Rise in wellness chewing gums: Trendy companies claim their products will help you beat jet lag, stay alert and lose weight – but experts say science doesn’t back up their claims
- There has been a rise in gums that purportedly come with several health benefits
- Fly Gum claims to help travelers combat jet lag while Snack Less makes a gum with a plant extract that allegedly suppresses appetite
- Health experts say there is very little clinical research to support such claims
Looking to get better sleep or lose weight? There may be a chewing gum for that.
Gum manufacturers have been adding vitamins, caffeine, amino acids and plant extracts to their products, claiming a wide variety of health benefits.
One brand says it can help pilots combat jet leg while another alleges it helps golfers stay focused while playing their sport, The Wall Street Journal reported.
But health experts say these gums there is no clinical research to back to up the makers’ claims and that consumers might believe the gums are working due to a placebo effect.
More companies have been releasing gums that come with claimed health benefits such as beating jet lag, but health experts say there is no clinical research to back up these claims (file image)
It’s well known that chomping on a stick of gum can help freshen breath, but several other studies say gum provides additional benefits.
A 2012 study from Coventry University in the UK found that gum can increase alertness and reduce daytime sleepiness.
Another study found the gum chewers had better memory, and performed better on tests of of immediate word recall and delayed word recall.
And a study from Kings College in London found that gum can help reduce acid levels in the esophagus.
The American Dental Association even promotes chewing gum as ‘an adjunct to brushing and flossing’ on its website.
Recently, consumers have been saying they want more from their gum than just flavor.
A survey from market research firm Mintel found that US adults said they wanted more vitamins in their gum as well as ingredients that promote gut health and boost the immune system.
In turn, gum makers have been trying to create new products that are fortified with vitamins and promise to provide more than just dental benefits.
‘Chewing gum is becoming less socially acceptable,’ Dirk Van de Put, CEO of Mondelez International Inc, owner of Trident, Stride and Dentyne, told The Wall Street Journal.
‘The consumer these days is becoming much more interested in the functional benefits of food.’
Fly Gum, created by Apollo Brands LLC, releases caffeine from green coffee beans and B vitamins, which it claims helps travelers beat jet lag and helps pilots stay alert.
Golf Gum, also by Apollo, is meant to be used by golfers an energy supplement to improve focus while playing.
And Snack Less makes a gum which contains an extract of the Hoodia parviflora, which many claim suppresses hunger.
However, there is little clinical evidence that supports this.
There has also been a rise of gums that contain cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that is thought to help reduce anxiety and inflammation.
Health experts warn that consumers might believe these gums work due to a placebo effect and that no clinical trials have been conducted to back up manufacturers’ claims.
Additionally, Melainie Rogers, a certified dietitian, told INSIDER that chewing gum obsessively could be the sign of an eating disorder.
‘I think the first question to ask yourself is: “What’s your motivation [for] chewing so much gum? Is it, in fact, to try to not eat?”‘ she said.
‘And then if that’s the case, it may be a sign that your desire to not eat, restrict calories, is getting a little obsessive.’
Source: Read Full Article