This Is What Actually Happens When You Swallow Chewing Gum

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There are all kinds of stories and myths as to what happens when you swallow chewing gum. Such as…a gum tree will start growing in your stomach, or the gum will stay in your stomach for seven years because your body can’t digest it. Well, none of those are true.

So lets set the record straight and tell you exactly what happens when you do swallow a piece of tasty, chewy treat.

The truth is…nothing really major happens when you swallow a piece of gum. However, gum isn’t designed to be digested like regular food. 

That’s because it contains either a natural or synthetic rubber base, which is what gives it its gummy consistency. Butyl rubber, commonly used in gum (as well as tires and basketballs, YUM!), is a synthetic rubber that provides it with an ideal chewiness.

When you swallow gum, it moves through your digestive tract into your stomach as one giant wad.

While your enzymes are able to break down the carbohydrates, oils, and alcohols in the gum as they would with regular food, the rubber base in the gum is basically immune to these enzymes.

So, part of your gum survives all of your digestive system’s attempts to break it down. But, just because it wards off your digestive system, that doesn’t stop your muscles from eventually ushering it through your body and out the other end within a couple days.

Check out the process below. 


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