Chewing Gum, Saliva and Digestion | some confusing ideas !

I often chew bubble gum. This helps me a lot in my research work. I can think more, read more and write more. This also prevent the feeling of clogged ears whenever I catch cold. My auntie also has a mild ear problem whenever she has cold. Doctor recommended having a chewing gum as remedy.

Chewing a gum helps in better digestion. It removes the uncomfortable feeling whenever I ate too much. Also, the bothersome feeling of fullness even after a regular light meal.

I read a recommendation, chew a gum few minutes before a meal or right after. This deposits sufficient amount of saliva in stomach which aids in digestion. Amount of saliva produce gets lower as the person gets older. Having a bubble gum helps in producing more.

I read more about the topic saliva and digestion. However, things became confusing.

1) Human saliva contains ptyalin or salivary amylase. It is an enzyme responsible for breaking down of human most complex food, the starch.  Chew the food well, let the saliva mix with it before ingestion. I got problem with this cause I am a relatively fast eater. I tend to swallow food with less or no chewing especially when the viand is soupy dish like tinolang manok.

2) Sense of taste is  capable of identifying food components. No ptyalin is excreted when the food being chewed contains no starch. Saliva is still produced but no included enzyme. Now, what is the purpose of chewing a gum. It only contains the simple sugar carbohydrate? Anyway, digestion of starch is not the only purpose of saliva.

3) Very little or no saliva is produced when the food is taken in liquid form or in a very wet state. Rice porridge/lugaw, macaroni soup and oatmeal are swallowed without chewing however, no saliva will be produced even if they were chewed.  It is recommended to take starch food in their dry state. Dryness excites saliva production.  Eating it dry always is absurd.

4) Ptyalin is deactivated when mixed with acid. Eating corn and orange simultaneously is not recommended. When an starch food is chewed well and swallowed, the enzyme action will continue in stomach up to two hours. When rice is eaten with meat, then the enzyme action stops after swallowing. Stomach will become acidic cause the meat breakdown needs acid.

Items one and two are okay but three and four drive me nuts. Applying them to everyday life situation is near to impossible.

The idea of numbers 2,3 and 4 came from the book, The Hygienic System: Orthotrophy”, by Herbert M. Shelton


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