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Monday, February 9, 2009

The benefits of sugarless gum may go beyond healthier teeth

Recently, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found that sugar free gum helped bladder patients have bowel movements sooner than those who did not chew gum. This may be an important discovery because bladder surgery and other abdominal surgeries cause the bowels to stop working for as many as four days. During this time, patients may suffer from painful bloating, nausea, and even vomiting. Researchers, found that sorbitol (a sweetener in most sugarless gums) had a laxative effect upon patients who were constipated.

Although, this study found that sugarless gum has a laxative effect on patients, other studies has shown that chewing sugarless gum has no laxative effect at all. Still, other studies have found that chewing too much sugar free gum may lead to chronic diarrhea and unhealthy weight loss.

Also, for what it's worth, casual gum chewers are not likely to feel the laxative "benefits" of sugarless gum because an individual has to chew at least a pack of gum a day to experience the laxative benefits of sugarless gum.

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