By Daily Mail Reporter. Swallow a piece of chewing gum and it will take seven years to pass through your gut before it is digested.
Or so they say. An even hoarier tale has it that swallowed gum can wrap itself around your heart. But what does happen if you should accidentally eat a stick of gum?
But the gut just keeps moving chewing gum along until it makes it all the way through the intestines and come out the other end. Chewing gum is made out of gum base, sweeteners, colouring and flavouring.
The gum base is pretty indigestible - it is a mixture of elastomers, resins, fats, emulsifiers and waxes. Most of the time, your stomach really cannot break down the gum the way it would other foods.
However, your digestive system has another way to deal with things you swallow.
After all, we eat lots of things that we are unable to fully digest. The gut just keeps moving them along until they make it all the way through the intestines and come out the other end.
So gum usually ends up in your lavatory one to two days later. Even though gum is sticky, it is usually no match for the power of your gut.
Our saliva will make an attempt at digesting chewing gum as soon as we put it in our mouths. It might penetrate the shell and sweeteners, but the much of gum's base ingredients are indigestible.
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It's then down to our stomach muscles - which contract and relax, much like the way an earthworm moves - to slowly force the things that we swallow through our systems. Swallowing a huge wad of gum or swallowing many small pieces of gum in a short time can cause a blockage within the digestive system - most often in children, who have a smaller-diameter digestive I engulf i shoot than adults - but this is extremely rare. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
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