Gum Chewing: Health
Want to improve your health? And get yourself smarter and harder?
Well, the latest research shows that gum chewing could be a simple lifestyle
change that could help with all of these.
Here's just a few examples:
1) Cortisol Reduction. Gum chewing is one of the few things that can
actually reduce the testosterone-lowering stress hormone
This will protect and possibly even boost your testosterone and it will also
potentially protect your neurons from the nerve-killing power of cortisol.
This is good for two very important things to most guys: their brain and
their sex life.
2) Increased Alertness and Mental Performance. Of course, Peak
Testosterone readers are about as intelligent as they come, but chewing gum may
actually make a few of you more more smarter. That's right - chewing gum
increases alertness and other factors that researchers observed lead to
"improved intellectual performance".
 Not bad for such a simple and inexpensive habit, eh?
3) Increased Neuron Activity. You want to be firing on all cylinders when
it comes to your brain, right? Well, reserachers discovered that many key
areas of the brain light up when when the jaw starts moving on a good piece of
gum.  This included the ceribellum, thalamus and parts of the cortex.
4) Increased Brain Blood Flow. Chewing in general and gum chewing in
particular are known to increase brain blood flow.  So pass on the
gingko and pop the chiclets.
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
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
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.)
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
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