Monday, January 13, 2014

Shortterm Results Of Eating Sugarfree Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum can have both good and bad effects. The good news is that chewing sugar-free gum after meals may help reduce the incidence of cavities. The bad news is that gum that contains the artificial sweetener sorbitol can cause digestive problems, especially when chewed in excess. Moderation is the key to avoiding problems.

Neutralizes Plaque

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals stimulates the flow of saliva, which neutralizes the acidity of plaque present in the mouth after eating. In turn, that may help prevent the formation of cavities. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that children who chewed sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals had approximately 10 percent fewer incidents of new tooth decay than children who had not chewed the gum.


Sugar-free gums that contain sorbitol can cause diarrhea. Roger Clemens, professor of pharmacology at the University of Southern California, says the reason is that the body does not absorb sorbitol well, which causes excess water to enter the digestive tract, and that can cause diarrhea. He suggests consuming sorbitol in moderation. Since sorbitol is not only in chewing gum, but also in some candies and even some toothpastes, you should be aware of your total intake from all sugar-free products.

Sorbitol Versus Aspartame

Most sugar-free gum sold in the United States contains aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet, rather than sorbitol. According to Dr. Bret Lashner, a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, aspartame will not cause the same digestive problems that sorbitol causes. Lashner recommends checking the labels of the sugar-free gum and other sugar-free products you consume to see if they contain sorbitol.

Extreme Weight Loss

In a report published in the British Medical Journal, Herbert Lochs, professor of internal medicine at Humboldt University in Berlin and Juergen Bauditz, a gastroenterologist at the University of Berlin, described how two avid chewers of sugar-free gum containing sorbitol lost an unsafe amount of weight as a result of severe diarrhea caused by the gum. While many people, of course, want to lose weight, the severe weight losses in these cases, combined with other associated digestive problems, caused serious health problems. The patients described in the report were chewing about 15 to 20 pieces of sorbitol-containing gum per day, and were also eating a substantial amount of sorbitol-containing candy.

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