What risk factors or predisposing factors are associated with complex carbohydrate intolerance (CCI)? Is this a sign of another underlying disorder?
—JAN MAILLOUX, PA-C, Mineral Point, Wis.

CCI is not a term I was familiar with. A Web site (www.preventcci.com) dedicated to this malady suggests that it refers to the inability of the human digestive tract to break down complex carbohydrates (starches) into simple carbohydrates (sugars) and blames it all on a lack of a-galactosidase in the human gut.

Whether or not this appellation serves any clinically useful purpose remains unclear. Given the highly nonspecific symptoms of CCI (i.e., belching, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and cramping) and the very obvious cause (the ingestion of such foods as legumes, whole grains, seeds, and vegetables), one would think that avoidance or moderation would be the cure.

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Not surprisingly, the CCI Web site concludes that there is a better remedy—Beano. This looks more like advertising than medical science to me.
—Reuben Zimmerman, RPA-C