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Does chewing gum, the sweet and tasty treat, cause more beneficial or harmful effects? We see commercials on TV every day, but have you ever wondered about their credibility? In this article, we’ll explore and explain the harm of what seems like a harmless product.

The history of chewing gum goes back many years, but then gum was very different, both in taste, appearance, and the effect it had on the human body. More than 1,000 years ago, ancient people chewed conifer resin, which cleaned their teeth, and to which they later began adding beeswax. In 1848, chewing gum started being sold in Maine and became one of the most popular products of the time.

Today chewing gum is still a favorite product among the world's population and many people can’t imagine a day without it, the most ardent fans being children. That’s why gum has become a hot topic among doctors and scientists.

Chewing gum has repeatedly changed its composition, as producers haven’t come up with the perfect recipe: 20% latex, 60% sugar, the rest - chemical additives, dyes, giving it color and flavor.

The gum base is a styrene-butadiene rubber, a substance that is used to produce shoe soles and automobile tires, or polyvinyl acetate (aka PVA glue). But the major difference is that emulsifiers (E421, E422, and E951) are added to improve the plastic properties.

E421 (mannitol) is a material used to manufacture paints, varnishes and add our favorite gum. The emulsifier causes diarrhea and has a detrimental effect on the teeth. It’s used as a sweetener.

E951 (aspartame) is a carcinogen that affects the entire nervous system, leading to emotional disorders and also causes headaches.

E422 (glycerol) is a preservative that can cause blood disorders like haemoglobinuria.

It is worth remembering how prolonged gum chewing affects the gastrointestinal tract. When a person makes a chewing motion, gastric juice is produced, that is, the body is preparing to digest food. If we chew, and no food enters the stomach, the gastric juice begins to eat away at the stomach’s lining, giving rise to gastrointestinal diseases like gastritis, ulcers, duodenitis and cholecystitis.

Scientists have found that chewing gum can cause a strong psychological dependence, especially among people that like fresh breath and don’t feel confident without it.

So do we really have to permanently give up chewing gum? Not at all! If you use it correctly, it can be beneficial (it cleans the surface of the teethfrom remnants of food and improves digestion). There’s only one basic rule to remember – chew gum for 10 minutes after a meal, but no longer than that, otherwise instead of being beneficial it will cause side effects.

The history of chewing gum isn’t over yet, and in the future we will be able to learn many interesting things about it.

By Dr. Iryna Todoryuk, BiMedis Company

    24 February 2016, 00:53:21
    Google translation
    Тоже не понимаю людей, которые постоянно жуют жвачку. Сам пользуюсь очень редко, когда иду с кем-то на встречу, чтобы не было плохого запаха изо рта и жую примерно 3-5 минут. Лучше полоскать рот специальными средствами в течении дня, если есть возможность.

    Also I do not understand people who constantly chew gum. Myself I rarely use when you go with someone to the meeting, to avoid bad smell from the mouth and chew for about 3-5 minutes. It is better to rinse the mouth with special tools during the day, if possible.

      Татьяна Корабельникова 23 February 2016, 19:38:45
      Google translation
      10 минут жевать жвачку? Это же очень долго! Лично я специально сегодня засекла время: меня хватило ровно на три минуты! Кто-то умеет получать удовольствие от жевания в течение десяти минут? Ух ты!

      10 minutes to chew the gum? It's very long! Personally, I specially today was timing: I've had it for exactly three minutes! Someone knows how to get pleasure from chewing for ten minutes? Wow!

      • Iryna Todoruyk 25 February 2016, 17:17:05
        Google translation
        Уважаемая Татьяна, в статье только рекомендуется жевать жвачку не более 10 минут, но каждый сам решает как ему/ей удобнее:)

        Dear Tatiana, the article only recommended to chew gum no more than 10 minutes, but each decides how he/she easier:)

        Юлия Мельникова 23 February 2016, 13:45:14
        Google translation
        Ух ты, сколько вредностей в обычной жевательной резинке! Может быть проще чистить зубы после еды? Даже на работу можно щетку и тюбик пасты принести - места немного занимает и лучше чем жевать жвачку.

        Wow, many of the hazards in ordinary chewing gum! It may be easier to brush your teeth after eating? Even at work you can brush and tube of toothpaste to bring - the place is a little better than chewing gum.

          Serg Mihel 20 February 2016, 00:05:44
          Google translation
          Вот и в жвачке эмульгаторы(( Однако, по мнению автора, если соблюдать главное правило - жевать жвачку не более 10 минут после еды, то особо беспокоиться не стоит. Смущают лишь шины, подошва и клей ПВА))

          Here and in the gum emulsifiers(( But, author, if you follow the main rule is to chew gum no more than 10 minutes after eating, especially do not worry. Confuse just tires, sole and PVA glue))

          • Iryna Todoruyk 25 February 2016, 17:15:51
            Google translation
            Уважаемый Serg, все правильно, если жевать резинку на протяжении 10 минут, то нежелательное действие на организм значительно уменьшается, но эмульгаторы и канцерогены всё равно остаются.

            Dear Serg, right, if chew gum for 10 minutes, unwanted effect on the body is significantly reduced, but the emulsifiers and carcinogens still remain.

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