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You Ask, I Answer: Aspartame/Chewing Gum

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:07am
How much aspartame is in chewing gum, specifically Eclipse gum?

Should one stick to a limited number per day or can we chew to our heart's content?

-- "MC"

Via the blog

The average stick of gum contains 6 to 8 milligrams of aspartame (a 12 ounce can of Diet Coke, meanwhile, provides 180 milligrams.)

According to current guidelines, humans can safely consume 50 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight per day.

Based on recent studies, however, a growing body of scientists are calling for this number to be lowered to as little as 10 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight per day.

Even with the more conservative 10 milligram guidelines, though, a 130 pound individual (59 kilograms) can still safely consume 590 milligrams of aspartame per day (the equivalent of three 12-ounce cans of Diet Coke.)

That said, I don't like the notion of "chewing to your heart's content."

Sugarless gums -- including Eclipse -- contain other sweeteners beside aspartame.

One of these -- which appears well before aspartame on the ingredient list, meaning it is included in higher quantities -- is sorbitol.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that, when consumed in large amounts, results in undesirable gastrointestinal effects, including diarrhea, acute intestinal cramps, and even unintended weight loss.

To play it safe, I suggest capping your gum intake at 4 or 6 sticks/pieces a day.
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