Does Eating Too Much Papaya Cause Gas?

Papaya
Half of a papaya on a picnic table. (Image: carpaumar/iStock/Getty Images)

Papaya is a nutritious fruit, with each 1-cup serving providing significant amounts of fiber, folate and vitamins A and C. Eat too much of it, however, and you may increase your risk for gas or bloating due to papaya's fiber content. Should you already have certain types of gas, papaya may help clear up this gas because of an enzyme it contains.

Papaya Fiber and Gas

The fiber in papaya is fermentable, which means that when bacteria in your large intestine break the fiber down, it will produce some gas. A study published in "Beneficial Microbes" in September 2013 found that papaya didn't cause any gas for more than eight hours after consumption and didn't produce as much gas in the digestive tract as mango. Whether you'll experience gas also depends on your overall fiber intake for the day. Gassy feelings typically occur mainly when you suddenly increase your fiber intake, as this can overwhelm the capacity of the bacteria in your large intestines to break down the fiber.

Papain and Gas

Papaya may help reduce gas in people who don't produce enough of the enzymes necessary for breaking down proteins in the digestive tract. It contains an enzyme called papain that can improve digestion by helping to break down proteins. People usually take papain supplements for this purpose, however, rather than eating fresh papaya to get a more standardized amount of papain.

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