A common flavoring of chewing gum was associated with a 25% reduction in acute otitis media (AOM) in a small meta-analysis of children in Finnish day care centers, researchers reported.
Chewing gum has long been touted by gum manufacturers for preventing tooth decay and by frequent flyers for keeping one’s ears from popping during take-offs and landings. It’s been looked at for heartburn from overeating, relief of stress and anxiety and in dieting (although sugar-free gum has no more effect, it’s been recently noted).
Now, one of gum’s common flavorings, xylitol (birch sugar) is being looked at for its antibitoic properties in an age of antibiotic overuse and potential drug resistence. Xylitol has been used for decades as a natural non-sugar sweetener in gum, toothpaste and medicines.
AOM is the most common bacterial infection among young children in the United States. By the age of one, approximately Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*