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Wives Tales that are the Real Deal #11: Chewing Gum

September 05, 2014 1 min read

Remember how you were always told: Don't swallow your chewing gum, because it will stay in your intestines for 7 years. Well, that old wives' tale is only partially true! According to the Scientific American, chewing gum usually passes right through the digestive tract and out the waste disposal exit. On the rare occasions when doctors find chewing gum lodged in the intestines, the gum is usually only a week old. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Source: www.confectionerynews.com[/caption] HOWEVER,  when you chew gum, there is a risk that the wadded material will attract other debris in the intestinal tract. The more debris that clings to the wad, the larger it grows, until there is a risk of a bezoar forming. A bezoar is basically the human equivalent of a furball, though far less common. It is a mass trapped in your digestive tract, and it can cause blockages in your intestines--or even more serious health problems. So swallowing gum isn't going to cause it to hang around in your intestines for years, but it could lead to problems of another type.  
 Featured Image Source: www.zmescience.com
Resources: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-chewing-gum-takes-seven-years-to-digest/ http://9gag.com/gag/aqZmqLY

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