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Chewing Gum?
10 years ago

Go Figure - Bursting the Bubble on Chewing Gum

Chico Zapote tree where chicle gum comes from.Where Gum Comes FromDo you ever wonder what it is about chewing gum that gives you hours of chewing enjoyment? Why is it that the flavor disappears long before you get bored from blowing bubbles and chewing? Keep reading to find out what gum is made out of and why we can chew it for so long.

A Bit of History
Before WWII chewing gum was made from chicle and flavors. Chicle is sap that comes from the sapodilla tree. Basically, chicle is a form of rubber. Think of rubber bands. When you chew on rubber bands (gross!) they don't dissolve and neither does chicle. Chicle is a bit softer and hardens and softens according to temperature.

Chicle practically became non-existent after the war, so scientists were forced to come up with a new resin (tree sap or rubber.) Since then, gum bases have been made from various natural and unnatural resins. All of them become softer when heated and harder when cold, just like chicle. While a lot of natural resources are hard to come by for gum, the Wrigley Company still uses softener in the base which comes from pine trees found in some parts of the United States.

Chew on This
Enough of the history lesson. The main ingredients in gum are sugar, gum base, corn syrup, softeners, flavoring and coloring. Gum base is mostly plastic and rubber but it also might have latex which is a natural ingredient. Natural latex, such as chicle, is the sap from trees in the rain forest. Gum manufacturers like to keep their exact recipes secret.

So what you should have learned is that the reason gum doesn't dissolve in your mouth is because you are chewing on a wad of rubber and/or latex with a bit of flavoring. This also means that when you swallow gum it won't be digested so it comes out in one piece. It will, however, stay inside you for a few days.

Well†that is GROSS!

Luckily I do not chew regular gum!††I found the above article on:

10 years ago

Do you chew gum and have you found a healthy gum?

I do occassionally chew Xykichew that is available at Health food stores; here is what is in it:

* Xylichew Gum contains original latex from the sapodilla tree as its gum base. It contains no petroleum products.

Does not contain Sugar.

Ingredients: Sweeteners (xylitol 70 weight %), Gum Base (i.aoriginal latex from sapodilla tree) Natural Flavor, Gum Arabic, Lecithin, Glycerin, Beeswax, Carnaubawax. 100% Xylitol.

10 years ago
††ha ... glad I don't chew gum!
10 years ago

'Glee Gum is all natural chewing gum made with sustainably harvested rainforest chicle. It comes in three great flavors: cinnamon, peppermint and tangerine. Glee Gum is the #1 healthy alternative to synthetic chewing gum and bubble gum! Freshen your breath with Glee, Naturally!

[A]lmost all gum is now made completely from synthetic materials. Only Glee chewing gum, and some sold in the Far East contain chicle.

In Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize, chicle still represents an important part of the economy for the chicleros who harvest it. From September to January, a time of torrential rains, the chicleros hike out to remote parts of the rainforest, seeking either virgin chicle trees or those that were tapped several years before. They climb into the tree and make a series of cuts with their machete, taking care that they cut only deep enough to allow the white sap to bleed out, but not deep enough to expose the tree to insects or infection. Each tapping only yields about 2.5 pounds of gum over a six-hour period, and a chiclero will tap 6-12 trees a day in order to make his quota.

The movement for rainforest sustainability depends, in part, on non-timber forest products, advocating for renewable resources that can be made economically viable. Verve hopes that the forest can be more profitable standing than cut down.

Now there's something to chew on, along with your next piece of chicle-based gum!'


10 years ago

Thank you for that info on 'Glee Gum'; sounds like a very natural gum and they even make it sound like a good idea to consume it as they are making the rain forest sustainable.†

Does not look like it is available in Canada tho.

10 years ago

Here is some surprising info that some one told me about last year so I did a search and here is what I found.....another good reason to chew gum.

Chew Your Way to Better Study Habits

Uncover The Surprising Benefits of Chewing Gum

(NC)óWith year-end exams almost upon us, students across the country are starting to feel the pressure mount. To help them deal with this stressful time, the gum experts at Wrigley have pulled together a few simple tips to help ease the tension and improve study habits. Some may find it surprising that topping the list is the act of chewing gum.

You're probably wondering how chewing gum can help you with your studies. It just seems too easy! Well, there is compelling evidence to suggest that the simple act of chewing gum can help relieve stress and tension and increase focus and concentration.

Research has found that chewing gum stimulates certain areas of the brain (as measured by EEG), which may have a relationship to reducing tension. In addition, one study conducted in 2002 showed that chewing gum appeared to improve people's ability to retain and retrieve information.

So we say: chew away while you're studying for exams this year.

Above From:

Chewing gum expands the mind - Science - research finds it improves memory - Brief Article
Insight on the News, †April 15, 2002 †by Ellen Sorokin

Maybe walking and chewing gum at the same time shouldn't be so tough after all. A joint study carried out by the University of Northumbria and the Cognitive Research Unit in England has found that the act of chewing gum improves short- and long-term memory by as much as 35 percent.

"The results were extremely clear; specifically we found that chewing gum targeted memory," says Andrew Scholey, a scientist with the university's human cognitive-neuroscience unit who carried out the study. "People recalled more words and performed better in tests on working memory."

Why does chewing gum stimulate one's memory? Scientists don't know for sure, but they are working on two theories. One is that the gentle exercise of chewing raises a person's heart rate, which increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. Another is that chewing triggers the release of insulin, a natural chemical that stimulates a section of the brain involved in memory.

For the full†article go to:

4 years ago

I do occassionally chew Xylichew which is a natural gum (see info about it above). I find that if I am needing to stay focussed like when I am driving at night a long distance, it does help.

4 years ago

I like chewing on bee propolis.

4 years ago

What an alarming find! Made me think what would be a good alternative and found out that some like honeycomb...never heard of that, but if interested in reading about it here is a little article/video:

4 years ago

plus often it has artificial sweeteners

4 years ago

good thing I'm not into chewing gums 

4 years ago

Chewing gum was generally banned in the school where I can imagine the mess with a couple of hundred kids and chewing gum. However, it was allowed during the study times leading up to testing periods, and during the actual testing, based on the same information Diana posted above. I can't say definitively that it improved test results, but many many students thanked us for allowing the dispensation from usual rules, and told us that it "helped" during what they experienced as a very stressful time.

4 years ago

I gave up chewing gum a few years ago when I banned myself from buying anything from the compulsory aisle in the supermarket to improve my health habits. From an Ayurvedic perspective it is not a good idea being that we need time between meals to rest the digestive system and chewing activates it despite not putting anything in the stomach. Great info though. Thank you for sharing.

4 years ago

Chewing on frankincense can be very healthful. It will actually even cure joint pain.

Chewing Gum may Boost Mental Alertness
4 years ago

Chewing gum is often frowned upon by many but a new study published in the journal Brain and Cognition reveals that it may actually be beneficial to your mind as it boosts mental alertness and thinking by 10 percent.

The study, conducted by researchers at National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan, involved two groups of participants, one of whom chewed gum while the other did not. 

The participants were asked to perform a number of 30-minute tests which involved measuring alertness and reaction times by asking them to press a button with their left or right thumb according to the direction of an arrow on a screen. 

The researchers found that those who were chewing gum pressed the button within 493 milliseconds compared to 545 milliseconds by those who did not chew a gum. Brain scans also found that those who were chewing gum had higher amount of activity in regions of the brain responsible for movement and attention. 

Read more: Chewing Gum may Boost Mental Alertness | Medindia

This is why I chew gum when driving at night....sugar and artificial sugar free of course.

Thank you Miranda, Roxana and Sarvo for more reasons not to and to chew gum.

This post was modified from its original form on 18 Jul, 8:48

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