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Taking Charge of Your Health


– [Instructor] You may have heard from your second grade teacher
that if you swallow gum, it could stay in your stomach forever or worse, it could grow into
a rubber tree in your stomach. Well, that’s true, so don’t do it. (peppy instrumental music) Okay, maybe not. Swallowing chewing gum isn’t
really gonna plant trees in your stomach, but that’s no reason to start doing it regularly. Here’s what happens to your
body when you swallow gum. When you eat standard food,
three processes go to work in your body to turn that food into fuel. The first is obvious, it’s chewing. The process breaks food down into smaller and smaller pieces, increasing the surface area. Meanwhile, saliva coats those
pieces, delivering enzymes that help break down the food. Finally, once swallowed, the stomach acids turn any
remaining food pieces into mush. This lets the food pass through the rest of your digestive track smoothly, but gum doesn’t play by those rules. As much as you chew it, gum doesn’t break into smaller pieces. That’s because it’s gum, duh! Gum has been around much
longer than you think. Ancient Mayans and Aztecs harvested resin from a sapodilla tree. They would dry it into a chaw and chew it to stave off hunger. Even back then, it was also recognized as a breath freshener. However, most gum today
is made from natural or synthetic polymers,
most commonly butyl rubber. It’s used in all kinds of products, including adhesives, fiber
optics, sealants, cling film, paper, fuel, explosives,
sporting equipment, roofing, bottle stoppers, and tires. But don’t worry, the butyl in
your gum won’t make you sick. That’s because it can’t be broken down. The wad of chewing gum
hits your stomach intact. Your saliva enzymes and your stomach acid can’t touch the butyl in the gum base, but that doesn’t mean it just hangs out. Your body is equipped to handle
gum the same way it deals with other food that
it can’t fully digest, like corn and sunflower seeds. (peppy instrumental music) The muscles of your
digestive tract move it along and eventually flush it out of
your system in a day or two, along with everything else. So, no, the gum doesn’t stay in your body when you swallow it, but that’s no reason to start
gulping it down by the pack. The more gum your body has to process, the higher likelihood
that it will build up. This gum mass can potentially
clog your digestive tract, causing an intestinal blockage which can trigger stomach
pain or constipation. There’s a lovely name for
this blockage, a bezoar. An 18-year-old Israeli woman once suffered from a bezoar that blocked her stomach. The problem? Turns out she had been
swallowing at least five pieces of gum every day. The blockage had grown so large
that doctors had to break it into smaller pieces and then fish it out
of her piece by piece. But chewing gum alone isn’t
necessarily bad for you. A couple of small studies
have shown that the act of chewing gum can
actually help relax you, because it can help
reduce levels of cortisol, a common stress hormone, in your saliva. Feel free to unwrap a stick. You won’t be alone, 56%
of Americans chew gum, each about 280 sticks per year. It’s a two billion dollar
industry in the U.S., but be wary of swallowing
it once you’re done. The occasional piece of gum won’t hurt, but with everything else your
body already does for you, why put it through the extra work? Also, don’t spit it out on the ground. That’s just gross. Find a trashcan, like a normal person.

100 thoughts on “Here’s What Happens In Your Body When You Swallow Gum | The Human Body

  1. I never swallow gun ever sense I was 11 my mom told me not to cause it could get stuck in my throat and I’d choke and die (some mom I had)

  2. He had me messed up “Yeah rubber tree that’s true…….Nah Im playing” Like what the heck man 😭😭🏳️

  3. I only swallow gum on accident very occasionally.
    “Don’t start regularly swallowing gum like Pac-man swallows dots.”
    I think that’s pretty common sense.

    Anyway this comment is pointless

  4. Guys pls pray for me, i have swallowed so much gum before and one day i was chewing FOUR IN A ROW and swallowed all of them whilst laughing
    😬
    Send prayers.

  5. There is also another reason not to swallow it it could get stuck and make you choke at least that’s what my mom says
    Tbh I swallow gum but not on a daily basis like I probably will only eat gum if it’s the last thing in the cupboard

  6. I ALWAYS swallow my gum and I was so worried about it having bad effects…. guess I'll just keep on doing my thing

  7. Oof I had my stomach blocked
    I had constipation I think after
    Lol
    I’m still safe tho
    No surgery!

  8. All you would have to do is look in my stomach and see if the gum I swelled years ago is still there and I highly doubt it is

  9. Dude my stomach hurts rn so bad that’s why I came to this video I’m not joking I swallowed 3 packs of gum and I think I need to go to the hos

  10. I remember when I was in 1st grade my grandma told me if I swallowed gum I would die, so I was chewing gum and I accidentally swallowed it, I burst out crying cause I thought I was gonna die lol

  11. “Can cause constipation” ehh well I always swallow gum well sometimes and I was born with very bad stomach problems where I have to go to the hospital sometimes cuz how bad my stomach problems where and I had a very low chance of living when I was little but I made it and I’m now constipted 4 life cuz of dat curse god decided to give meh ಥ_ಥ and now I’m still gonna swallow my gum 😀

  12. To be honest.. when i was 7 i swallowed gum. I was freaking out saying "MOMMY MOMMY I SWALLOWED GUM AAAAAAAAAAAA" i think the people in the place heard a kid screaming in a car and said "Another Kid.. Oh gosh.." I was losing my marbles (don't take this seriously) and i felt like i was gonna die 😂 Later i calmed down and now i said now "I was REALLY dumb that day.."

  13. Aaah yes I told god this in my 4th grade class he was my best student but he always swallowed gum so yeah that's why I told him

  14. i love watermelon and i told my mom what happens when i eat the seed and she said its gonna stay in your stomich and plant a watermelon tree and i said good because then ill have more watermelon lol

  15. I sat on gum in school today my poor friend had to sit there and clean it off it was on my upper thigh yep that a good friend ❤️❤️

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