People do not typically ingest gum, so they pay very little attention to its ingredients. The assumption is that if the gum is not swallowed, then the ingredients should not be a concern. However, the ingredients in gum travel into the bloodstream faster and in higher concentrations than food ingredients, because they absorb directly through the walls of the mouth, and these ingredients do not undergo the normal filtration process of digestion.
Gum is typically the most toxic product in supermarkets that is intended for internal use, and it is likely to kill any pet that eats it. Commercial gum products contain roughly the same list of toxic ingredients, with differing labeling, which is virtually always designed to mislead.
Common Ingredients of Gum
After looking at several different brands of chewing gum, we found that these were the most common ingredients:
- Gum base
- Artificial and natural flavors
- Acesulfame potassium
- Calcium casein peptone-calcium phosphate
- Candelilla wax
- Sodium stearate
- Titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide is so cancerous that external skin contact is enough to cause cancer. Be reminded that all of these ingredients absorb directly into the bloodstream through the walls of the mouth. Some of these ingredients are explained in-depth, because it is prudent to correct the myth that chewing gum is harmless and even good for you (e.g. "it strengthens the teeth").
The "Sugar-Free" Sugar Alcohols
Sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol are sugar alcohols. These are usually made from sugar, and they frequently increase the blood sugar just as much as eating sugar. However, manufacturers make deceptive "sugar-free" claims about sugar alcohols, since these ingredients are not pure sugar anymore. While such sugar derivatives are technically "sugar free" when the manipulative word games are employed, they nonetheless remain dangerous for diabetics, who are the very audience that these gums are marketed to. Let us not forget that the sugar alcohol containing gums are also marketed to improve our dental health. The sugar alcohols are even more chemically processed than white sugar is; and thus much more foreign to the body by virtue of its artificial nature, so we have reason to believe that these forms of chemical-industry sugars will stimulate even more weight gain and inflammation than regular sugar. All of the evidence points in this direction. These chemically-extracted sugar alcohols are documented to cause abdominal pains and diarrhea, whilst aggravating various health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Therefore, the immune system takes a huge hit from exposure to them. This immune suppression will in turn cause greater yeast development in the body, which will lead to cavities and allergies.
Instead of telling customers what they are really chewing, the phrase "gum base" is used to generalize a list of ingredients that is never actually published. As the name implies, it is the foundation agent of chewing gum. We have tried exhaustively to find exactly what modern "gum base" is made from. We found the following babble repeatedly regurgitated by all of the major gum companies and it was obviously meant to derail serious research.
"Gum base is produced through a blend of raw materials which can be categorized in five classes:
- Elastomers, act as the key ingredient and provide elasticy
- Resins act as binders and softeners
- Plasticizers render the elastomer soft to ensure thorough blending of the gum base
- Fillers contribute to the overall texture
- Anti-oxidants prevent oxidation of the gum base and flavors during shelf life"
Since this was repeated identically at all websites that we looked at, we can only assume that all of these companies are actually owned by the same people, or at least they are working together as a cartel to cover-up an honest disclosure of what is in gum. We eventually confirmed that the ingredients of gum base are commercial trade secrets. None of the websites told us the full ingredients. For instance, exactly what plasticizer is used? Are people chewing on super-toxic PVC? The plasticizing agents could contain dioxins, and quite frankly, they probably do.
After much more research, we found one Chinese company representative who told us about their ingredients. Wuxi Yueda Gum Base Manufacture Co., Ltd. said:
"It is made of several food grade raw materials, which are rubber (food grade), glycerol ester of rosin, paraffin waxes, polyvinyl acetates, talc powder and calcium carbonate."
Glycerol ester of rosin is often made from the stumps of pine trees. It is used industrially to create fast-drying varnishes. The Internet is riddled with stories of people who had severe allergic reactions to it, usually causing a swollen throat that led to difficulty breathing. Glycerol ester of rosin is now being added to soft drinks, though federal limits ensure that its quantity remains under 100 P.P.M. This safety limitation does not apply to chewing gum.
Talc has been linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and fibrotic pneumoconiosis with just transdermal exposure. It is very rarely put into products that are to be consumed. The only other consumable products that we have seen containing talc are diet aids (most are extremely toxic). Talcum powder was once used on small children, but it has now been replaced with cornstarch, due to safety concerns. It is too dangerous to touch the skin, but absorbing it straight into the bloodstream is apparently acceptable.
Polyvinyl acetate is not quite PVC. It is PVA. PVA is frequently referred to as "carpenter's glue" or simply "white glue". Remember that this is not being used as an industrial product, but as something that children are frequently given to chew upon (gum base is in bubble gum too). This ingredient compliments the paraffin wax, which is derived from refined petroleum.
Aspartame is one of the most controversial additives of all time, and it sits alongside MSG and saccharin in terms of both consumer distrust and poor safety. Its presence in foods has nothing to do with safety, but everything to do with politics and money. Aspartame has been linked to just about every health condition known, from seizures to brain tumors. Some epileptic patients have recovered from their condition simply by eliminating this toxin from their diets. It is found in diet foods, diet drinks, and sugar-free products as an alternative to sugar. Aspartame is a solution that remains worse than the problem. Aspartame is an excitotoxin, which means that it over-excites the neurons in the brain, until they burn out, causing lowered intelligence and a host of neurological problems. Aspartame causes diabetes, fibromyalgia, lowered I.Q., obesity, multiple sclerosis, asthma, insomnia, muscle spasms, and a total of 92 known symptoms.
Acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K) has similar properties to aspartame, and it is believed to be a carcinogen. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the F.D.A. for a stay of approval, due to the lack of testing done on this substance. Studies on animals have shown a correlation between acesulfame potassium and various tumors.
While we would love to be able to provide information about calcium casein peptone (calcium phosphate), we cannot. We simply do not know. Its only appearance is in Trident gum (the worst brand), and we were unable to find studies or any other information about it. It might be a whitening agent. It is important to note that casein is a milk extract that was linked to the Chinese baby formula poisonings. Trust this ingredient at your own risk, but we would never encourage the use of something that has its research censored from the public. That tends to be a bad sign.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a preservative that has been linked to cancer. It was banned in the United Kingdom and Japan. It is unbelievably sold as a "dietary supplement", and some people believe that it has anti-viral effects. So do gasoline and rat poison. We do not recommend it, because of the safety implications. It causes kidney and liver damage. Benjamin Feingold (creator of the Feingold Diet) linked it to hyperactivity in children in the 1970's, as a large component of A.D.H.D.
For the sake of brevity, we shall discontinue examining the ingredients in chewing gum. Chewing gum is easily one of the most toxic products available, and it is difficult to ever know exactly what it contains, due to vague terms such as "gum base" and "artificial flavors". These reflect trade secrets, and the ingredients are probably made from hundreds of chemicals that they are unwilling to disclose. Manufacturers maintain that customers have no right to know.
Natural gum is available, which is made from chicle, a tree that is native to Central America. There was a time when all chewing gum was made from it, but using it incurs more manufacturing expense. Natural gum can be purchased online or from health food stores.
Gum Base, Wuxi Yueda Gum Base Manufacture Co. Ltd.
Talc, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Reported Aspartame Toxicity Reactions Docket, Food and Drug Administration
Chemical Cuisine: Acesulfame Potassium, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Studies on BHA BHT and TBHQ, The Feingold Association of the United States