Home Pop Science Here’s What Actually Happens When You Swallow Gum

Here’s What Actually Happens When You Swallow Gum


This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

There are a lot of rumors about what happens to gum when you swallow it. Some say it sticks around in your stomach for seven years.

Well, don’t be afraid — it doesn’t stick around forever.

There are three basic components to digestion. You have to mechanically break down the food – e.g. chewing. Next, enzymes in your saliva help pull nutrients from the food. Lastly, acids break down the food in your stomach so it can easily pass through your intestines.

Since gum is made from a rubber base — it doesn’t break up into small bits through chewing.

After swallowing it, the whole wad is left in your stomach to be broken down by the enzymes and acids.

But again, the rubber base is resistant.

Eventually it passes through your digestive track as is — no harm done.

So while it won’t kill you and won’t stick around forever, give your digestive system a break and spit the wad out instead of swallowing.

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