Chewing gum may make your jaws hurt after a bit, but it could get you out of bed earlier after gastrointestinal surgery as it helps in the recovery of bowel function.
Researchers studied 102 patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery and gave half of them 5 pieces of chewing gum per day after their operation.
AdvertisementThey found that 51 patients who chewed gum recovered their bowel movement significantly faster than those who did not.
Researchers theorized that chewing the gum might have stimulated the smooth muscle fibers and secretion from the salivary glands and liver.
Bradley Kropp, Faculty Member for F1000 Medicine Urology and Professor of Pediatric Urology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, has decided to give his patients undergoing reconstructive surgery a piece of gum following their operation.
"In today's high-tech, molecular-driven scientific world, it is nice to come across an article that can be implemented immediately into our practices without increased healthcare cost," he said.
"Just think how much a pack of gum would cost today had the pharmaceutical industry come across this information first," he added.
The study is published in the journal Urology.
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