Chewing gum for health: Is it beneficial or harmful?

Do you like chewing gum? Now there’s a reason to prefer it, if chew it for five minutes may be sufficient to improve cognitive functions of people, especially the students, according to research conducted at St. Lawrence University, United States. Study applied by psychology professor Serge Onyper, resulted that students who chewed gum for five minutes before taking a test, they did better than students who didn’t. There’re many arguments about chewing gum; some says it’s good while for others it’s bad. In fact, the gum is neither good nor bad, it all depends. Here’re some points, help to explain whether chewing gum for health is beneficial or harmful.

Sugarless gum contains Sorbitol, a laxative that can cause chronic diarrhoea and stomach pain if ingested in excess. However we should not consume more than five grams of Sorbitol per day. Spartame, a sweetener used in some sugarless gum contains phenylalanine, a substance dangerous for people with Phenylketonuria, a hereditary disease that affects brain development, but for healthy phenylalanine adults, it is safe.

Chewing gum that contains sugar should be as fattening and cause cavities. Gastritis sufferers should not use the chew gums, as they can suffer problems of excessive intestinal gas. It can also be a cause of jaw pain. Chewing gum forces the Temporomandibular joints and, if these tire out, closing the mouth is distorted, If you chew gum 20 minutes daily with tiring gums jaw pain can be  worsen. Don’t use gum as a food, it can generate gas, heartburn, intestinal irritation and even diarrhoea.

According to a study regarding chewing gum for health, consumption of chew gum relieves anxiety, improves alertness, increases concentration and reduces stress. In fact, after chewing gum, levels of Cortisol, the stress hormone in saliva are reduced up to 16%. In turn, the tests revealed that chewing gum can significantly increase brain performance when multitasking activities develop, even to 109% better results.

The other benefit of it is, chewing gum doubles the flow of saliva, and saliva neutralizes acid in food and beverages. This is greatest benefit of chewing gum for health. In addition, saliva contains calcium and iron phosphate, both beneficial for teeth. The greater flow of saliva facilitates the passage of solid and liquid food down the esophagus and helps neutralize acid in the body. You should choose a fruit-flavored gum and avoid mint-flavored.

Chewing gum has a calming effect; a study in Australia showed that it reduces anxiety by more than 17% in stressful situations, which could be due to increased blood flow to the brain. Also, it helps to quit smoking; nicotine gum has helped many people to quit. In Canada it is tested, and prepared a chewing gum for patients with diabetes containing metformin, a drug that controls glucose. Today it is sold as tablets, but soon could be a version for kid’s sweet gum.

In summary, Chewing gum for health can be beneficial or harmful, but some experts believe that gum is an action of chewing actually helps your teeth and gums. The important thing is chewing stimulates hormones to produce saliva. You can also achieve the same benefits eating a piece of hard cheese at the end of meals, as it also stimulates saliva flow, and provides calcium, iron phosphate and casein. Unlike the gum, you can carry cheese in your handbag or pocket.

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