the-counter product like Beano.


According to Dr. Jim Mitterando, Phazyme, Mylicon and Gas-X are not effective for reducing flatulence. Don't eliminate fibre from your diet completely. It helps prevent cancer and promotes good digestive health.

Things You'll Need

  • Medicine containing bismuth subsalicylate (e.g., Pepto-Bismol)
  • Charcoal undergarments or pads
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About the Author

Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.