Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hey there, Head Squeezers, I hope you're well.

  • A corker of a question in from Cosmic66, who asks 'What happens if you swallow your chewing gum?'

  • Brilliant!

  • Now I remember my mum used to say to me "Don't swallow your chewing gum because it will get stuck between your ribs and will stay in your stomach for seven years. "

  • Give us a thumbs up if you also heard that old chestnut!

  • Or indeed if you swallow your chewing gum like Tom the cameraman who often does it.

  • Anyway, first of all, we've been kicking back for a chew for centuries right back in 7000 BC, in Northern Europe, there's evidence that we chewed small bits of black tar.

  • Each to their own, I guess.

  • But if you do swallow your own chewing gum these days don't worry your stomach can deal with it.

  • Say you swallow something like a tasty burger, it goes down into your stomach where your stomach acid and enzymes start digesting it.

  • Then it's over to your intestines with a little bit of help from your liver and your pancreas start breaking it down further into something your body can use for energy.

  • So what about chewing gum?

  • Well, your body can use the sweeteners, the flavourings and the softeners for fuel but the gum base does hang around for a little while.

  • And that's because the synthetic chemicals that make the gum chewy have no role in the body.

  • So just like the bouncer at a night club, it will kick the troublemaker out the back door, if you know what I mean.

  • So for once, my mum was wrong on this one, it doesn't hang around for years, just a little while.

  • But get this, there was a journal in 1998 that studied three cases of kids who constantly swallowed their chewing gum.

  • There was one four year old girl who swallowed so much that she ended up with, and I quote, "multiple spheres of chewed gum congealed into a rectal mass."

  • Lovely stuff.

  • Anyway, that's all the time I got right now.

  • If you do have any questions on stuff you've always wondered about, then send them in on twitter, on Facebook or in the comments below.

  • And just like the old chewing gum adverts used to say, if you enjoyed this, please share it with a friend.

  • Happy Head Squeezing!

Hey there, Head Squeezers, I hope you're well.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it