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  • Hey guys, Amy with you on DNews today talking about that most obnoxious of habits: gum chewing.

  • Whether you were told a gum-tree would grow in your tummy or that swallowed gum would

  • stick around for seven years, pretty much everyone was told to never swallow gum

  • But why?

  • What would happen if you did?

  • So let’s start with the obvious.

  • When we chew food, it disintegrates - that’s because we have an enzyme in our saliva that,

  • along with chewing, starts breaking down food.

  • Then we swallow it, and proteins and enzymes in our stomach breaks the food down further

  • so all the necessary nutrients are ready to be absorbed by our intestines.

  • What isn’t absorbed is excreted as waste along with other by-products our body wants

  • to get rid of.

  • But gum doesn’t disintegrate no matter how much we chew it and slobber on itit just

  • doesn’t start going through the digestive process in our mouths!

  • And this isn’t a new discovery.

  • Archaeologists have found tooth-marked lumps of birch bark tar dating back to the Mesolithic

  • period of the Stone Age.

  • Ancient Greek women chewed mastic to clean their teeth and freshen their breath; Native

  • Americans taught colonists they could quench their thirst by chewing a resin from spruce

  • trees; and in the 19th century, people chewed sweetened paraffin wax.

  • Until the Second World War, the base of gum was chicle, the latex sap from the sapodilla

  • trees.

  • Modern gum uses a synthetic or natural rubber that mimics the properties chicleit’s

  • rubber mixed with sweetener and flavours that release into your mouth when you chew it

  • appetizing, eh?

  • So swallowing gum comes down to swallowing rubber, which just sounds like it'd be bad

  • for your body!

  • I mean, the FDA classifies gum as a "nonnutritive masticatory substance”!

  • The bad part is that gum's base - that rubber - is not digestible; our bodies can break

  • down some of the sugars that give gum its sweetness and flavour but the wad of rubber

  • isn’t getting broken down.

  • On the plus side, our bodies have other ways of getting things out; our digest tract is

  • an active place.

  • Muscle contractions that move food through our bodies will help the gum wad along, and

  • itll eventually come out the other end.

  • It’s sort of like the husks of corn seeds.

  • Our bodies can’t digest them, but they don’t just pile up in our stomachs.

  • If you look closely, youll notice you pass those husks in a few hours or couple of days,

  • depending on your own digestive system.

  • But that doesn’t mean you should make a habit of swallowing gum.

  • Because it doesn’t get broken down, your body is pushing a significant mass through

  • your system, and if you add to that mass you could end up with an intestinal obstruction,

  • basically a blockage in the one tube that processes everything.

  • The immediate symptoms are stomach aches and constipation, but left untreated an obstruction

  • can get much worse.

  • But this is super rare.

  • So swallowing that one piece of gum probably isn’t going to kill you, but still, try

  • not to do it.

  • And need something to do while chewing that gum?

  • Why not binge on Sex Sent Me to the ER!

  • You can watch all the fun and other Discovery Life shows on the Discovery Life Go App!

  • Check it out and download for free at your App Store.

  • We once looked into whether or not gum is better than flossing; you can find the answer

  • here.

  • What weird gum myth have you heard?

  • Let us know in the comments, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe so you never

  • miss an episode of DNews.

Hey guys, Amy with you on DNews today talking about that most obnoxious of habits: gum chewing.

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B2 US gum swallowing rubber chewing swallow chew

What Really Happens When You Swallow Gum?

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    徐祥瀛 posted on 2017/03/20
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