How Embarrassing Gas, Bloating & Constipation Happens (& How To Get Rid Of It Forever)

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dr Kenneth brown stop gas bloating constipation
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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

For the millions, including me, who have had to deal with bloating and abdominal discomfort alone or accompanied by constipation, diarrhea or both, life can get pretty miserable. New research shows that the problems start with methane-producing bacteria. Left untreated, these out-of-place bacteria feed off the foods you eat and create methane gas that leaves you bloated and uncomfortable.

Dr. Ken Brown, today's guest, is an expert at how to permanently fix this issue. He received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical School and completed his fellowship in gastroenterology in San Antonio, Texas.  He is a board-certified gastroenterologist and has been in practice for over 15 years with a clinical focus on inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Brown declares that his mission is to bridge the gap between medical and natural science.

For over a decade he has been conducting clinical research for various pharmacologic companies. Dr. Brown recognized an unmet need for something natural that could help his IBS patients find real relief.  After developing the only all-natural, clinically proven answer for IBS and bloating for over 6 years, ATRANTIL (ahh-tron-teel) launched in the summer of 2015.  Dr. Brown developed Atrantil to help those suffering from the symptoms of IBS which we now know are caused by bacterial overgrowth.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Why bloating occurs in the first place…10:00

-The very best test to determine the source of your bloating…18:00

-The mechanism by which polyphenol would get rid of bloating, and the fascinating action of “postbiotics”…24:00

-The South American herb “Quebracho”, and how it can disrupt hydrogen production and kill archaebacteria in the gut…42:00

-How horse chestnut and peppermint work together to get rid of bloating and gas, and also to heal the gut…47:30

-Whether the three ingredients in Atrantil have been studied for efficacy in the gut…52:00

-The best way for people to get Atrantil and how long to take it…1:03:45

-And much more!

Episode Sponsors:

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Resources from this episode:

Get Atrantil here – enter code “BEN” at checkout for 15% off of your purchase

-Viome Microbiome Test

The FODMAP diet

Saccharomyces Boulardii


My podcast on “Restore” with Dr. Zach Bush

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Brown or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

52 thoughts on “How Embarrassing Gas, Bloating & Constipation Happens (& How To Get Rid Of It Forever)

  1. Sara says:

    Is there any harm in taking Emma Relief (licorice root extract, star anise, quercetin, berberine, chicory root inulin, resveratrol) at the same time as Atrantil?

  2. Emma says:

    Is there ANY way to have Atranil shipped to Austria?! Please… please please please !!

    1. I recommend posting this to the Kion Community. It’s a completely free online community of like-minded people who both have advice and are seeking advice.

  3. Hayley says:

    Hi guys, great podcast thank you! So interested in Atrantil!

    Is it safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and if not, how long do I need to wait until I can use it? This sounds like an awesome solution to my terrible bloating.

    1. E. Rieger says:

      So sorry for the late response.

      This is a little tricky, but I will do my best to give you an answer that will allow you to make the best decision for yourself.

      Atrantil has not been tested with children under the age of 18, and has not been tested with pregnant or nursing women.

      Full disclosure, my children take Atrantil almost everyday, and they are under 18. I can also attest that our lead researcher at KBS Research did consume a daily dose of Atrantil while pregnant and while breastfeeding.

      The previous two sentences can only be legally interpreted as anecdotal usage, and I can only legally advise you that we have no data to safely recommend this usage.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Trey Martin says:

    Great podcast as usual, Ben! I was interested by Dr. Brown’s mention of the work of Dr. Joanna Boatwell, so I did some digging and found a few of her studies, which seem to suggest the polyphenol and anthocyanidin/proanthocyanidin content found in blueberries and montmorency cherries could help improve muscle recovery due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

    However, were I attempting to build strength or induce muscle hypertrophy, wouldn’t I *want* to induce a hermetically inflammatory response towards my system in order to encourage new muscle production? I think it’s similar in the way some now suggest not pounding a protein shake right after a hard fasted morning workout of weightlifting, as this can blunt the hermetic effect as well. Thoughts?

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Trey, great question, and I will attempt an abbreviated answer to somewhat satisfy a complex answer.

      It is definitely true that oxidative states from exercise lead to local inflammation and then muscle growth. The question becomes “how long should that tissue be inflamed?”.

      Take an athlete that has chosen to use anabolic steroids. (obviously not endorsed) But why does that athlete make those gains? That same athlete is still inducing the muscle tissue tears, inflammation, healing and growth to the tissue. But the inflammatory stage is circumvented and abbreviated, allowing for faster repair and shorter recovery time so that the athlete can more quickly resume the exact action that stressed and inflamed the tissue to begin with.

      Using polyphenols such as Atrantil is simply a natural way to give your body the means to better control the cellular inflammation from those muscle stresses. Again, you are correct, the stress and inflammation are essential to muscle growth, but sustained inflammation can be interpreted as a detriment to better growth, recovery, etc…

      I hope this helps!

      1. E. Rieger says:

        Oh and so sorry for the late reply!

  5. Jeff says:

    Hey Ben, Dr. Brown, and E. Rieger,

    The information packet that comes with Atrantil says to not take it with probiotics, but it’s mentioned in the podcast that there has been success with pairing Atrantil with Saccharomyces Boulardii. Why was the initial suggestion to not pair it with probiotics? If that could possibly be amended through experimentation would it be a good idea to pair it with soil based probiotics and other probiotics? Thank you!


    1. E. Rieger says:


      First so sorry for the late response. Second, the reference to stopping probiotics is somewhat of a generalization from the launch and it has to do with this: Some probiotics may have an enteric coated or similar delivery system. The idea that many of these systems do prevent breakdown of the live cultures in the gastric acid, may in theory be good… IF we all knew that they wouldn’t break apart in the small bowel before reaching the colon.
      The reason that can become a problem is that the small bowel is supposed to be as close to sterile as possible Bacteria of ALL kinds should be in transit and not be in the business of colonizing the small bowel. When other bacteria stay in the small bowel, their waste product is hydrogen. that hydrogen is fuel for methane producers like archaebacteria.
      Atrantil is very effective at binding to the free hydrogen as well as disrupting the methane producer, but the thought of bacteria that doesn’t become exposed to the natural progression of gastric acid and then on to the rest of the digestive system could pose a small increase in the time to realize relief.

      Important to note that there is NO danger in continuing enteric coated probiotics, just a chance that the time to feel bette may be lengthened.

      BUT… Saccharomyces, Mega spore, kefir, yogurt… natural probiotics which have proof of concept or at least pass through naturally, should have no consequence detrimental to Atrantil.

      We are working to get that message a little cleaner!

  6. Dustin Webb says:

    Is this product safe or recommended for people who are not currently known to be suffering from any digestive issues but are training for endurance events mentioned on the podcast? Or is it ok for general overall health?

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Great question Dustin. Short answer… YES! The polyphenols within Atrantil are all natural and are simply performing nature’s work to help keep the small bowel protected from methane producers, the microbiota well fed, the systemic health of the user supported by the postbiotics realized from normal cleaving of the polyphenols… It’s great for your body.

  7. mohan says:

    The Thorne product Ben referred to in the podcast is:

  8. Michelle says:

    I had SIBO and got rid of it. I did use Atrantil as part of my treatment. However one of my worst symptoms did not go away when I got rid of SIBO. I have what I call chest bloating or trapped burps. I rarely have this anymore after starting a supplement called GI Guard both the AM and PM. However it is still there. I also recently got diagnosed with Periodontitis. I feel that these things are linked. You said that Atrantil works in the small and large bowel. Would it work in the stomach? Or is there something you would recommend that works in the stomach. I had an upper endoscopy when my symptoms were at their worst and was told that my Doc took several biopsies and that it came back negative for H. Pylori. However when I got rid of SIBO a different doc did a stool and blood test and it said I had H. Pylori. Not sure what to believe. Any ideas?

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Michelle, you can connect with Dr. Brown at
      In this forum we cannot address a direct medical question, but possibly you can see if a virtual consultation with Dr. Brown or his team is a fit.
      Thank you for writing!

    2. JThornton says:

      This sounds like me! Did you ever get an answer? What are you doing now to help with all symptoms? My symptoms go into my rib cage and chest as well, making my chest feel very heavy.

  9. Mary says:

    Hey Ben and Ken. I have used Atrantil and Saccharomyces Boulardii together without realizing the benefits. Good results. I have MT and research background, plus I am athlete. If you need test subjects I’d be honored to participate. I still have IBS D after my big salad. Ben thank you for making my life better ❤️

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Mary, thank you! The best avenue to relay direct info to Dr. Brown would be to visit

      Case studies have limited availability, and the third party biostatistics consultant has the final say with adherence to the inclusion/exclusion criteria depending upon the end points measured.

  10. H says:

    Hey Ben. Love your show! Why do all these supplements have magnesium stearate? There is conflicting research, but I bought Atrantil after listening to the podcast and just realized there is magnesium stearate in it. What are your thoughts about its safety?


    1. E. Rieger says:

      We cannot speak officially for Ben and his team, but Dr. Brown, his collaborators and team feel confident in the use of all of the excipients (including magnesium stearate) in he production of Atrantil.
      Specifically magnesium stearate is used as a flow agent. This allows for non-caking and appropriate measurement for accuaracy in capsule dosage and formulation ratios.
      Magnesium stearate is a naturally occurring metal salt.
      The negative studies which are loosely tied to magnesium stearate specifically demonstrate tissue integrity issues with in vivo tests of various tissues in stearic acid. (note it isn’t mag stearate) Also the concentrations of stearic acid in the experiments are not biologically viable or naturally occurring. It is an exacerbated & controlled “test” that is not replicated in nature, yet many have forecasted associated dangers which have yet to be demonstrated.
      Your concern is valid and there is a large swell of “noise”, but know that under no circumstance would Dr. Brown authorize production with an inferior additive, it would only undermine the mission. Conversely, if any credible research demonstrated the hazardous claims, the revision of the formula would be priority one.

  11. Janet says:

    Ben: What is the name of the Thorne supplement you mentioned?

  12. Jager Willoughby says:

    Ben, what gum are you speaking of in the beginning of this episode?

  13. Kurt says:

    His supplement appears to address a lot of gut issues, but what is the effect of any on those that may have concern they have biofilms? And if so what should be done along side to address that if this product does not?

    1. E. Rieger says:


      The true biofilm should be predominantly active in the colon. The immediate success seen in Dr. Brown’s clinic and his colleagues has been realized most by simply addressing the inraluminal bacteria.

  14. Isabelle Nadeau says:


    Interesting! I was wondering if Quebracho was the same as Pau d’Arco (also a bark). Had a lot of success treating SIBO for myself with Pau d’Arco, oregano oil and Saccharomyses boulardii. Thanks for the info.

    1. E. Rieger says:


      First, we couldn’t be happier that you found relief and a suitable method for your situation. To clarify, although in the podcast Dr. Brown does mention the quebracho bark, that is actually where the initial discovery was made. The heart wood of the tree is also an important component to produce the great polyphenol/flavonoids in the quebracho extract that is in Atrantil.
      More specifically, Quebracho colorado has been identified by to be one of if not THE most stable natural polyphenols when exposed to both gastric acid AND pancreatic enzymes. Quebracho is also a macromolecule.
      So I wrote that to set the conversation for this: IN order for a polyphenol to effectively be the most efficient, it must remain active and intraluminal (not be absorbed and remain in the “tube”) in the small bowel. It isn’t until quebracho reaches the large intestine/colon that it is finally cleaved as is any polyphenol, and used by the microbiota as fuel (prebiotic) and then transformed into several beneficial products used systemically throughout the body (postbiotic).
      The level of research done to date has not demonstrated that there is a natural equal to quebracho’s performance.

      I hope this at least answers or gives you an idea that there is a difference, but more importantly, Dr. Brown and his team are excited anytime a sufferer conquers the disease, so kudos!

  15. Michelle Silbernagel says:

    Great podcast. I have been a fan of Dr. Brown and Atrantil for a while now. Atrantil has been game changer for me. Ben, you mentioned that Dr. Brown had given you some advice on strategies to reduce your constant flatulence — from the garlic and onions, etc… Curious if these were strategies in addition to taking that Atrantil? I’d love to implement them myself. Do you still take apple cider vinegar before a meal? Sometimes I have found that this increases my issues.

    Second question regarding the ingredients in the colonoscopy bowel prep products and their ingredients. They contain so much sucralose, plus during the bowel prep people are on a reduced diet. It seems this would create a huge imbalance in the type of gut bacteria — with the sucralose providing fodder for unhealthy bacterial growth. Am I wrong in thinking this? I had a colonoscopy years ago and I actually felt worse aftewards, digestion wise. I wonder if you or Dr. Brown have suggestion on how best to prep for one. Thanks!

    1. E. Rieger says:


      First thank you for sharing your experience! Second (especially in regards to your second question), we have examined the issue with bowel prep and the ingredients which are counterintuitive to healthy gut maintenance. What I can say is that Dr. Brown is constantly looking to improve delivery of whatever treatment or supplement that he has his patients use. That said the traditional world of medicine and that includes gastroenterology is often slow to adapt to better (even if backed by research) methods. We are experimenting with a few select ways to accomplish better preps with better ingredients. For now, just not enough data to declare a winner.
      Stay tuned!

  16. Taryn Alcock says:


    Could you please tell me how I can buy Dr Ken Browns product Atrantil in South Africa?

    1. E. Rieger says:


      International shipping is a little tricky at this moment, BUT please try either of these international retailers, and sometimes depending upon the country, there is an Ebay offer:

      1. Taryn Alcock says:

        Thank you for your reply. I will give them a try

  17. Greg says:

    Does not ship outside USA.

    Discount code does not work on their eBay site.

    Their eBay site does not ship to many countries in Europe.


    1. E. Rieger says:


      International shipping of a new found and patented supplement requires a great deal of paperwork and waiting. In regards to Europe (the EU), the current best option is

      Dr. Brown’s team at KBS Research is currently engaged with the EU to gain full approval allowing Atrantil to be directly distributed so that the consumers can have better access and keep costs reasonable. It takes several months up to two years and is a very frustrating process. It’s the cost of introducing the world to the application of the world’s most stable polyphenol to improve gut health (Quebracho colorado).

      Additional note, Atrantil just recently was awarded the Canadian NPN from Canada Health, which allows Atrantil to be distributed in Canada, and it’s next door to the US! the international trade regulations are in place for many reasons, but it is frustrating when it simply delays progress.

      At anytime, reach out to Atrantil directly [email protected]
      If you request an update on a particular country’s distribution capacity, they will update you.

      I hope this helps!

    2. E. Rieger says:

      one more source to consider:

  18. Robin Kyle says:

    I’ve been using hydrogen tablets to lower inflammation, but if I take this supplement it works by getting rid of hydrogen. I would love a deeper dive in this area. How do I know if my body turns hydrogen into methane at a rate that isn’t healthy? Is the hydrogen I take for inflammation different than the hydrogen already present in my cells that turns into methane?

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Robin- Dr. Brown may not be able to respond directly to this page, but I will try to assist you here. Regardless of delivery system, the hydrogen tables that you are most likely consuming are termed “molecular hydrogen” or H2. Essentially at the atomic level, the hydrogen are bound together, and since hydrogen only has the binding capacity of one bond, this is not free unbound hydrogen.
      The archaebacteria which are the noted methane producers that Dr. Brown is referencing, utilize free UNBOUND hydrogen and combine it usually with CO2, to form a reduced product of methane CH4 and by product of water H2O.
      Your hydrogen tables should not have any impact on this process, unless there were a breaking of the bon of the H2 in the tabs, then its just free unbound hydrogen and not do the job you intended, anyhow.
      I hope this helps!

  19. Karen says:

    I was diagnosed with SIBO ten months ago and have been on several rounds of antibiotics. My first symptoms were an incredible amount of passing gas along with occasional bloating/distention that was painful. No diarrhea or constipation until after my first round of xifaxin. Now my main symptoms are bloating, distention which is painful and some constipation. I started taking Atrantil about 5 months ago and have basically stayed on it except for a few days of a break during an antibiotic round. I have heard it is recommended by Dr. Siebecker that you can pair xifaxin and Atrantil for methane so I just did that for two weeks but I am not better. I can tell the Atrantil helps with my bloating though. So my two questions are is there any harm in continuing on the full dose for this many months and also I thought I heard Dr. Brown mention previously that if you feel like it has stopped working you should go off of it for a time and then restart. If this is true, how long should the break be? I have some of the probiotic you mentioned so may try it and might even try the CBC oil. I have just purchased berberine and allimed to use as an herbal protocol, so I assume it is okay to take the Atrantil with these if Dr. brown was mentioning trying berberine. Considering I have been a huge salad and veggie eater in the past, this Sibo is the pits. I miss my fruit and veggies. Thanks for the informative podcast and thanks to Dr. Brown for continuing his research.

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Karen, Dr. Brown may not get a chance to visit this page soon enough, so I am going to try to answer for you.
      Atrantil is all natural. There has been no evidence that long term full dose Atrantil is a risk. Even though the most common full dose is 6 capsules per day, Atrantil has been listed by the NSF to be safe for up to 10 caps daily. (The rate limiting factor being horse chestnut, even though it is safely extracted from seed.)
      The “time away” has almost always been generally a few days to maybe a couple of weeks. Generally in Dr. Brown’s practice, what has occurred is that a patient may state that after some time they may not feel like Atrantil is delivering as pronounced as it once did, but the patient is feeling better anyhow, or mostly better. What happens for some, they never need Atrantil again, they feel great and move on… and that is awesome! What happens for others: they have become accustomed to feeling better, and are not recognizing how much Atrantil is doing for them. I stated the break of days to a couple of weeks, because it only takes about that long before the patient notifies Dr. Brown’s office that they have restarted Atrantil, and feel better.
      There are no known drug interactions with Atrantil, so in general, you should feel safe with various combinations of supplementation just as you have listed.
      Connect with Dr. Brown’s newly formed research and news community at

  20. Do you recommend an intestinal permeability test through labs such as Vibrant Wellness or DunWoody Labs to see if elevated zonulin or LPS are present? Would you treat leaky gut before taking Atrantil or at the same time? Would this product replace a digestive enzyme containing HCI or in a case with no gallbladder, Ox bile?

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Sheila, Dr. Brown may not be able to visit this page quick enough, so I’ll try to best answer your questions.
      Dr. Brown has used the tests and companies that you mention, and for a larger picture of what is occurring for you specifically, that may be beneficial. However, it appears from your questioning that you are concerned that leaky gut recovery is pressing for you. Atrantil is comprised of very powerful & natural polyphenols which can assist in the recovery regardless. There is no reason to wait for test confirmation. The quebracho colorado polyphenol molecule is incredible with its diverse action: from binding to hydrogen (fuel for methane production), to cell wall disruption of the methane producers, to mast cell stabilization.
      It’s far too deep to get into here, but there are a few cascading results with correlations between methane in the small bowel and elevated zonulin. Obviously, you are probably aware that will affect tight junction integrity.
      Reclaiming the small bowel and getting the methane producers to return to the colon are essential for long term healing and health, Atrantil is designed to do that.
      Feel free to join Dr. Brown’s newly formed research and news community at
      Hope this helps!

  21. Bill Montgomery says:

    Did I hear correctly that Atantril helps with recovery/vo2 max?

    I have taken it before and it works great for gas.


    1. E. Rieger says:

      Bill, Dr. Brown may not have time to check this page so I’ll try to help out here.

      That information on VO2 max, as well as a great deal of the aggregate data has been well organized by Jo Bowtell, PhD of Exeter University. She has several meta analyses which show the effectiveness of anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins (types ofpolyphenols) in direct and objective/measure improvements in VO2 max, recovery, performance, NO2, amongst others.

      She actually was able to articulate the recommended mg doses of polyphenols for athletes per day at the CPSDA conference in 2018, and set tat level at 1000mg daily. Atrantil contains 275mg of proanthocyanidins per capsule.

      I hope this helps, join Dr. Brown’s newly formed info & research community at

  22. Hi Dr. Brown,

    This was a great podcast looking forward to the transcript as there were some details that I need to read over and look up. Do the polyphenols (specifically those found in Atrantil) contain things that could trigger phenols/salicylates intolerances in those who are sensitive to phenols/salicylates? Many people who suffer with phenols/salicylates sensitivities tend to also suffer with SIBO and sometimes even histamine/mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).

    Dr. Brown have you come across this specific sensitivities and if so how do you help those sensitive to phenols/salicylates who may also have histamine/mast cell activation syndrome? Can they still use Atrantil?

    1. E. Rieger says:

      Betsy, I talked briefly with Dr. Brown concerning your description. MCAS often times can make many otherwise normal and safe substances, appear to be associated with a reaction or a sensitivity. Phenol sensitivities may simply be exacerbated or even a symptom of the MCAS itself.

      That said, the combination of the polyphenols in Atrantil is believed to behave (in addition to the bloating and other digestive relief) as a man cell stabilizer. There are a number of studies that have hypothesized that the mechanism that some polyphonies accomplish this stabilization ranges from blocking IgE from attaching to a mast cell, to prevention of exocytosis of messengers within the mast cell itself.

      I have two resources for you concerning this in addition to listening to Ben Greenfield, of course: Healing Histamine Yasmina Ykelenstam is a great resource for histamine management. Dr. Brown’s newly formed information and research community at is also available if you wish to further your discussion.

  23. Denise Galiano says:

    This sounds promising. I can’t eat off my diet without suffering. Even when I eat my raw veggies, and I eat at least 8-10 cups a day, I will suffer. Mainly in spring when I should be cooking them.

    What are the items that may help inhance this product? CBD, Restore, barburine (sorry about spelling) and ? ?.

    Great info Ben. Thanks for all you do, as always.

      1. Allison says:

        Ben Greenfield, re Saccharomyces Boulardii: Which one(s)? Some have prebiotiocs, some don’t. For someone with recurring SIBO, should the ones w/ prebiotic (FOS…) be avoided? Thanks So much!

  24. Topher Dowling MD says:

    I’ve been near vegan for years, but found GI issues unrelenting, despite many changes in diet. Trying carnivore diet now. I expect many of the benefits some claim come from the carnivore diet derive from their effect on the GI microbiome.

    1. d.dobs says:

      As well, Let’s not forget that a big benefit of le carnivore diet is Prions…
      @TD,MD A ‘little bit pregnant’?
      Surely being ‘near vegan’ is not grounds for claiming that ‘vegan’ contributes to GI issues… it’s the ‘near’ portion of foodstuffs that result in tummy upsets…nice try, doc! FYI
      Questionable Food Combos…Five key types of food combos to avoid and what they can teach us about how to eat for better health (and less digestive distress)…– Karen Olson

  25. Topher Dowling MD says:


    “Only specialty where you get to do some procedures and get some intellectual stimulation”? Seriously ridiculous statement. Dermatology, ENT, GYN, orthopedics, etc., etc…..


    1. E. Rieger says:

      I believe there are several disciplines in healthcare which can satisfy both procedure and intellectual innovation, but I think in context Dr. Brown was just saying for him he found that GI sub-specialty presented that opportunity to him while in residency. I don’t think he was trying to be comprehensive or give an un-abridged list.
      Great podcast BTW- as a long time Atrantil user and previous IBS sufferer, I can attest that it works! (Disclosure- That’s why I decided to work with Dr. Brown)

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