Your mother or your teacher may have told you about the dire effects of chewing gum, “it’s bad for your teeth”, or “it’s an ugly habit”, and it’s definitely no fun stepping on a piece someone’s dropped on the ground. Contrary to what they may have told you, however, recent research proves chewing gum can have real benefits for those on a weight management plan. According to a study conducted by a professor of nutrition at the University of Rhode Island, chewing gum can actually reduce caloric intake and increase energy expenditure. This is great news for those looking for an effective weight management tool.
Though it doesn’t count as “exercise“, apparently the nerves involved in the act of chewing send signals to the area of the brain that determines whether you’re “full”. Consequently you may not feel hungry, and your calorie consumption may go down as a result.
Kathleen Melanson, URI associate professor of nutrition and food sciences, compared gum chewing to non-gum chewing in healthy adult volunteers who came to her lab for two standardized tests in random order. When study subjects chewed gum for a total of one hour in the morning (three 20-minute gum-chewing sessions), they consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and did not compensate by eating more later in the day. Male participants also reported feeling significantly less hungry after chewing gum. Melanson also found that when her subjects chewed gum before and after eating, they expended about 5 percent more energy than when they did not chew gum. In addition, her subjects reported feeling more energetic after chewing gum.
“This was a short term study, so the next step is to do a longer study and to use subjects who need to lose weight,” said Melanson. “But based on these initial results, one could hypothesize that gum chewing may be a useful adjunct to a weight management program.” (full story)
Chewing sugary gum won’t make your dentist very happy, however.
The best alternative would be to find a sugarless gum sweetened with Xylitol, a natural sweetener that does double duty improving the health of your teeth. (Xylitol causes an increase in salivation. The saliva in your mouth is like a car wash: It washes the plaque and food off your teeth. But saliva also has antibodies, and by increasing those, you get a healthier mouth.)
Thanks for reading,
Andre Berger, M.D.
p.s. If you’re interested in what Rejuvalife has to offer for those looking for a medically managed weight loss program, view the video, below.