00 Votes

How long does it take for a piece of gum to be digested?

Question by Science5000 | 2012-07-18 at 23:02

It happens to me frequently, that I swallow chewing gums. Therefore, I wonder, what my stomach is doing with this actually unfamiliar content.

Does it take long to digest chewing gum or can a gum not be digested?

00 Votes

I have heard or read once, that the human stomach needs 7 years to digest a stick of gum. Therefore, you should not do it too often, because otherwise you collect the chewing gums in your stomach and sooner or later, the gums stick the stommach or may cause clogging.

Whether that is all true, I do not know. You know, how it is with such rumors and what some parents tell their children, so that they do this and not that.
2012-07-21 at 16:45

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0Best Answer0 Votes

Rumours, that chewing gums stick the stomach, are leading to constipations, or make the stommach seven years to work, I also hear again and again. But these assumptions are hogwash.

The truth is, that the stomach can not digest the gum and to the gum happens, what always happens when something can not be digested. It is excreted. And that does not take longer than normal digestion. So, if you look closely, you should find your chewing gum after a few days between undigested peas and grains.

It can only become bad, if you swallow large amounts of chewing gum, which can then clump in the stomach. This grafting possibly remains in the intestine getting stucked at any corner and can lead to a blockage. But one or two chewing gum should not be a problem.
2012-07-23 at 18:44

ReplyPositive Negative
00 Votes

Perhaps, the assumption of the 7 years comes from an experiment in which an attempt was made to decompose a chewing gum using stomach acid. And that lasted seven years. However, since the stomach content is excreted before, it will never come to that kind of "digestion".
2012-07-23 at 22:59

ReplyPositive Negative
00 Votes

In some chewing gums, sorbitol is included as a sweetener. And sorbitol can be used as a laxative. Therefore, even the opposite could happen and accroding to this theory, chewing gum provides a "rapid" digestion. But probably, the amounts per gum are so low that nothing will happen.
2012-07-26 at 15:24

ReplyPositive Negative

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