If one old wives’ tale is true, gum will be with you, in your digestive system, for seven years after being swallowed, wreaking who knows what kind of havoc in your body. Thankfully, the legend is false.
Nothing could reside that long unless it was so large it couldn’t get out of the stomach or it was trapped inside the intestines.
Chewing gum passes through the digestive system just like any other food. Your body is able to break down some of the gum’s components, such as sweeteners and oil derivatives. The gum’s rubber/latex base gets churned within a couple of days.
However, this doesn’t mean you should start swallowing your chewing gum regularly — in several reported cases, doctors had to remove taffy-like wads of gum from children’s bowels. Swallowing a lot of chewing gum in a relatively short amount of time, it seems, can cause the pieces to accumulate and stuff up the digestive tract, causing constipation.
- Scientists found a 9,000-year- old piece of chewing gum in Sweden.
- If gum gets stuck in your hair, you can remove it by rubbing peanut butter in it.
- Humans are the only animals on earth that chew gum. If you give a monkey a piece of gum, he will chew it for a couple of minutes and then take it out and stick it to his hair.
- LiveScience.com – Does Gum Really Take 7 Years to Digest?
- UselessDaily.com – 20 fun facts about bubble gum