Does Chewing Gum Kill Your Appetite—or Your Stomach?

A new study, sponsored by the Wrigley Chewing Gum company reports that chewing gum can help to reduce calorie intake and burn up energy.

The study, done at the University of Rhode Island (URI), evaluated the effects of chewing sugar-free gum on weight management, and was supported by a $25,000 research award from the Wrigley Science Institute and reported to the annual meeting of the Obesity Society in the US this week.

According to Kathleen Melanson, associate professor of nutrition and food sciences at URI, nerves in the muscles of the jaw are stimulated by the motion of chewing and send signals to the appetite section of the brain that is linked to satiety, which may explain why the act of chewing might help to reduce hunger.

The study’s results show that when the study subjects chewed gum for a total of one hour in the morning (three 20-minute gum-chewing sessions), they consumed 67 fewer calories at lunch and did not compensate by eating more later in the day.

The nutritionist also reported that the male participants also reported feeling significantly less hungry after chewing gum.

According to Melanson, when her subjects chewed gum before and after eating, they expended about five per cent more energy than when they did not chew gum. In addition, she reported that her subjects reported feeling more energetic after chewing gum.

OK, well now chew on this…

When you chew gum, your salivary glands produce saliva. When you salivate, a signal is sent from your brain to your stomach that food is on its way, and you begin to secrete gastrointestinal juices in anticipation of the food….then, the food never comes. This may leave you feeling hungrier than before – because you told your brain that food was on the way, yet it wasn’t. What happens to all of those gastric secretions? Can that be good for your stomach?

 

Food for thought!

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