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Chewing 'Gum' fights Ear infections
Chewing 'Gum' fights Ear infections
Published at: 8 month(s) ago

Helsinki, Finland: A group of Finland-based researchers has claimed that chewing "gum" containing the sweetener xylitol can reduce the chances of an ear infection and as a bonus can also lower the risk of getting dental cavities.

The researchers stated that there is something special about xylitol. This natural sugar substitute comes from birch trees, strawberries, raspberries and plums. It is used to sweeten certain chewing gums.

According to the researchers, xylitol has antibacterial activity and when children chew this special gum they can reduce middle ear infections (acute otitis media) by 40 percent.

A Cochrane review conducted by independent analysts concluded:

“The meta-analysis showed that healthy children can reduce the risk of acute otitis media by using two pieces of xylitol chewing gum five times a day.”

Too much sugarless gum can cause digestive upset or diarrhea, so parents should keep an eye on how much xylitol-containing gum their children are chewing. The Cochrane experts suggest that chewing two pieces of gum after meals for five minutes can be effective. When chewed no more than five times daily they report, “No significant adverse effects were identified.”

A bonus seems to be an anti-cavity effect of xylitol. An article in the journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reports that:

“Xylitol oral syrup administered topically 2 or 3 times daily at a total daily dose of 8 g was effective in preventing early childhood caries.”

This is the season for sniffles, sneezes and ear infections. It might not hurt to stock up on some xylitol-containing gum. Older people with a dry mouth might also benefit, since they are also prone to cavities.

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