What if the old adage “gum will stay in your stomach for years” weren’t true? Here’s what actually happens when you swallow gum, according to experts …
• First off, chewing gum does get digested. Your gastrointestinal tract is strong enough and your usual acids and enzymes do, in fact, break it down.
• However, the chemicals properties of the base of the gum mean it doesn’t dissolve completely, and therefore gum doesn’t get absorbed into the small intestine like most foods.
• Undissolved gum gets wrapped up and entangled in all the other food that’s digesting and eventually passes through.
• The only real risk is if you swallow a piece of gum that’s too large to pass through your throat, which would cause you to choke.
So why have we all been warned by our mothers? Health professionals advise against swallowing it because it has absolutely zero nutritional value.
Bottom line – it won’t harm or kill you but it just isn’t logical to swallow it purposefully.