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Chewed up at Professor Pfab

Laszlo Kiss

Laszlo Kiss

Managing Director
Prof. Florian Pfab
Reading time 5 Minutes

Florian Pfab is co-founder and medical head of Clevergum. In parallel, he is responsible for the management of the medical department at Eintracht Frankfurt Fussball AG. He invented CovexGum (formerly CovidGum), the world's first antiviral chewing gum, as well as a number of other exciting Clevergums.


How did you come up with the idea of Clevergum? You are a sports physician and usually take care of the health of professional athletes?

In addition to maintaining health, my work is about creating the best conditions for strong mental and physical performance. Above all, athletes should also achieve this through a balanced diet. Now there are times in professional sports when several competitions have to be contested in different locations within a very short period of time without longer rest periods. This wears down the psychophysical parameters. Professional athletes often find it difficult to take in or keep food with them before competitions. That's when I first came up with the idea of combining natural, evidence-based and sustainable substances - basically, all substances that are also found in people's natural food - with a chewing gum as a carrier medium for direct or indirect performance enhancement.


Why chewing gum of all things?

Chewing gums have several advantages over conventional dosage forms such as tablets, pills, or powders: For one thing, they are conceivably easy to use. Many people like to chew gum, and chewing works intuitively. When chewed, the active ingredients are gradually released, immediately absorbed through the oral mucosa and enter the bloodstream quickly and without detour. Therefore, they act much faster. They do not have to pass through the gastrointestinal tract, as other foods do. This in turn means that a much higher proportion of the nutrients absorbed actually reaches the organism. You can dose the active ingredients more sensibly. In the end, all this means that the chewing gums are more tolerable than conventional dosage forms.


And you developed the antiviral CovexGum in response to the Corona pandemic?

During the soccer summer break in 2020, I myself fell ill with Corona - despite strict adherence to the usual hygiene measures. I therefore asked myself what additional protective measures could be taken. At that time, mouth rinses with a strong antiseptic effect were already en vogue and recommended by the Robert Koch Institute. That was the core of the idea for me - chewing gum as a more practical "to-go version". It was important to me that the CovexGum, like all other Clevergums, contains only natural and well-tolerated ingredients from the food sector. So we incorporated natural essential oils and extracts like cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, ginger, ginseng, quercetin and spermidine. These are all substances that have been shown in scientific experiments or even in computer-based molecular simulations to have an antiviral effect, i.e. an effect directed against a virus - each active ingredient in itself having different spectrums of activity that can reinforce each other. This makes CovexGum in general a very useful supplement during the cold season, which is dominated by flu infections, and we have also received enthusiastic feedback from many Oktoberfest visitors.


How did you study the effect of CovexGum?

By using PCR assay, we measured the viral load in the exhaled air of Covid-19 patients before and then at regular, defined intervals after chewing the gum.


And the results?

The antiseptic chewing gum has shown promise in reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral load in exhaled air and thus reducing the risk of infection. A larger, placebo-controlled clinical trial is currently ongoing through Q1 2023 to further confirm these results. The promising results of the pilot study have been published in the renowned scientific journal In Infection publiziert worden.


What other gum do you have besides CovexGum?

With CovexGum, we have shown that our Clevergums work, and I have countless ideas for other chewing gums. For example, we have recently developed PerformanceGum especially for professional athletes. Among other things, it contains guarana, taurine and caffeine, as well as NADH for better endurance, but also beta-alanine, which enables a higher training volume by reducing muscle overacidification. Citicoline, a neuroprotectant that enhances mental performance, is also included.

For people who want and need to concentrate particularly well - for example, surgeons, executives, soldiers, but also schoolchildren, students or long-distance drivers - we have developed ConcentrationGum. It contains powerful antioxidants such as resveratrol, but also niacin and riboflavin, which counteract tiredness and fatigue, combined with the traditional pick-me-ups caffeine, guarana and taurine.

We also offer chewing gums with trace elements and vitamins, such as vitamin D3 or magnesium. People already know something like this from dietary supplements in the form of tablets and powders, but chewing gums are a much better solution - you don't need water and you don't have any problems swallowing them. In any case, we have many more exciting innovations in the pipeline.


What criteria do you use to select the active ingredients for new chewing gums?

What drives me is the idea of producing chewing gum for every conceivable situation in which we can benefit from an improvement - as a kind of companion throughout the day. This starts with the topic of arriving fresh and alert at the workplace, being able to concentrate, getting the maximum out of yourself in the gym, digesting dinner well, even if you've eaten a little too much, and finally being able to fall asleep well and sleep through the night. Accordingly, I search for active ingredients that positively support these processes, reaching on the one hand into the treasure chest of old traditional medicine and at the same time into the ever richer fund of innovative active ingredients with a high medicinal potential.


Where is the journey going, what else can you imagine?

I could imagine that chewing gum will one day completely replace many common medicines that are currently only available in tablet form - that's what I'm working towards, and research is already being diligently carried out in this area.


Besides all your activities, do you still have enough time for such a big project?

The human body is a high performance apparatus with finely tuned processes and functions to maintain health. Understanding these processes and functions opens the door to our best selves. With Clevergums, we can walk through that door, and it is a matter of my heart to bring the ideas I have to life in a meaningful way and for the benefit of all who want to live healthy.

The Clevergum team uses only high-quality sources and scientific studies that support the claims made in our articles. Read also our editorial guidelines. We'll be happy to explain our approach to writing articles and how we ensure that the content is credible and reliable.

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