Does chewing gum contribute to weight loss, what happens if you swallow it, and what additives in the composition should be avoided? Nutritionist Alla Ponimatkina and dentist Milana Chibirova studied the benefits and harms of chewing gum from a medical point of view and spoke about the most interesting and important facts.
Alla Ponimatkina (@dietolog_pp_alla)
Fact # 1: Chewing Gum May Reduce Appetite
Yes, this is true, but, perhaps, only in the first 10 minutes. We begin to chew gum and thus deceive the body, which at this moment thinks that it is receiving food. But after 10-15 minutes, gastric juice begins to be actively secreted in the stomach - here the body realizes that it has not received any food, and a feeling of hunger appears. Therefore, chewing gum is recommended no more than 10 minutes and immediately after eating.
But don't think that chewing gum will help speed up your metabolism - it won't do it in any way. And if the gum is sweet, it can slow it down altogether, especially if it is chewed on an empty stomach or before meals.
Fact # 2: Chewing gum is soothing
Chewing reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Therefore, gum is really soothing, because due to the decrease in the level of this hormone, we become less irritable. In fact, we all become calm when we chew - no matter what. And also, when we gnaw seeds or just hold something in our hands.
Fact number 3: The composition of the gum cannot be called harmless
You need to be careful with other food products with artificial colors and additives in the composition, and it is better to completely exclude them from the diet. In particular, aspartame or the E951 additive (thanks to the manufacturers) is very often added to the gum as a sugar substitute. It is dangerous because, when it enters the stomach and breaks down, it turns into a toxic substance. The additive itself is harmless, but at temperatures above 30 degrees (and, as you know, the human body temperature is 36 degrees), it decomposes into methanol and other toxic substances. Hence, it follows that the content of this substance still negatively affects our body.
Fact # 4: Only healthy people can chew gum
And even they should be careful and, as I said, it should be chewed only after eating. The amount of gastric juice during chewing on an empty stomach increases, and this disease (for example, gastritis) aggravates. By the way, gastritis in this way will be more likely to develop into an ulcer. Chewing gum after a meal, on the other hand, improves enzyme production and helps digest food better.
Fact # 5: Swallowing gum is not scary
Contrary to popular myth, if we swallow chewing gum, nothing bad will happen. Our body is able to digest almost all soft substances that enter it, and gastric juice and enzymes are strong enough to cope with this. Therefore, do not be afraid that the swallowed gum will get stuck somewhere and will not be excreted.
Milana Chibirova (@stomatolog_milana_ch)
Fact # 6: Chewing gum prevents periodontal disease
Periodontal disease can occur for various reasons - due to avitominosis, diabetes, and simply because of microbes in the oral cavity. In this case, chewing gum acts as a means of additional hygiene, since using it after each meal, you will reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. During chewing, salivation increases and thus food remains between the teeth are removed. This means that the prevention of caries and the formation of tartar will help prevent inflammation of the gums - periodontal disease.
Fact # 7: Chewing gum changes the pH of the mouth
This is indeed the case - again, due to increased salivation. Saliva generally performs a protective function in the oral cavity, since it not only washes away plaque and gets rid of food debris (remember that it can never replace dental floss and a brush), but also delivers useful phosphates and calcium to the teeth, and also maintains healthy acid alkaline balance (aka pH). Therefore, proper chewing of chewing gum for the oral cavity is only beneficial.
Fact # 8: Chewing gum is a jaw trainer
Doctors often recommend using gum as a trainer not only for the jaws and gums, but also just for the muscles of the face. The chewing process strengthens the jaw joint, but for this it is not necessary to resort to the help of exclusively chewing gum. Carrots and apples will help in the same way. Thus, chewing will really strengthen the facial muscles, but the measure is important in everything: this "simulator" is safe only for 15 minutes after a meal.
Fact # 9: Xylitol Gum is the Least Bad for Teeth
But you should not use gum with sugar - they will not only provoke the multiplication of microbes in the oral cavity, but will also lead to an increase in the level of glucose and insulin in the blood. Fructose in the composition is also undesirable: it causes the development of insulin resistance and will directly negatively affect digestion.
But the presence of fluoride and xylitol in the gum will prevent the formation of plaque and caries. It's also good if the gum contains aluminum lactate - it reduces bleeding gums and reduces inflammation.
Fact # 10: Chewing gum does not whiten teeth
Do not believe the slogans and snow-white smiles of those who chew gum in commercials - chewing gums do not have a whitening effect, but only additionally cleanse the oral cavity. They can get rid of plaque, but still an ordinary toothbrush will cope with it much faster and more efficiently. Read here how to brush your teeth correctly.
Text: Anastasia Speranskaya