If you read my earlier article, An Easy Way to Reduce Calories, you know that chewing gum before an afternoon snack helps to reduce hunger and food cravings. It also makes you feel more full.
But according to a newer article in the British Medical Journal, if you chew too much sugar-free gum or eat too many sugar-free sweets, you could experience a severe and unhealthy weight loss.
The culprit is sorbitol, a sweetener that’s widely used in sugar-free products.
Sorbitol can have laxative effects, causing chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and severe weight loss of about 20% of your usual body weight.
Two patients with these symptoms were studied.
One patient, a 21-year-old woman, chewed a lot of sugar-free gum, amounting to a daily dose of 18 to 20 grams of sorbitol. That’s 14 to 16 sticks of sugar-free gum per day.
The other patient, a 46-year-old man, had a daily dose of 30 grams of sorbitol. He chewed 20 sticks of sugar-free gum and ate up to 200 grams of sweets every day.
When both patients were put on a sorbitol-free diet, their diarrhea stopped and they gained weight.
So you may want to moderate your intake of sugar-free products with sorbitol. And see your doctor immediately if you have unexplained weight loss or chronic diarrhea.