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Benefits of Chewing Gum: Oral Health and Beyond

Leveille, Gilbert PhD; McMahon, Kathleen PhD, RD; Alcantara, Emerita PhD, RD; Zibell, Steven BA

doi: 10.1097/01.NT.0000303316.67157.c5
Food Science
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Although chewing is an important part of eating, it is becoming apparent that the benefits of chewing may extend far beyond the mastication of food in preparation for swallowing. Consumers around the globe chew gum for many reasons-oral care, fresh breath, and good taste. Oral health benefits from chewing sugar-free gum have been well established through accepted scientific research. More recent research suggests that chewing gum may have a positive impact on cognitive function, specifically concentration and focus and weight management and even in helping individuals to cope with "life's small stresses."

The potential benefits of gum chewing

Gilbert Leveille, PhD, is currently the executive director of the Wrigley Science Institute, the first organization of its kind focused on advancing research and understanding of the health and wellness benefits of chewing gum.

Kathleen McMahon, PhD, RD, serves as senior manager of Nutrition Affairs at the Wm Wrigley Jr Company, with responsibility for Wrigley Science Institute research and communications initiatives and nutrition, health and wellness policy development.

Emerita Alcantara, PhD, RD, is senior scientist in the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Department at the Wm Wrigley Jr Company. Her main responsibility is to provide nutrition and claims support for health and wellness projects and assist in nutrition and health policy development.

Steven Zibell, BA, is director of Clinical Research and Claims Support, a global function that provides scientific knowledge and substantiation expertise for product claims and positionings.

Corresponding author: Kathleen McMahon, PhD, RD, Wm Wrigley Jr Company, 3211 W Blackhawk Street, Chicago IL 60622 (kathleen.mcmahon@wrigley.com).

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.