Doctors say that chewing sugar-free gum after a meal decreases mouth s bacterial acidity, the main factor involved in tooth decay, due to the abundant salivation, diluting and neutralizing the acid. And here comes the shock: a new research published in the \”British Medical Journal\” shows that exaggerating with the chew gum could cause stomach conditions and non-healthy weight loss. This was linked to the sweetener used – sorbitol (E420) – also found in many sugar-free sweets and cereals. Sorbitol has 60 % of the sugar s calories, but 14 or more chewing gum sticks daily could severely affect your health. This chemical is poorly absorbed by the gut and has laxative properties. The German doctors signal the case of two patients experiencing chronic diarrhea and severe weight loss. This challenges researches made by the Wrigley company, signaling a positive weight loss induced by chewing gum, by decreasing the urge to munch all the time. Also, a gum stick has 5 to 10 calories and the chewing gum consumes around 11 calories an hour. The team at the Charite Universitatsmediz, in Berlin medical school, discovered that the 21-year-old woman, one of the two patients, chewed large quantities of sugar-free gum, meaning about 18-20 g sorbitol daily (one stick of chewing gum has around 1. 25g of sorbitol) and had lost 24lb (11kg), weighing 6st 6lb (40. 8kg).
The 46-year-old man, i. e. the second patient, chewed 20 sticks of sugar-free gum and consumed 200g of sweets daily, ingesting 30g of sorbitol each day. In 2007, he had lost 48. 5lb (22kg). When both patients ceased consuming sorbitol-containing foods, their diarrhea was gone, and they started gaining weight. \”People should be warned of the dangers of too much sorbitol, including diabetics who rely on low-sugar or sugar-free foods. Both our patients consumed large amounts of sorbitol, which belongs to the family of polyalcohol sugars, like mannitol and xylitol, some of which are regularly used as laxatives. However, sorbitol is also used as a sweetener in many sugar-free foods and drug products\”, wrote the authors. \”Our cases show that sorbitol consumption can cause not only chronic diarrhea and functional bowel problems but also considerable unintended weight loss (about 20% of usual body weight). Thus, the investigation of unexplained weight loss should include detailed dietary history with regard to foods containing sorbitol\”, they added. \”Excessive consumption of polyols, such as sorbitol, can have a laxative effect in some individuals. Studies generally indicate that people can consume up to 40g of sorbitol without experiencing a laxative effect, subject to the individual and other components of his or her diet – a level not even approached by normal consumption of sugar-free chewing gum.
To reach the threshold of excessive consumption of sorbitol through use of gum alone, someone would have to chew close to 100 pellets of gum daily\”, said a spokesperson for the Wrigley Company.
I remember one day I was in line at Wawa and was looking at a packet of Sugar-Free Werthers Original. PThere was a small warning on the package to inform me that if I ate too much it might cause some GI upset. P So instead of inhaling the whole package, I played by the rules because I was scared of you-know-what. Many types of artificial sweeteners (AS) are found in products today some might be labeled sugar-free and some may not. PSeveral symptoms have been identified due to the presence of some of the additives; however, whether or not you are lucky enough to experience these pleasant episodes are a matter of individual sensitivity to the different types of AS. PP Polyols sound cute kinda like Polyo String Cheese; unfortunately, they are not the same thing. PPolyols are sugar alcohols that are the primary culprits that cause the laxative effect. PWhere do they come from? P These sugar alcohols come from plant products such as fruits and berries. PSugar alcohols are sugar replacers, used to take the place of sugar to make sugar free candies and other sugar free products.
P Examples are maltitol, maltitol syrup, sorbitol, isomalt, polyglucitol, and lactitol. PSugar alcohols are digested more slowly than sugar, generally producing a relatively small rise in blood sugar levels after eating. PThey are digested and absorbed in a different way than regular sugar. PP Regular sugar is digested in the small intestine by enzymes. PSugar alcohols bypass the initial steps on digestions (similar to fiber) and are digested in the large intestine. P During digestion in the large intestine by normally occurring bacteria, those digestive side effects like gas, bloat, cramps, and diarrhea may become present. PP Sugar alcohols are mostly tolerated in small amounts (in moderation). P Sometimes sugar free chewing gums and mints do not include a warning statement as a result of their small serving and package size. P More recently other sweeteners such as Splenda may potentially cause diarrhea as well. PP However, one may be able to consume large amounts of this and another may not be so lucky it is a matter of individual tolerance. P PKeep in mind that just because a food is sugar-free, does not mean it is healthier or provide fewer calories than its counterparts. P Always make sure to read the Nutrition Facts labels on products to dissect a product and select the one that is best for you.