NUTRITION HOTLINE: Chewing Gum

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NUTRITION HOTLINE: Chewing Gum

Q: I chew a lot of gum to help with binge urges. Is chewing gum bad for you?

A: Chewing gum may aggravate TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems and irritable bowel syndrome, but on the positive side chewing sugarless gum after eating has been found to decrease the bacteria that cause cavities. It also helps to stimulate digestion, and is an excellent remedy to help with the discomfort from overeating. A recent study found that chewing gum increases serotonin levels, so perhaps that is why it helps the urge to binge.

By Diane Keddy, MS, RD
Reprinted with permission from Eating Disorders Recovery Today 
Summer 2006 Volume 4, Number 3
©2006 Gürze Books

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