Is the chewing gum bad for our health? Before we answer that, let’s learn the history of the chewing gum – it was first made in America and actually the USA spread the chewing gum worldwide. The first brought the chewing gum in Europe, Africa and everywhere during World War II, when the American soldiers gave chewing gum as a present to people. And today everyone uses chewing gum to stop tears while chopping a lot of onions.
But is it actually bad for you? There are a lot of different types of chewing gums in stores containing different ingredients, longer-lasting flavor, with bolder colors and also a lot of different health risks.
Is it really bad for our health? It has a negative effect in the gut.
Here we can use the words of Hippocrates and the medical concept that food is medicine and that all illnesses come from the gut. But not even Hippocrates could know that this will come. Titanium dioxide is an ingredient that has been used in the production of chewing gum for years. This is an ingredient that can cause some serious damage to our health and today it is used in nanoparticle form. This is the most frightening cause why not to use chewing gum.
The Food and Drug Administration states that this ingredient is safe, and it is used in the nanoparticle form for making a bright white pigmentation in plastics, paints and also in chewing gum. It also is used in many other foods like bread, powdered white sugar – donuts and also candies. Besides the fact that it is states as a safe ingredient, the experts do not agree and say the opposite.
The journal NanoImpact published a study in 2017, which shows that ingredient like titanium dioxide from the nano-titanium oxide, actually cause a serious damage to the health of the gut. Experts have exposed the small intestinal cells for four hours to a meal’s worth of nanoparticles (acute exposure) or actually in five days they were exposed to three meal’s worth (chronic exposure). The results were stunning.
The chronic exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles can lead to:
- Slowed down metabolism
- Made the gut’s defense against pathogens weaker
- Weaker intestinal barrier
- Cause inflammation
- Obstructed the absorption of essential nutrient like fatty acids, zinc and iron
These nanoparticles have a negative effect on the microvili in the small intestines and they decreased their effectiveness. The microvili’s function is to get and absorb all the nutrients necessary for the body after they jut off the small intestinal cells.
This type of titanium dioxide can be found in many other things that we use every day, like we can get exposed to it from the toothpaste we use, and sometimes it is added in chocolates to make a the texture smoother and also in skim milk for a brighter look.
The Arizona State University, tested numerous products in 2012, and discovered the titanium dioxide nanoparticles presence in five percent, it was even found in some samples of mayonnaise and Twinkles. The Dunkin Donuts were pressures to remove the usage of nano-titanium dioxide in the powdered sugar in their donuts in 2015.
If you want to avoid the exposure of titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid food rich with it like processed foods – candy in particular. This is where the nanoparticles are consisted in high amount, says the study co-author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Binghamton University, State University of New York – Gretchen Mahler, PhD.
Beside the nanoparticles, the chewing gum also has emulsifiers to keep the flavor of the gum and also to prevent the gum form sticking to the teeth. But the bad news here is that the emulsifiers disturb the natural balance of the gut flora by acting like detergents in the digestive tract. Actually, it was confirmed by a study in the lab animals, that many emulsifiers which are added as food additives can actually cause colon cancer.
Here are some more reasons to avoid chewing gums
Adolescents and children who are experiencing tension migraines and headaches, the simple solution for them is just to stop chewing gums. The journal Pediatric Neurology published a study which showed a major improvement in 26 out of 30 adolescents who stopped chewing gum. 19 of the adolescents felt complete headache relief. The simple trick is without using any treatments or pills just nixing chewing gum.
So if you are also suffering from migraines and headaches, first get rid of your habit of chewing gums. The headaches, in teens can also be caused by smoking, skipping meals, menstruation, sunlight, noise, video games, hot weather, lack of sleep and stress. And the gum is another reason for that. Experts have not explainer whether the link between the headaches and the gum is in the artificial sweeteners or TMJ, but it doesn’t matter if the headaches stop when we avoid chewing gums.
No one expects artificial sweeteners in chewing gum, like it is common to find aspartame in diet soda. Many manufacturers of chewing gum use ingredients like xylitol, sucrolose, acesulfame K, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol and aspartame. And in some cases they even add multiple artificial sweeteners in one chewing gum product.
These artificial sweeteners can cause serious health conditions like kidney tumors, lymphoma, leukemia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver fat buildup, tooth decay and many more. What’s more disturbing is that acesulfame potassium or also called acesulfame K is a commonly found artificial sweetener in breast milk, and this can cause thyroid dysfunction. The sucralose can damage the gut, in a way that it disrupts the microbiome and damaging healthy levels of enzymes.
The more natural processed sugar alcohols – sorbitol and xylotol can cause an allergic reaction to those who are sensitive and these sugars are not absorbed well in the body. Diarrhea, cramping, gas and bloathing are the side effects of xylitol and the digestive sugar alcohol. Also more important is that it has a laxative effect which becomes part of the chemical makeup for a lot of people over the counter laxatives.
Important for dog owners: xylitol and the other sugar alcohol based sweeteners are highly toxic for dogs. Be careful of frozen desserts, sugar free gums, candies, breath mints and many other when it comes to your pets.
Better Bad-Breath Fighters & Gum Alternatives
Bad breath is the most frequent reason for using the chewing gum, but they are very dangerous for your health especially for the gut. But there are also safer ways to deal with bad breath. First you need to find out the reasons for your bad breath, and then you can try a natural way to deal with the bad breath:
- Consume parsley
- Consume a lot of water, and lemon water is also very beneficial
- Find out about the benefits of peppermint oil, but this is not recommended for younger children.
- Also oil pulling with coconut oil is good
- Do not consume added sugars and grains
So let’s see ‘If chewing gum is bad for your health?’
- Americans are the first ones to spread the chewing gum worldwide
- Chewing gum today has a lot of added flavors and artificial dyes. But the most dangerous is the nanoparticle sized titanium dioxide- which is added in all types of chewing gum, plastics, paint, bread and candy.
- The nano-titanium dioxide is used to create the vibrant white color, but experts state that it has a negative effect on the cells in the small intestine and it actually stops the absorption of essential nutrients, weakens the gut’s ability to prevent dangerous pathogens, increases inflammation, and slows the metabolism.
- Chewing gum can also cause severe headaches and migraines in adolescents and children.
- Some companies do not use any of these artificial and dangerous ingredients, and produce the chewing gums in an old-fashioned way, but they are more difficult to find.