What puts the “chew” in the chewing gum is a synthetic rubber called butyl rubber, which allows you to enjoy gum without destroying rubber tree forests. Strangely enough, it’s also what intertubes are made of.
So, what happens to a piece of chewing gum when swallowed? Apparently, chewing gum doesn’t break down, like other foods, when chewed. It’s also unaffected by the acids in your stomach and can withstand the normal decomposition process.
This is because the human body doesn’t have the necessary enzymes to break down the rubber polymers that gum is made of. Rubber is known for being good at protecting itself from acids at large, which is why rubber gloves are a good form of protection.
If it doesn’t break down, does it stay in your stomach?
No. Your body can and will effectively move the chewing gum through your digestive system within a day or two.
This revelation shouldn’t cause you to chew and swallow gums excessively. You also need to watch out for cavities caused by too much gum-chewing.
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