At my school, rumour had it that chewing gum would stay in your stomach forever and be the last thing left of you when you die and your body decomposes.
It turns out that, like most wives tales, this one is not true.
In fact, chewing gum passes through your body like any other food and actually doesn’t stick all your vital organs together…how boring.
Gum is not designed to be eaten because of the indigestible gum base which is made up of waxes, elastomers, resins, fats and emulsifiers.
Dr Lisa Ganjhu of the NYU Langone Medical Centre in New York, told Buzzfeed:
Your GI tract is very strong, if it can digest a tough steak it can digest gum.
The only difference is that the base of gum doesn’t get dissolved completely because of its chemical properties, and also the contents don’t get absorbed into the small intestine like most foods.
So it might take bit longer to digest, and your small intestine can’t break it down like other food, but it will pass out like everything else, and usually within a week.
David Milov of the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Orlando said that in colonoscopies, the chewing gum they found was never more than a week old.
Dr Ganjhu said:
There is no specific time frame because everyone’s digestive system motility is different.
Now you can sleep easy knowing those hubba bubbas from when you were a kid are long gone.