A quick glance down the checkout line at any grocery store will tell you how many options there are for sugar-free gum. These days people are watching their calories and opt for gum that is sugar-free and therefore calorie-free. However, the ingredients found in sugar-free gum are not well known. Though we don't swallow gum, its ingredients travel quickly through the body. It is wise to know what you are consuming when you chew sugar-free gum and the effect it has on your health.
Among the ingredients in sugar-free gum is Xylitol ('zi-le-tol). It is a natural sweetener found in plants, trees, fruits and vegetables. There are many benefits to this sweetener. Xylitol reduces cavities in those who chew sugar-free gum. This sweetener causes bacteria to lose its ability to sick to teeth. It also helps to reduce tooth decay. It reduces plaque that causes bad breath. Xylitol also aids in reducing ear infections. It is a healthy, natural sweetener used outside of sugar-free gum as well. Pregnant women use Xylitol when they have strep-throat bacteria, so it does not pass to the baby. Doctors recommend Xylitol for diabetics because it has no effect on blood sugar levels. Our bodies naturally produce up to 15 grams of Xylitol every day, so it is not foreign to the body.
Sorbitol is a controversial sugar-alcohol ingredient found in sugar-free gum. It is a natural laxative from fruits like pears and prunes. Some research found Sorbitol to be the cause of a condition called irritable bowel syndrome. Because of its laxative effect, Sorbitol can cause diarrhea, bloating and stomach cramps. The small intestine does not digest Sorbitol, which causes those symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, many packs of sugar-free gum have a warning about the laxative effects of consuming too much gum. Most people do not feel the effects of Sorbitol in moderation.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener made from aspartic acid. It appears in sugar-free gum as a calorie-free sweetener. Aspartame was first authorized on the market in the United States in 1974. It does not only appear in sugar-free gum, but in drinks, desserts and sweets. The ingredient has come under scrutiny for years for being toxic, causing brain tumors, epileptic seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and lupus. The debate is ongoing but the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner approved Aspartame stating, "Few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated, close scrutiny, and the process through which aspartame has gone should provide the public with additional confidence of its safety."
- Photo Credit man with gum image by Alexander Zhiltsov from Fotolia.com
A jawbreaker is a hard candy shaped like a small ball. Jawbreakers cannot be bitten until the candy has been sucked on...
Sugar Free Candy Ingredients
Sugar-free candy does not contain granulated or sugar in the raw, corn syrup or other organic sweeteners that might be called "real"...
Sugarless Gum Toxicity in Dogs
While many dog owners know chocolate is toxic to dogs, another sweet treat may pose an even bigger danger to your canine...
Ingredients of Eclipse Mints
Eclipse Mints are manufactured by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, better known as Wrigley, the famous makers of chewing gum. Wrigley first...
Health Effects of Chewing Gum
Chewing gum has been a human habit since prehistoric times, and the production and sale of chewing gum today is big business...
Ingredients in Chiclets
The Cadbury Company manufactures and sells Chiclets, a brand of chewing gum first invented by F. Henry Fleer in 1890. Early marketing...
The Ingredients in Freedent Gum
Freedent, the first non-stick chewing gum, was introduced by the Wrigley Company in 1975. Freedent was developed for those who can't chew...
What Is Gum Made of Now?
Gum is made of confectioner sugar, corn starch, chewing gum base, corn syrup, natural peppermint flavor and natural fruit flavors. Find out...