Saturday 10 December 2016

Busting the myths - Here’s what really happens when you swallow gum

Published 21/06/2016 | 12:52

Chewing gum (stock image)
Chewing gum (stock image)

“If you swallow a piece of chewing gum, it will take seven years to digest.”

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That’s what we’re told our whole lives, making our hearts pound when we accidentally swallow a piece.

However, it turns out the worrying statement is nothing but a myth.

It’s true that not all of chewing gum can be digested, but must of it can.

The sugars, flavourings and softeners in gum don’t pose a problem for the digestive system, Dr Lisa Ganjhu told Buzzfeed.

It’s the base of the gum that doesn’t digest easily, but that doesn’t mean it gets stuck in your gut forever.

It eventually passes through the digestive tract, like all other foods we don’t absorb.

Whatever goes in must come out, as they say…

There’s no specific time-frame that it passes through in, as everyone’s digestive system is different.

The only way that chewing gum could stay in your system for a prolonged amount of time is if you swallow a really big piece, making it harder to digest, although you probably wouldn’t be able to swallow a piece that big to begin with.

The reason it isn’t advised to consume chewing gum is because it has no nutritional value, meaning there’s no logical reason to swallow it.

So next time you swallow a piece of chewing gum, don’t fear. The chances of it causing any problems or staying in your gut until 2023 are very low.

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