Chewing Gum Linked to Reduction in Stress

In what sounds like a chewing gum manufacturer’s PAGE RANK dream, chewing gum has been found to reduce stress and anxiety in people who chew it. For years people have sought various ways to fight stress. Among the most common are cigarette smoking and chewing gum. But , until now, despite the fact that many of those chewing gum believed that it helped them to reduce stress, there was simply no scientific evidence to prove which they were right. Now there is.

Along with relieving stress and anxiety, researchers found that people who chew gum also showed an improvement in alertness and in their own ability to multitask. The study in question had been presented by behavioral scientist Andrew Scholey, last year in Tokyo at the 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine. Dr . Andrew Scholey, a PH. D., is a professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences on Swinburne University in Melbourne, Quotes where the research study was performed. The particular intent of the study, which included several researchers from the Wrigley Science Institute, was intended to determine if and how the particular act of chewing gum affected feeling, cortisol levels, and stress.

Cortisol is produced by the body’s adrenal gland. In times of high stress, cortisol ranges in the body spike as the body switches into its “fight or flight” setting. When the body is in a relaxed condition, the cortisol levels in the body lower.
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This ability to measure cortisol levels in the body makes it the perfect type of marker to use in determining the amount of stress a person is experiencing. Dr . Scholey’s analysis determined that when a person chews bubble gum, at least in the laboratory setting, his cortisol levels decrease.

They research involved only forty people, a comparatively small number of participants from which to extrapolate results to the general population. The average age group was 22 years old. The testing has been done using the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (a. k. a. DISS) which, among other things, is a standardized method of measuring stress-related physiological reactions in a laboratory setting. In the research, the cortisol levels, plus the level of alertness, were measured before the the particular participants begin to chew gum and again as they were chewing the particular gum.

So just how much effect do chewing gum have on a person’s stress levels? The tests showed that those who chewed gum reduced their levels of anxiety by almost 17 percent when under mild stress and by almost 10 percent when below moderate stress. The difference in degrees of performance was even more dramatic as the gum chewers performed 67% to 109% better than the non-gum chewers.

Past researchers have studied the particular influence of scents on stress. This research study, however , did not focus on the type of gum chewed, therefore it’s not known whether flavor of the chewing gum made a difference in the results. What are the ramifications of this study? One likely ramification is that chewing gum manufacturers is going to be using the science to convince individuals to chew more of their gum. From the consumer standpoint, however , we’ll have to wait for follow up testing to determine whenever we all should add chewing gum to our weekly shopping lists.

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