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:

  • Sorbitol
  • Gum base
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol
  • Artificial and natural flavors
  • Acacia
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Aspartame
  • BHT
  • 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.

Gum Base

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:

  1. Elastomers, act as the key ingredient and provide elasticy
  2. Resins act as binders and softeners
  3. Plasticizers render the elastomer soft to ensure thorough blending of the gum base
  4. Fillers contribute to the overall texture
  5. 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

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Ellen Wedding
# gumsEllen Wedding 2010-04-24 00:49
What about Spry gum or mints???? or the toothpastes that have xylitol in them???
I bought some while back cause I had heard some HEALTH radio talk show had mentioned xylitol being good ,esp. for dental health. but I have only chewed or breath mints just a few>>>>>
I am not a fan of gum, rarely mints, either.
But as a child I am sure I consumed lots of that cheap penny candy, those round red and white peppermints (esp during church) and bubble gummed lots of bubbles till they popped on my face. LOL
Thanks, great article as usual.
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2010-04-24 03:51
Hey Ellen,

As far as we know, xylitol is not really a problem, but we haven't done much research on it yet. Be sure to keep xylitol away from your pets, though, since it is known to be very dangerous to animals.

Spry gum also contains 'gum base', as defined in the above article. We don't usually comment on individual brands, but it didn't take long to find their ingredients list. Natural gums are available, but not in regular retailers.
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Laura ODonnell
# Laura ODonnell 2010-09-26 16:45
What about double bubble? I've used the Trident whitening before, but not too much because I get a stomach ache sometimes.

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Henny Penny
# Gum is BadHenny Penny 2011-09-08 11:09
Even "healthy" gum is not good for us. When chewing gum we send digestive enzymes into the tummy but no food.... that's not ideal.

The other problem with sugar free (or lo-cal) is that it lies to your body, since it's so sweet but not offering calories. The body lowers the metabolism in response in order to better catch calories, so this leads to fattening, as that burger you just ate with your Coke Zero is now like eating four burgers.

I almost got banned from my local grocer for griping that he only carried poisonous gum (all with aspartame, none with sugar) but you have opened my eyes to the dangers of all gums, sugary or not.

ASPARTAME IS BAD. The sky is falling!
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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2011-09-10 11:47
You're absolutely right. We reported in more detail on the connection between artificial sweeteners and weight gain in this article:

Why Dieting Actually Makes People Fat and How To Do It Right (
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Holly Skinner
# What gum can I chew??Holly Skinner 2011-12-12 08:59
I want to have a healthy gum - I like chewing on it. But I sure can't find a natural anywhere. Can you please list some recommend brands?
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Daniel Kurz
# Evidence from true sourcesDaniel Kurz 2011-12-18 22:38
Most of this article is an overdone bunch of dung. The authors in order to get people going exaggerate claims made by unconfirmed people. They neglect to discuss the quantity of the chemicals taken up or the fact that they are on the GRAS list by the FDA.

Furthermore, none of this article is cited in factual peer reviewed literature with data that has been reviewed by experts. The credentials of these authors is uncertain as is the evidence. I can say that many of these substances are safe in the quantities consumed. Sure if you ate a kilogram of sorbitol it will make you sick. Drinking 7 liters of water at once will also make you sick.

Get your facts together and be critical of what you read.
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Don Blanco
# All brains & no wisdom!Don Blanco 2012-11-06 20:17
What are you, a lawyer? (sound like one) Did you even read what you wrote? A complete oxymoron, going against all principle of common sense! Why would I want to consume ANYTHING in small amounts DAILY (or often) that would kill me in large amounts at once? Only a FOOL would do so knowingly. Would you eat a little bit of rat poison everyday in "safe" amounts (in other words, not enough to kill you, or make you sick shortly after consumption)??? I don't think so...prob'ly w/ the reasoning of "Why would I? I'm sure it wouldn't enhance the flavor or nutritional value of my food!" Sad thing is, you most likely already do! Every time you eat something with artificial sweeteners that contain some of the same MAIN ingredients as rat poison. So "EAT UP, son!" & don't 4get to get your proper dose of latent disease in that stick of gum after each meal! Sounds like you have a lil too much BPA & zearalenone in your diet as it is. Don't know what those are? Look it up. Then you can take your foot out of your mouth.
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Lauri Meizler
# Finally, a great explanation of the evils of chewiLauri Meizler 2011-12-21 11:12
This is really well done and I applaud you for explaining the evils of chewing gum in a . I also wanted to stress how it really messes up the metabolism. I also appreciate that you want to make this a community effort.
All the best to you,
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Christina TRUE
# Christina TRUE 2012-02-25 07:38
Does anyone know any gum without carbs or calories? or perhaps another trick to prevent munching? i have lost 14lbs im on r1 p2 d17, and counting going for 40days! please help!
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Stephanie West
# Sad dayStephanie West 2012-07-07 17:45
I've been an avid gum chewer since I was 3, and now I'm 20. It calms my nerves during tests, sometimes causes me not to snack as much, and I thought it helped keep my teeth cavity free (which it must not because I still get cavities despite brushing and flossing EVERY day)....any tips on how to quit? Sure, not buying any more gum but...I hate when my teeth feel dirty and I don't see myself carrying around a toothbrush anytime soon. Ok enough rambling...but any tips would be greatly appreciated! :dry:
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debra lovell
# gum and vaccinationsdebra lovell 2013-02-08 13:04
My grand kids are not aloud to have gum and yet she refuses to vaccinate them. I am so scared for them. It makes me sad.

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Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-02-08 13:10
Obviously your child is a much better parent than you were. It's good to know that we are getting the word out amongst those people who are willing to listen and do the right thing.
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Andrea Lane
# thank you!Andrea Lane 2013-03-15 18:56
Hi there,
I have ADHD and consequently, I chew about 15 sticks of gum a day just to stay focused. I'm no longer on medication, and the gum has helped tremendously.

I have known for many years that I'm addicted. I chew five times a day, three large sticks at a time. I've tried and tried to cut down, to no avail.

Meanwhile, I do not drink, smoke, consume Aspartame in soda or in any other form. I eat organic food, am gluten free, and eat tons of veggies and fruits, and drink both water and milk, water kefir and have cut down on all sugars.

I'm now 60 and very healthy except for this horrible gum habit. I'm trying hard to give it up, but am not sure I'll be able to. One of my friends just got tongue cancer, and that has made me extra scared.

Thanks for getting the message out there so that people won't start chewing in the first place! I feel horrible that I have given my grandkids gum before. Now that I've learned how horrible it really is, I have actually apologized to my children for giving it to theirs!

Anyway, I really appreciate your research and your message!

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Alain de Sweene
# MasticAlain de Sweene 2013-04-02 15:09
Purely natural gum: mastic tears. Look it up. 100% natural, nice piney taste that lasts forever.

Also, lotsa people don't seem to know this but frankincense, myrrh, and a lot of other tree resins can be chewed like gum.
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Elinor Hawke-Szady
# OMG - Thank You for Publishing This ArticleElinor Hawke-Szady 2015-08-14 20:21
I just joined your Website as a member. I've been reading articles on the Site since I looked up MMS/Jim Humble yesterday. As an ex-smoker (very recently) I was chewing gum to curb the urge to smoke AND had been chewing it for years because after I'd had a cigarette, it seemed like a good way to get rid of the nasty cigarette odor on my breath.

What a mistake. Now I know better! I'm going to throw out the remaining gum I have (always Wrigley's "Extra" Spearmint or Peppermint) and NEVER buy this crap again. Thank you for enlightening me!
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Juliana Ferris
# RecaldentJuliana Ferris 2018-08-26 15:47
I started chewing gums with Recaldent in them to remineralise my teeth - mostly Trident gums have this. It really helps to freshen my mouth and keep plaque levels down and moistens my mouth in addition to providing the Recaldent (calcium & phosphorous?). But now I wonder about chewing it. I wish there was a totally natural gum with the recaldent......
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Juliana Ferris
# XylitolJuliana Ferris 2018-08-26 15:50
I have heard that xylitol is so good for oral health. Specifically birch-derived xylitol, other xylitol is made from GMO corn. Epic brand makes oral products with birch xylitol or non-gmo corn, but probably also has all the toxic ingredients as well...?
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