BusinessWeek reports that studies sponsored by the world's largest chewing gum maker Wrigley show that chewing gum "activates certain chemicals in the brain that help improve short- and long-term memory, and even helps reduce stress."
The studies are small, involving less than 100 people and Wrigley has not promoted the results because the studies "had not been peer-reviewed." Pubmed returns 15 articles to the query "chewing gum, memory." One study claims that "recent reports suggest that enhancement of memory performance while chewing gum is a fairly robust phenomenon." Appetite, 2004 Oct.
So, is gum a health food now (if it is food at all)?
Wrigley Chews Over Some Surprising News. Pallavi Gogoi. BusinessWeek.com
Chewing gum improves memory. NewScientist.com
20 Ways to Get and Stay Happy. Time, 2007.
Gum: The New Health Food? WSJ Health Blog, 2007.
Children chewing xylitol gum were 25% less likely to develop acute ear infections. NYTimes, 2011.
Image source: Chewing gum from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia