A number of people have asked me this question, so it's
time for me to write about it.
The question: Is gum chewing OK?
Well, not really. In fact, based on what is in most
chewing gum, it's actually not good at all. It's bad. And
since the gum being chewed adds up to over 100,000 TONS per
year--it's creating TONS of health problems among chewers.
Because on the scale of things that you can put in your
mouth that is good and bad, chewing gum ranks right down
there with soda as one of the worst.
It used to be made from tree sap (chicle), so at least
back then it was a more natural substance. (One of the
original gums marketed in the US was called "Chiclets"
playing on the name of its main ingredient.)
But now most chewing gums are made up of four major
ingredients: "Gum base" (more on that below), sugar,
softeners, and artificial colorings and flavorings
Gum base is made of elastomers (rubber), resins (wax),
plasticizers (plastic), fillers (more stuff we were never
meant to put in our mouths) and preservatives (more
In a nutshell, you'd be pretty close to chewing gum if you
chewed on some sugary, wax-coated rubber bands.
Here are some of the things you won't see in those
Gum is 80% sugar and high fructose corn syrup (THE single
worst form of sugar on the planet)
Sugar in any form is addictive and bad for you, but high
fructose corn syrup is downright deadly.
In addition to making you fat, it increases insulin in
your blood and can cause or worsen:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- mood swings and personality changes
- mental illness and nervous disorders
- concentration and learning difficulties in children
It also adds to your acidity, so it helps make your body
the ideal breeding ground for cancer, osteoporosis, lupus
and all kinds of inflammation, infections and disease.
Plus having such a high concentration of sugar right on
the teeth causes them to decay and rot.
Wanting to avoid sugar, many people chew sugarless gum.
Even the American Dental Association recommends chewing
sugarless gum to help clean your teeth after eating.
There's just one small problem with that: Aspartame is a
known carcinogen (cancer causer) that's about as safe for
you as arsenic.
The list of it's horrible side effects is very long, so I
won't print them here, but do an internet search on
"Aspartame side effects" and see for yourself.
My advice is, if you want to clean your teeth after
eating, brush them.
Also, shame on the ADA for turning a blind eye to the
dangers of aspartame and actually telling people to ingest
Teasing the digestive system
Our mouths were never designed to be constantly chewing.
When you chew, your brain thinks you're taking in food and
secretes digestive enzymes in the mouth. Then it signals
the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas to secrete more
enzymes for what it believes to be food coming down to the
stomach that needs to be digested.
All of this is fine when you're actually eating food. But
when you're not, all that excess acid causes gas and
bloating. So, gum does cause gas and bloating, yes.
Plus chewing gum after a meal contributes to even greater
excess acidity in the stomach (much like a badly combined
meal), giving you more gas and bloating, plus heartburn,
cramps, and poorly digested food that leads to constipation
Gum chewing is a major cause of temporomandibular joint
dysfunction (TMJ)--a very painful condition where the joint
that connects the lower jaw to the skull becomes inflamed
and can begin cracking and popping.
TMJ can also cause headaches, earaches and facial pain.
The bad breath myth
Halitosis comes from badly digested food and toxins in the
stomach and colon--not the mouth.
So all the Dentyne in the world will not get rid of your
bad breath--that has to come from inside with what you eat.
The bottom line: Avoid making the food giants any richer
and stay away from gum.
If you need a little pick-me-up during the day, Great
Taste No Pain gives you some great suggestions for snacks
and drinks that taste far better than some artificially
flavored rubbery stuff.
Plus, when your body is satisfied with good, real food,
you have less cravings for sweet things like candy, gum and
Give it a shot, and leaving the chewing to the cows.
To your health,
PS: Laura is now weaning herself off of Prilosec:
3 years ago I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and
gastritis and was prescribed Prilosec and I was also taking
Tums on top of that.
About 10 years ago I began suffering from anal
incontinence either because of what I was eating or how
much I was eating, I figured.
A friend of mine in Florida that also has a hiatal hernia
came across your web site and sent it to me. I have never
been so grateful!
I am weaning myself off of Prilosec (I really am so
totally against putting chemicals in my body) haven't had
Tums since I've been receiving your email updates, am
losing pounds I've struggled with for ages and cannot tell
you how "fine" my tummy feels and have had no "accidents"
in 2 weeks.
I have no pinching in the hernia area, I don't feel
bloated anymore, and if I do eat something or a combination
of something not recommended by you, I immediately feel the
discomfort and it doesn't even taste good anymore when I do
Thank you for your research, thank you for caring, and
thank you for taking this holistic path that I so crave.