Is Gum Bad For You?
What a dumb idea for a post. everyone knows gum is harmless.
- You can get it everywhere and doesn’t have any warning labels.
- It helps clean plaque and give you fresh breath.
- Gum is an ally in our fight for dental hygiene.
- It is natural. If I remember right it is made from a rubber tree plant.
But I am a curious type of guy so I first looked at my pack of Extra gum to see what was in there. Nothing on there.
So I went to the website. Now get this. Nothing on there. If you click on product info you get this
“Get all the essential Extra chewing gum facts, from ingredients to nutrition, as well as information on Extra gum flavors including Extra mint flavors, Fruit Sensations®, and many more. Be sure to visit our website to learn more about Extra Gum.”
So you click on that and it takes you to a sales page. No info at all. Suspicious? Don’t you have to list the ingredients somewhere?
I had to go to Livestrong.com to find out that it is generically made out of “Gum base, sweeteners, softeners and bulking agents, and flavorings all comprise this gum”.
I have no idea what this is so I decided to dig deeper and I found this on www.healthwyze.org. Here is the exact link to the article,
Before you look at this, remember a couple of things.
1. You may be dealing with a small piece of gum but the process of chewing gum for an extended period is an efficient way for the body to absorb whatever is in the gum.
2. You may take the stance “that everything gives you cancer so why worry about it?”. Then don’t but if you do, take 5 minutes and type the ingredients in gum into http://scholar.google.com/ and see what comes up. It woke me up in a hurry.
3. Combine ingredients that are at best untested and at worst proven to be horrible for you, combine it with an efficient delivery system and you multiply the consequences. This is science.
4. The best recommendation I could find online is from the Glee Gum Company. I am not involved with them in any way. I just ordered a case to try it out. They sell it on Amazon and it is all natural. It does have sugar so it may not be suitable for certain people.
Here is the article.
|Written by C. Thomas Corriher|
People do not typically ingest gum, so they pay very little attention to its ingredients. The assumption is that if the gum is not swallowed, then the ingredients should not be a concern. However, the ingredients in gum travel into the blood stream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb directly through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion.
Gum is typically the most toxic product in supermarkets that is intended for internal use, and it is likely to kill any pet that eats it. Commercial gum products contain roughly the same list of toxic ingredients, with differing labeling, which is virtually always designed to mislead.
Common Ingredients of Gum
After looking at several different brands of chewing gum, we found that these were the most common ingredients:
• Gum base
• Artificial and natural flavoring
• Acesulfame potassium
• Calcium casein peptone-calcium Phosphate
• Candelilla wax
• Sodium stearate
• Titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide is so cancerous that external skin contact is enough to cause cancer. Be reminded that all of these ingredients absorb directly into the blood stream through the walls of the mouth. Some of these ingredients are explained in-depth, because it is prudent to correct the myth that chewing gum is harmless and even good for you (e.g. “it strengthens the teeth”).
The “Sugar-Free” Sugar Alcohols
Sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol are sugar alcohols. These are usually made from sugar, and they frequently increase the blood sugar just as much as eating sugar. However, manufacturers make deceptive “sugar-free” claims about sugar alcohols, since these ingredients are not pure sugar anymore. While such sugar derivatives aretechnically “sugar free” when the manipulative word games are employed, they nonetheless remain dangerous for diabetics, who are the very audience that these gums are marketed to. Let us not forget that the sugar alcohol containing gums are also marketed to improve our dental health. The sugar alcohols are even more chemically processed than white sugar is; and thus much more foreign to the body by virtue of its artificial nature, so we have reason to believe that these forms of chemical industry sugars will stimulate even more weight gain and inflammation than regular sugar. All of the evidence points in this direction. These chemically-extracted sugar alcohols are documented to cause abdominal pains and diarrhea, whilst aggravating various health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, the immune system takes a huge hit from exposure to them. This immune suppression will in turn cause greater yeast development in the body, which will lead to cavities and allergies.
Instead of telling customers what they are really chewing, the phrase “gum base” is used to generalize a list of ingredients that is never actually published. As the name implies, it is the foundation agent of chewing gum. We have tried exhaustively to find exactly what modern “gum base” is made from. We found the following babble repeatedly regurgitated by all of the major gum companies. It was obviously meant to derail serious research:
“Gum base is produced through a blend of raw materials which can be categorized in five classes:
- Elastomers, act as the key ingredient and provide elasticy
- Resins act as binders and softeners
- Plasticizers render the elastomer soft to ensure thorough blending of the gum base
- Fillers contribute to the overall texture
- Anti-oxidants prevent oxidation of the gum base and flavors during shelf life”
Since this was repeated identically at all websites that we looked at, we can only assume that all of these companies are actually owned by the same people, or at least they are working together as a cartel to cover-up an honest disclosure of what is in gum. We eventually confirmed that the ingredients of gum base are commercial trade secrets. None of the websites told us the full ingredients. For instance, exactly what plasticizer is used? Are people chewing on super-toxic PVC? The plasticizing agents could contain dioxins, and quite frankly, they probably do.
After much more research, we found one Chinese company who told us about their ingredients. Wuxi Yueda Gum Base Manufacture Co, Ltd said:
“It is made of several food grade raw materials, which are rubber (food grade), glycerol ester of rosin, paraffin waxes, polyvinyl acetates, talc powder and calcium carbonate.”
Glycerol ester of rosin is often made from the stumps of pine trees. It is used industrially to create fast-drying varnishes. The Internet is riddled with stories of people who had severe allergic reactions to it, usually causing a swollen throat that led to difficulty breathing. Glycerol ester of rosin is now being added to soft drinks, though federal limits ensure that its quantity remains under 100 P.P.M. This safety limitation does not apply to chewing gum.
Talc has been linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and fibrotic pneumoconiosis with just transdermal exposure. It is very rarely put into products that are to be consumed. The only other consumable products that we have seen containing talc arediet aids (most are extremely toxic). Talcum powder was once used on small children, but it has now been replaced with cornstarch, due to safety concerns. It is too dangerous to touch the skin, but absorbing it straight into the blood stream is apparently acceptable.
Polyvinyl acetate is not quite PVC. It is PVA. PVA is frequently referred to as “Carpenter’s glue” or simply “white glue”. Remember that this is not being used as an industrial product, but as something that children are frequently given to chew on (gum base is in bubble gum too). This ingredient compliments the paraffin wax, which is derived from refined petroleum.
Aspartame is one of the most controversial additives of all time, and sits alongside MSG and saccharin in terms of both consumer distrust and poor safety. Its presence in foods has nothing to do with safety, but everything to do with politics and money. Aspartame has been linked to just about every health condition known, from seizures to brain tumors. Some epileptic patients have recovered from their condition simply by eliminating this toxin from their diets. It is found in diet foods, diet drinks, and sugar-free products as an alternative to sugar. Aspartame is a solution that remains worse than the problem. Aspartame is an excitotoxin, which means that it over-excites the neurons in the brain, until they burn out, causing lowered intelligence and a host of neurological problems. Aspartame causes diabetes, fibromyalgia, lowered I.Q., obesity, multiple sclerosis, asthma, insomnia, muscle spasms, and a total of 92 known symptoms.
Acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K) has similar properties to aspartame, and it is believed to be a carcinogen. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the F.D.A. for a stay of approval, due to the lack of testing done on this substance. Studies on animals have shown a correlation between acesulfame potassium and various tumors.
While we would love to be able to provide information about calcium casein peptone (calcium phosphate), we cannot. We simply do not know. Its only appearance is in Trident gum (the worst brand), and we were unable to find studies or any other information about it. It might be a whitening agent. It is important to note that casein is a milk extract that was linked with the Chinese baby formula poisonings. Trust this ingredient at your own risk, but we would never encourage the use of something that has its research censored from the public. That tends to be a bad sign.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a preservative that has been linked to cancer. It was banned in the United Kingdom and Japan. It is unbelievably sold as a “dietary supplement”, and some people believe that it has anti-viral effects. So do gasoline and rat poison. We do not recommend it, because of the safety implications. It causes kidney and liver damage. Benjamin Feingold (creator of the Feingold Diet) linked it to hyperactivity in children in the 1970’s, as a large component of A.D.H.D.
For the sake of brevity, we shall discontinue examining the ingredients in chewing gum. Chewing gum is easily one of the most toxic products available, and it is difficult to ever know exactly what it contains due to vague terms such as “gum base” and “artificial flavors”. These reflect trade secrets, and the ingredients probably are made of hundreds of other ingredients that they are unwilling to disclose. Manufacturers maintain that customers have no right to know.
Natural gum is available, which is made from chicle, a tree that is native to Central America. There was a time when all chewing gum was made from it, but using it incurs more manufacturing expense. Natural gum can be purchased online or from health food stores.
Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved.