9 Medical Myths


Don't Swallow Gum -- It Takes Seven Years to Digest

Some misconceptions are hard to swallow, but people have been chewing on this one for years. This myth has probably been around since chewing gum became popular in the late 19th century and most likely originated thanks to a single word: indigestible. Gum is comprised of flavor, sweeteners, softeners and gum base. The body is able to break down the first three ingredients, but gum base is indigestible. That simply means your body can't dissolve it and extract nutrients. In the end, gum base works its way through your digestive system much like fiber -- in two or three days it goes out in basically the same shape it went in.