If you swallow gum, it will probably get stuck in your stomach/intestines/digestive system for seven years, right?
I even had a babysitter tell me when I was little that I would have an operation to remove said built up gum from my stomach if I kept swallowing it. So is there any truth to it?
As it turns out, it is mostly a myth. Mostly. For the average person, forget seven years, a piece of chewing gum will generally be digested in seven days.
“While chewing gum is designed to be chewed, not swallowed, if gum is swallowed it simply passes through the body just like all other roughage does within a few days with no harm caused,” Melanie McGrice, a Melbourne-based dietician, explains. (One thing that very good for your gut? Kombucha. Here Magdelena Roze tells us five benefits of the drink. Post continues after video.)
Chewing gum is insoluble, like seeds for example, so while you will break down some of the ingredients in it, like the flavouring, a lot of it will pass through your body smoothly in one piece.
However, occasionally rare implications from swallowing too much gum can occur. In one study, published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that swallowing gum can be problematic, especially for small children. (Post continues after gallery.)