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Healthy

  Chewing Gum  
 
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The primary reason for recommending chewing gum is for any xylitol content. Xylitol can be purchased at a health food store and used as a substitute for sugar or used on a toothbrush for direct application. Some toothpastes now contain xylitol. Personally, I use regular toothpaste, but after placing the toothpaste on the toothbrush, dip the toothbrush in a small container of xylitol and the sugar sticks to the toothpaste. Then brush away several times a day.<>
 

 
 

Chewing Gum can help with the following:
 
 
Digestion  Constipation
 Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute that is very low in calories simply because the human body cannot digest it. A known side effect of xylitol is that it can cause loose stools, so some people find it helpful for constipation.

  Heartburn / GERD
 Gum chewing can increase saliva quantity by 130%. Saliva is rich in esophageal protective factors including epidermal growth factor, mucin, proteins and prostaglandin E2.

A study found that chewing sugarless gum or walking after a meal can neutralize throat acid and relieve symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which can help neutralize and wash away the acid in your throat when swallowed. This approach worked better than walking, according to researchers, walking was found to be only mildly beneficial in reducing GERD. Researchers suggest that gum chewing after meals may provide relief for those who suffer from occasional heartburn, and chewing a gum that contains antacid may provide even more relief. [MSN News November 17, 2003]


Not recommended for:
  Dyspepsia / Poor Digestion
 If gas is a problem, one thing to keep in mind is the connection with sorbitol, a sweetener thatís used in many brands of sugar free gum. More than five or six sticks in a day and you may get a major case of wind and even diarrhea. "The bacteria that live in our colons absolutely love sorbitol," says gastroenterologist Charlene Prather, of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US. The bacteria breaks down the sorbitol, and that produces large amounts of gas that swell the colon and cause pain and cramps. So, cut back on gum containing sorbitol if your are using any.

Infections

  Periodontal Disease - Gingivitis
 Xylitol reduces the incidence of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is also a risk factor for damage to heart and blood vessels. In the presence of xylitol, bacterial adhesion to epithelial cells is disrupted. In an in vitro assay using a 5% solution of xylitol, researchers demonstrated that the mucosal attachment of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae was reduced by factors of 68% and 50%, respectively.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Susceptibility To Cavities
 Xylitol gum is the healthy gum that is good for your teeth. Xylitol is the natural sweetener used in chewing gum, mints and toothpaste that has the ability to fight cavities and dental plaque. It has received official endorsements from six national dental associations around the world because of its effectiveness.

Personally, I don't chew gum. Once a day, I place a small amount of toothpaste on the end of my toothbrush and then dip it into a small container of xylitol (available by the pound in a health food store or even some supermarkets), and them brush the teeth. Xylitol can also be substituted (perhaps up to 50%) when a baking recipe calls for sugar.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences