Chew Up! Study Finds Gum May Help Reduce Stress

Wrigley Science Institute: Committed to Exploring the Benefits of Chewing GumWrigley Science Institute: Committed to Exploring the Benefits of Chewing Gum

In a study presented at the 2008 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, new findings showed that chewing gum may help reduce stress.

The effects of gum chewing were studied on mood and cortisol levels during psychological stress. Researchers found that chewing gum helped relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress. Gum chewing was also associated with higher alertness and an improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities.

The study was led by Andrew Scholey, Ph.D., professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia.

According to the press release: “In the 40-person study of gum chewers averaging an age of 22 years old, performed on the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (DISS), a multi-tasking platform which reliably induces stress and also includes performance measures, while chewing and not chewing gum. Anxiety, alertness and stress levels were measured before and after participants completed the DISS.

-Relieved Anxiety: When chewing gum, participants reported lower levels of anxiety.
Gum chewers showed a reduction in anxiety as compared to non-gum chewers by nearly 17 percent during mild stress and nearly 10 percent in moderate stress.

-Increased Alertness: Participants experienced greater levels of alertness when they chewed gum.
Gum chewers showed improvement in alertness over non-gum chewers by nearly 19 percent during mild stress and 8 percent in moderate stress.

-Reduced Stress: Stress levels were lower in participants who chewed gum.
Levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower than those of non-gum chewers by 16 percent during mild stress and nearly 12 percent in moderate stress.

-Improved Performance: Chewing gum resulted in a significant improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities. Both gum-chewers and non-chewers showed improvement from their baseline scores; however, chewing gum improved mean performance scores over non-gum chewers by 67 percent during moderate stress and 109 percent in mild stress.”

I could see how chewing gum can reduce stress. I know many people (myself included) that have chewed gum to try and quit smoking. Trying not to smoke naturally caused me stress, so when I popped a few pieces of chewing gum in my mouth, that really seemed to help.

Chewing gum won’t take away all your stress, but it sure can help…even just a little.

If you're bored with regular chewing gum, why not check out The Top Ten Strange and Unusual Japanese Chewing Gums

Source: Press Release via Medical News Today