"Chewing gum is the new trail mix" was the headline of a 2013 article in the Berliner Morgenpost. A title that makes perfect sense, since chewing gum is said to promote concentration and the ability to think. Incidentally, this is said to be due to the fact that chewing gum supplies around 25 percent more blood to the brain. The fact that the common types of sugar-free chewing gum are also beneficial for oral hygiene and fresh breath should also be common knowledge. Chewing gum, of which we Germans consume around 100 pieces per capita per year, is therefore quite useful from this point of view.
The chewing gum evolution
What is less well known is that people were already chewing their own kind of gum, namely small lumps of birch pitch (mastic), in the Paleolithic era, about 10,000 years ago. From finds made by researchers near Gothenburg in the 1990s, scientists led by Natalija Kashuba were able to isolate human DNA from such lumps of resin. According to Stockholm University, these are thus the oldest sequenced pieces of DNA from humans in the region (1). The Maya and Aztecs also had something to chew on, chicle, a gum made from the white milky sap of the pomace apple tree.
The entire genome of a female human living in Denmark 5,700 years ago was mapped using a piece of birch pitch she had chewed. Image courtesy of Theis Jensen.
The first commercial use of chewing gum was in the mid-19th century, or more precisely in 1848, by the U.S. American John Curtis Jackson. He used an Indian recipe with spruce resin as the base material and beeswax.
In 1869, Dr. William F. Semple from Ohio granted the first patent for chewing gum also as a medicine to protect dental health. Then in 1875, another American, John Colgan, came up with the imaginative idea of flavoring chewing gum. Since then, there have been chewing gums with different flavors.
Bemerkenswert ist, dass 1924 der erste medizinische Kaugummi in den USA zwar auf den Markt kam, aber erst 1991 von der Kommission der Europäischen Gemeinschaften zugelassen wurde. Seitdem erfreuen sich Kaugummis aufgrund ihrer Vorteile bei allen Menschen auf der ganzen Welt allgemeiner Beliebtheit.
The chewing gum revolution
Thirty years later, and it's striking how comparatively slow progress has been here, Clevergums are ushering in a new era in the evolution of chewing gum.
Whenever I explain that chewing gum eliminates the need to swallow numerous pills and capsules, I initially receive looks of disbelief. I think that's what must have happened to John Curtis Jackson with his first chewing gum. I myself probably looked no less incredulous when I first heard about it. But the fact is that around 70 percent of all German consumers take dietary supplements to optimize their mental or physical performance. And what pills and tablets used to deliver, Clevergum chewing gum now delivers.
What sounds strange at first, makes sense when you take a closer look at the properties of functional chewing gums: Apart from being more tolerable and easier to take - after all, you can chew gum almost anytime and anywhere - Clevergums have numerous advantages that eclipse traditional tablet swallowing.
- High bioavailability
- Faster in the blood
- Active ingredients remain intact (pharmaceutical grade cold pressing)
"Oral mucosa provides excellent accessibility and prevents the degradation of proteins and petpids that occurs through first-pass gastrointestinal absorption and hepatic metabolism."
Front Pharmacol. 2019; 10; publishes online 2019 Nov 5. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01328
1. high bioavailability
A big plus is the high bioavailability of the active ingredients. They are absorbed through the oral mucosa during chewing and thus enter the bloodstream directly. Tablets, on the other hand, are first metabolized by the body via the gastrointestinal tract and the liver (first-pass effect). Depending on body size and weight, the amount of substances that actually reach the bloodstream can vary considerably. What really arrives is uncertain.
2. fast effect
Through absorption through the oral mucosa, the active ingredients enter the bloodstream much more quickly when chewing gum, and the desired effect occurs promptly.
3. slow release - full benefit
The substances contained in the chewing gum are not released all at once and a large part is swallowed with it, but delayed, peu à peu. This is due to the fact that Clevergum uses a medicinal chewing mass that gradually releases the ingredients when chewed. The scientists who developed this chewing mass refer to this as a "slow-release" effect.
So it's fair to talk about a revolution in chewing gum and the fact that, in this context, chewing is probably smarter than swallowing. And, who knows, maybe there will soon be medicines in chewing gum form, so that people who suffer from tension headaches and migraines, for example, will soon be able to simply "chew away" their torment. Wouldn't that be nice?