What is the problem with chewing gum? Chewing is healthy and we should do it much more. We cannot eat as much as we like, then we become overweight. But what’s wrong with chewing gum? The problem with plastic chewing gum is that it is harmful to your body. On the one hand, the base in ordinary chewing gum is made of plastic. If you are afraid of plastic poisoning, you should refrain from that reason. But the biggest problem is the sweet taste.
Sugar Is Brain Doping
When chewing gum was launched in the United States, sugar was added. Sugar contains glucose which is fuel for the brain. Chewing increases the blood flow to the brain. It made you feel alert and in a good mood. Chewing gum with sugar is like brain doping. For that reason, the US Army gave chewing gum to its soldiers during WWI. There was only one problem: Sugar corrodes the teeth. When you chew, the sugar is baked into the bolus and releases slowly into the mouth. In the long run, it would prove to be very harmful.
Wrigley’s Early Child Advertising
Chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley’s invested in children’s advertising. They gave away sugary chewing gum to American children as a two-year present. A few packets of chewing gum were enough to create an addictive craving for more. The small child’s brain cannot resist sugar. To get chewing gum as a birthday gift reinforced the positive feeling. Making children addicted to chewing gum was very profitable. This creates lifetime consumers who have time to buy many packages before they die. Wrigley became one of the richest men in the US.
Sugar Sweet Destroyed the Teeth
The generations that grew up in the 20th century often suffered from caries. The problem with sugar chewing gum was that it ruined the teeth. The teeth that could be repaired were filled with dental amalgam, the rest had to be extracted. Many got false teeth before they were 25 years old. In the 1960s, researchers realized that sugar was behind the caries epidemic. Therefore, dentists began to warn against chewing gum. Wrigley’s and the other chewing gum manufacturers then exchanged sugar for the newly discovered, artificial sweeteners that were available. The chewing gum now relaunched as a dental product. The sweeteners did not give energy to the brain, but they did not give caries either.
Artificial Sweeteners Damage the Gut Microbiota
What was not known then was that the sweeteners had even greater harmful effects, not on the teeth but on the intestinal bacteria and internal organs. Common sweeteners (Sorbitol, Xylitol and Mannitol) are Polyols. Polyols should be avoided if you have gastrointestinal problems. The letter “P” in FODMAP stands for Polyol. The problem with chewing gum that contains Polyol is diarrhea, bloating, and stomach cramps. Even if you do not have IBS, you can get these problems from Polyols. They are simply harmful to the intestinal flora. Therefore, many manufacturers have switched to sweetening with Aspartame.
Aspartame Can Be Even Worse
Aspartame is found in more than 6,000 food products around the world. The substance is approved by FDA, but most people are not aware of how controversial Aspartame is. Aspartame has been shown to cause fatty liver and glucose intolerance. Another problem is that Methanol is formed when the body takes care of Aspartame. Methanol is toxic and breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde which are even more toxic. Formic acid can make you blind. Formaldehyde causes genetic damage and is classified as carcinogenic to humans.
What Can You Chew Instead?
Elastic chewing gum is an excellent alternative. They are not made of plastic and contain no sweeteners. If you want to have a taste you can store them in mouthwash (without sweeteners). They do not change shape when chewed and reuses over and over. Therefore, they are cheaper in the long run than buying regular plastic chewing gum. Elastic chewing gums have much better chewing resistance. In addition, they are more eco-friendly, both for the body and for nature.