These 5 Common Chewing Gum Ingredients Are Linked to Cancer and More
My kids think I’m crazy, but I really think that chewing sugarless (or any) gum will be a taboo like smoking. It’s handed around so freely and bothers me when people offer it to my kids because of the reasons you will read below.
I used to be addicted to chewing gum…Hubba Bubba, Wrigley’s, then sugarless gum like Extra. I couldn’t figure out why I was always bloated and had headaches…then I started reading…and when you know better you do better.
I quit…and I’ve been off gum for about 15 years…thank you! No easy feat because it used to stop me from eating, calmed my nerves, and freshened my breath. But let me tell you, my stomach thanks me, my brain thanks me….in fact I feel a whole lot better and don’t miss it at all!
What’s in the sugarless gum anyway… and it’s not just sugarless gum….
If your gum is sugar-free, there’s a good chance it contains the artificial sweetener aspartame. Aspartame is metabolized inside your body into both wood alcohol (a poison) and formaldehyde (which is a carcinogen used as embalming fluid and is not eliminated from your body through the normal waste filtering done by your liver and kidneys). It’s been linked to birth defects, cancers, brain tumors and weight gain.
2. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
BHT is so toxic it’s already been banned in many other countries. In the US, it’s often used as a preservative in chewing gum and other processed foods. BHT has been linked to organ system toxicity, including kidney and liver damage, hyperactivity in children and may be carcinogenic.
3. Calcium Casein Peptone (Calcium Phosphate)
Found primarily in Trident gum, it’s thought this ingredient may be used as a whitening agent or texturizer. As a highly processed milk derivative, little is known about its long-term ingestion, although casein was previously linked to baby formula poisonings in China.
4. Gum Base
It’s quite a mystery what “gum base” is actually made out of, but the investigators found it’s usually a blend of elastomers, resins, plasticizers and fillers. Most manufacturers do not reveal more specifics than this. After all, why would they want you to know that you’re potentially chewing on petroleum-derived paraffin wax, polyvinyl acetate (carpenter’s glue) and talc, which is linked to cancer.
5. Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide is often used as a whitening agent in chewing gum, but it’s been linked to autoimmune disorders, asthma, and Crohn’s disease and is potentially carcinogenic. One study found children are highly exposed to titanium dioxide in confections, with chewing gum containing the highest levels.2
Chewing Gum for Weight Loss Is a Myth
Many people chew a stick of gum as a way to help them curb sugar cravings and eat less. But chewing gum actually has little impact on your motivation to eat, your hunger and how much you end up eating.
Research has revealed that while those who chewed gum:
- Consumed fewer meals
- Ate more at the meals they did consume
- Their meals ended up being less nutritious than those eaten by non-gum-chewers.
- It’s also been shown that people who chewed gum were less likely to eat fruit and instead were more motivated to eat junk food like potato chips and candy. This is likely because the minty flavor in the gum makes fruits and vegetables taste bitter.
So if you’re thinking that chewing gum is going to help you control your weight, you’re probably being sorely misled. This is even true if you’re chewing sugar-free gum, as consuming artificial sweeteners can cause distortions in your biochemistry that may actually make you gain weight.
Also, when you chew gum the toxins enter your body, fat cells surround them…get the fat out…keep reading
Studies looking at this issue show very clearly that artificial sweeteners may actually cause:
- greater weight gain than sugar by stimulating your appetite, increasing carbohydrate cravings, and stimulating the secretion of hormones like insulin and leptin that signal the body to increase fat storage.
Chewing Gum May Harm Your Digestion and Your Teeth
It’s often overlooked that chewing has a very primal purpose.
Your body was designed to activate digestion through chewing, and a carefully coordinated neurological reflex activates the production of enzymes when you move your jaw in a chewing motion. However, chewing without eating food can be counterproductive. When you chew gum, you send your body physical signals that food is about to enter your body. The enzymes and acids that are activated when you chew gum are therefore released, but without the food they’re intended to digest. This can cause bloating, an overproduction of stomach acid, and can compromise your ability to produce sufficient digestive secretions when you actually do eat food.
Furthermore, chewing sugar-free gum is often marketed as a tool for dental health, as the sugar alcohol xylitol, which is popular in sugar-free foods and chewing gum, has been found to help fight tooth decay. However, a label of “sugar-free” should not automatically be taken to mean “safe for your teeth.”
Improve the health of your teeth…keep reading
Sugar-free gum often contains acidic flavorings and preservatives that may in fact lead to dental erosion even if it contains cavity-fighting xylitol. Unlike cavities, dental erosion is a process of incremental decalcification, which, over time, literally dissolves your teeth. I generally recommend avoiding gum chewing, but if you do chew gum, do so only occasionally or right before a meal when the acid and enzyme stimulation may actually be beneficial. I also suggest you look for natural alternatives, such as chewing gum made from the chicle tree. An even better alternative would be to switch to mints such as Pur, drink more water and figure out what is behind you wanting to chew gum. Are you nervous, need calming down, freshen breath, etc.? Notice when you do it and begin to change.
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Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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