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So is there a catch? Why would anyone in their right mind not chew gum all day? The problems is that almost every advantage above will be completely undone by the fact that Excitotoxins (from aspartame) are added to almost every major brank of gum sold today. It is difficult, although not impossible, to find gum without aspartame.
This will very likely undo any gains that you have achieved from the gum chewing itself. The problem is that aspartame breaks down into aspartate, which is an actual neurotransmitter used by the brain and hypothalamus. Pumping even minute amounts of this into your neurons can be devastating and is not worth the risk.
NOTE: To find out how excitotoxins from aspartame cause problems for both your brains and hormones, read these links on Testosterone and Excitotoxins, Excitotoxin Syndrome, Excitotoxins and the Blood-Brain Barrier and Excitotoxins in Fast Food.
What is the answer? Well, there are a few gums sweetened by good, ol' fashioned sugar. Unfortunately, this will likely lead to gum disease, which is correlated with cardiovascular risks. Fortunately, it is looking like a very safe sweetener is xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that has studies showing it fights cavities and osteoporosis. Furthermore, it may even boost immunity and help the body ward off various infections.
Finding xlylitol-based gums is not impossible, but requires some research and a little extra cash. Again, check to make sure that the package does not say aspartame, Equal, Nutrasweet or "contains phenylalanine". (Phenylalanine is a breakdown product of aspartame.)
CAUTION: If you have a medical condition or are on any medications, please discuss any changes with your doctor first. Certain supplements, foods and even juices can alter absorption rates of certain medications for example. Play it safe.
1) Physiol Behav, 2009 Jun 22, 97(3-4):304-12, Epub 2009 Mar 5, "Chewing gum alleviates negative mood and reduces cortisol during acute laboratory psychological stress"
2) Nutritional Neuroscience, Apr 2009 , 12(2):81-88, "Effects of chewing gum on mood, learning, memory and performance of an intelligence test"
3) J Dent Res, Nov 2002, 81(11):743-6, "Mapping brain region activity during chewing: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.
4) J Am Dent Assoc, 2008, 139(suppl_2):6S-8S, "Gum chewing as an adjunct to use of medications"
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