Chewing GumChewing gum has been linked to a number of benefits from weight loss, dental hygiene to concentration enhancer over the years. This gooey bubble gums often called as chewing gum has now been proved to reduce stress and anxiety. Yes you heard it right, a novel research says that chewing gum may actually act as a stress buster in addition to relieving anxiety and improving alertness.

Conducted by Andrew Scholey, professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University in Australia, the study was presented at the 2008 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine.

Along with an array of multitasking activities, the study examined the capabilities of chewing gum in reducing induced anxiety and/or acute psychological stress. Nearly 40 participants with an average age of 22 years were analysed. 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 was used to keep a tab on their performance. Prior to the test participants were measured for anxiety, alertness and stress levels.

Interestingly, a 17% reduction in anxiety during mild stress was observed in gum chewers as against non-gum chewers. The study further showed nearly 10% reductions in moderate stress among gum chewers. Volunteers who chewed gum also had greater levels of alertness with an improvement of nearly 19% during mild stress and 8% in moderate stress. Finally chewing gum lowered the levels of salivary cortisol, a physiological stress marker by 16 % during mild stress and nearly 12% in moderate stress.

There was thus a significant overall improvement in the performance of gum chewers in multitasking activities. The study revealed 67% moderate stress and 109% mild stress improved mean performance for gum chompers. Surprisingly about 600,000 tons of gum are manufactured every year globally.

So the next time you are stressed out just pop a gum in your mouth and chomp it away to glory. Happy chewing!