People do not typically ingest gum, so they pay very little attention to its ingredients. The assumption is that if the gum is not swallowed, then the ingredients should not be a concern. However, the ingredients in gum travel into the blood stream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb directly through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion.
Gum is typically the most toxic product in supermarkets that is intended for internal use, and it is likely to kill any pet that eats it. Commercial gum products contain roughly the same list of toxic ingredients, with differing labeling, which is virtually always designed to mislead.
The additive aspartame is considered to be one of the most dangerous substances used in the food industry. Used as a sugar substitute, generous amounts of aspartame are found in chewing gum and accounta for 75 percent of side effect complaints reported to the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says Dr. Mercola, physician and surgeon on his website. Aspartame was originally deemed unsafe by the public board of inquiry and an FDA panel in 1980. Although the FDA has since approved the use of the food additive for humans, the potential risks of aspartame still raise eyebrow.
Aspartame is an excitotoxin, says the Health Wyze Report. It over-excites the neurons in the brain until they burn out, which leads to a lower IQ and a series of neurological problems. Aspartame has similar properties as acesulfame potassium (K) which is believed to be a carcinogen due to studies on animals that showed acesulfame K intake is linked to the development of various types tumors. The FDA has published a list of potential side effects of the addictive, including: blindness, extreme irritability, and atypical chest pain among many others.
The preservative B.H.T. (butylated hydroxytoluene) is sold as a dietary supplement and is an ingredient commonly found in gum. Preserving a food’s color, odor and flavor is one of the main purposes of the carcinogen which is commonly used in cereal and processed foods, says Examiner.com.
According to the Health Wyze Report, BHT can cause organ system toxicity such as kidney and liver damage. The preservative has also been linked to hyperactivity in children. BHT has even been banned in other countries because of its dangerous, and potentially carcinogenic toxicity levels but is still deemed acceptable for use in food by the FDA.
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Researchers of the investigation have found this ingredient specifically in Trident gum but are unaware of its direct effects. The report suggests that it might be used as a whitening agent for the gum’s “color.”
However, casein, a milk extract, was previously linked to the Chinese baby formula poisonings. Dr Mercola suggests dieters who take it as a protein supplement to “throw it in the trash” because it is an inferior protein loaded with toxic residues that can lead to a series of bad side effects. Adverse effects of the protein include heart burn, indigestion, and allergies among others that can develop into serious health problems in the future.
The phrase “gum base” is used by gum manufacturers as a means to generalize a list of ingredients that are not published or revealed to the public. The investigators of the report went on major gum company websites to find what exactly is gum base and what is it made from. After visiting site after site of popular brand gum companies, the general consensus of the definition of gum base by manufacturers is the following:
“Gum base is produced through a blend of raw materials which can be categorized in five classes:
Elastomers, act as the key ingredient and provide elasticy
Resins act as binders and softeners
Plasticizers render the elastomer soft to ensure thorough blending of the gum base
Fillers contribute to the overall texture
Antioxidants prevent oxidation of the gum base and flavors during shelf life”
The exact ingredients of gum base are considered to be a kept secret from the public and until they are completely disclosed, it remains a mystery as to what exactly gum chewers are consuming.
This ingredient can be a risk factor for developing asthma and Crohn’s disease.
Titanium dioxide is used to make the hard candy coating used on many brands, such as squared-shaped Chiclet. Findings published in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology, found that children may have the highest exposure to titanium dioxide in sweets that they consume. Chewing gum products such as Mentos Freshmint Gum, Eclipse Spearmint Gum, and Trident White peppermint gum contained the most titanium dioxide concentrations of the gums tested.
For a healthy alternative to regular gum, try Glee Gum, an organic product made with no artificial flavors or preservatives.