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Does chewing gum really stay in the stomach for 7 years? What happens if we swallow it
Written by SOT.COM.AL 27 Shtator 2023
If you've accidentally swallowed a piece of gum and wondered what happens after it, then you'll find an answer below.
How long can chewing gum stay in the stomach? There is a claim that chewing gum can stay in the stomach for seven years after we have swallowed it, but according to experts this is not true, cites CNN.
"It's an old wives' tale," said Simon Travis, professor of clinical gastroenterology at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
"I have no idea where the myth came from, I can only imagine it was suggested because someone wanted to stop their kids from chewing gum," he added.
Chewing gum is harmful to the body only if it is done in excess, which is very rare. He explained that swallowing three or more pieces of gum per day would be considered excessive.
"If you swallow gum, it will go through your stomach, into your intestines, and come out unchanged on the other side. There are times when chewing gum settles in the intestines of babies and even children if they have swallowed too much and then this causes an obstruction. But in over 30 years of specialized gastro practice, I have never seen a case," the doctor added.
Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics and chief health officer at Indiana University, has written several books that debunk myths about the body. Carroll agreed that chewing gum wouldn't hurt you, but he wouldn't recommend it again.
"It has no nutritional value. Chewing gum is made from sweeteners, flavors and aromas. The base of the rubber is a mixture of elastomers, resins, fats, emulsifiers and waxes. So I wouldn't say it's healthy."
How long have people been chewing gum?
Before chewing gum was sold in the packets we see today, it was used by ancient peoples to quench thirst and hunger, according to Jennifer Mathea, a professor of anthropology at Trinity University in San Antonio.
When should you worry about chewing gum?
If you're not in pain or you've swallowed too much gum, Travis and Carroll say there's no need to see a doctor. However, for people with problems with their gastrointestinal tract, or the gastrointestinal tract, which is a series of organs joined together in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus, swallowed gum can cause problems.