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Enforce the Pure Food and Drug Act to eliminate harmful ingredients in chewing gum.

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Have you ever chewed gum? Did you know that gum has dangerous ingredients such as Aspartame and BHT which are known to cause many diseases. Gum also urges people to eat more food than they want to. Gum should be altered to be safer because the current ingredients cause tooth damage, gastrointestinal problems, and certain types of cancers.

Many wonder why companies use Aspartame in their gum. Unfortunately, companies use this additive because it is more economical to make instead of xylitol and honey bases. Furthermore, the FDA banned Aspartame twice but G.D. Searle (a company) advocated for Aspartame to be regarded “safe” (Why is Aspartame still on market?). To prove this, the company ran many tests that proved this additive is safe. Therefore, the FDA regarded Aspartame as a “safe” food additive (The Shocking Story). However, this ingredient is shrouded in controversy. The reason for this is that people do not know if this preservative is safe or not because the tests could have been botched.  Finally, companies use Aspartame because it urges people to crave on junk food to satisfy hunger. According to a study from the University at Buffalo, those who chomped on mint gum before eating were less inclined to reach for healthy stuff like fruit, though their enthusiasm for junk foods like potato chips was undiminished. That study’s author, Dr. Jennifer Temple, jokingly refers to this as the “brushing your teeth before eating fruit” effect. She explains, “For some people, mint makes fruit taste awful” (Should I chew gum?) This would then boost sales for the company manufacturing the gum and the junk food because people would crave for more of these foods. Even though Aspartame may sound dangerous, there are ingredients just as dangerous as Aspartame in gum.

Another harmful ingredient in gum is BHT. BHT is fat-soluble used in food, cosmetics, and jet fuel (What is BHT?). You may be wondering why BHT is used in food if it is used in jet fuel. It is used because it prevents oxidation in food. Oxidation in food is when oxygen causes the foods chemical compounds to change and break down. Many health problems stem from oxidation in food. “Oxygen, although indispensable for life, is destructive to the cells” (Oxidation of Food). Additionally, BHT is so harmful it cannot be consumed by any aquatic organisms according to the Material Safety Data Sheet ( Health Doctor). On top of this, Studies by Gann and Bauer prove “high amounts of BHT causes lung tumors and bladder cancers in people who consume the substance in bulk” (Mercola). Many ingredients are harmful in gum, but, what harmful impacts does it have on society?

Gum has negatively transformed people’s lives for the worse. Many pet owners cannot even chew gum because their pets could die from chewing gum (Health Doctor). My neighbors have a dog living with them. They informed me that they haven’t chewed gum since they adopted the dog because they didn’t want the dog to be harmed. Gum has also made many people addicted. An online user posted on a forum about how gum changed his mom. He stated “My mom has been having headaches for some time, had part of her reproductive organs removed, pains in her side, but still chews gum like water, despite my warning. She won't quit chewing long enough to see if this is the problem. Seems like this stuff could be addictive too. I do not know what she chews it for, she had only gained weight in her years of chewing it. (Health Doctor)” His story describes how gum makes one want to eat more. Finally, gum also contains powerful gastric juice (Thank your body). This means that chewing gum on an empty stomach can trigger stomach problems. My mom has been having significant gas because she chews a lot of gum. She finally stopped and the gas went away.  Clearly, gum is harmful to society in many unique ways.

Gum should be modified to be safer because the current ingredients cause tooth pain, bowel problems, and other diseases. Gum is hazardous to the population. We should stop snacking on gum or we could be faced with many health issues. However, if we are fond of gum so much, we should change the components in gum to make them safer. Next time you go to the supermarket, make sure to read the label on gum.




@Mercola. “6 Disturbing Side Effects of Chewing Gum.”,

“BBC Bitesize - Higher Chemistry - Oxidation of food - Revision 1.” BBC News, BBC,

Doctor, Health. “Disadvantages of Eating Chewing Gum.” Current Health Advice Health Blog Articles and Tips, 2014, “Chewing Gum Is Bad: 7 Reasons to Quit.” Thank Your Body, 2016,

“The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal.” Collective Evolution,        

“What Is BHT And Why You Should Avoid It.” The Good Human,

“Why is Aspartame still on the market?, page 1.”,

“You Asked: Should I Chew Gum?” Time, Time,

Harmful Side Effects are listed below:

1. Jaw Problems
For some people chewing gum is bad because it can cause mouth disorders. This is especially true for people with pre-existing jaw conditions like TMJ. But even if you don’t have a serious problem, excessive gum chewing can aggravates the cartilage and surrounding joints in the mouth through extra wear and tear.

2. Artificial Sweeteners
Most gum these days love to market that they are “sugar free,” but artificial sweeteners are far from my “okay to eat” real food list. Aspartame is just on example that has been linked to brain tumors, birth defects, and cancer. Read why I don’t trust the stuff here. But even the “safer” sweeteners are suspicious for this “back to basics, just eat what we recognize as real food” gal.

3. Chewing gum can cause headaches
According to Dr. Ben Kim, there are eight different facial muscles involved in chewing.

Unnecessary chewing can create chronic tightness in two of these muscles, located close to your temples. This can put pressure on the nerves that supply this area of your head, which can lead to chronic, intermittent headaches. (Source)
4. Other fake ingredients
Just because you don’t generally ingest your gum doesn’t mean it doesn’t go in your body:

The ingredients in gum travel into the bloodstream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb straight through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion. – C. Thomas Corriher (source)

Yikes! That’s pretty scary when you think about some of the common ingredients listed on a pack of chewing gum:

Gum Base
Artificial and ‘Natural’ Flavoring
Acesulfame Potassiu
Calcium Casein Peptone-calcium Phosphate
Candelilla Wax
Sodium Stearate
Titanium Dioxide 

5. Chewing gum only masks bad breath. It doesn’t get rid of it.
I remember how “minty clean” my mouth would feelafter chewing a piece of gum (for a minute or two, at least), but gum doesn’t get rid of bad breath. Bad breath is symptom of digestive problems or excessive tooth decay. In fact, once I changed my diet and improved my health through real food I no longer had bad breath. Real food for the win!

6. Chewing gum could hinder your metabolism.
If you’ve been around the Thank Your Body site for a while you know how important metabolic health is. But did you know that chewing gum, which stimulates saliva production for an unnaturally long time, can take away from other important metabolic functions? Crazy, right?

7. Oh yeah, and the tummy aches.
And that brings me back to the reason I stopped in the first place. Chewing gum brings in an excess of swallowed air which can put pressure on the intestine and cause cramping and bloating. And for those who suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) this can be really bad.

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