A social media post claims that if a person swallows chewing gum, it stays in the body for seven years. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Mostly False.
A Twitter post reads, “Gum stays in your body for 7 years, and I eat a lot of it.”
If a person swallows chewing gum, would it stay in the body for seven years?
No. There is a lack of scientific evidence to prove that if a person swallows chewing gum, it could stay in the body for seven years.
Yale scientific even states that a piece of chewing gum generally does not stay in one’s body for more than seven days.
It is recommended just to chew the gum and then throw it out as our bodies do not possess digestive enzymes to break down gum base specifically. However, if it is swallowed, it generally isn’t harmful. If a person swallows gum, indeed, the body can’t digest it. But it does not stick to your stomach wall or intestinal tract. It moves relatively intact through your digestive system and is excreted in your stool.
Dr. Sharad Malhotra, Gastroenterologist at Akash Healthcare, New Delhi, comments on this by stating, “If the intention is to keep kids away from the gum, then it’s ok to propagate such myths. Otherwise, gum ingredients, like fibre, fruits, sweeteners, etc., are easily digestible in the stomach and intestines. No foodstuff can stay in your stomach for long. Incidentally, I am yet to see any gum in people’s stomachs despite doing thousands of endoscopic procedures.”
However, cases of gastroparesis or paralyzed stomach would be an exception to this, which could result in a buildup of food in the stomach.
Lastly, suppose a person swallows a large amount of gum or swallows gum with other indigestible objects. In that case, that might cause a blockage of the digestive tract, which might need surgical intervention. Hence, the claim stands mostly false until proven otherwise.
Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.