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There is the common belief that

Chewing gum takes 7 years to digest

But is this actually true? Does it really stick to your intestines for 7 years, or is it processed like all foods, except it isn't broken down and is excreted soon after digestion?

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    $\begingroup$ I think this question fits much better to skeptics.se. $\endgroup$ – Chris Jan 27 '17 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed with Chris that it doesn't belong here, but it is probably too simple for skeptics.se - you probably can't find a sufficient "notable claim" that this is true. Rather, if you just search for "chewing gum digestion myth" you will find many reputable sources that make it clear that, no, gum doesn't stick in your intestines for 7 years. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jan 27 '17 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ If I changed to 'how are indegestible foods like chewing gum processed?' wold that be on topic? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jan 27 '17 at 17:41
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    $\begingroup$ Close voter - how is this primarily opinion-based? It's not like we choose whether or not it takes 7 years $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jan 28 '17 at 19:29
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    $\begingroup$ Although I agree that this could go on Skeptics.SE, this question is relevant on Bio.SE b/c the OP is asking a straightforward question about how non-digestible food is digested. @terdon, I think you're being unfair as those details are really irrelevant and could even be addressed further in a biologically-focused answer. (Also, a quick google search will inform you about general ingredients of chewing gum). Beastly Gerbil, edit a bit more and provide a bit of evidence demonstrating your own research and people should leave you alone. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 13 '17 at 17:54
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Purportedly White House Spokesman Sean Spicer consumes (chews and swallows) at least 35 pieces of gum every day.

Mastication breaks down the components and carbs, oils and alcohols are digested accordingly, but the rubber is pushed through by your intestinal muscles. You might enjoy this article which goes into detail about the breakdown and digestion of "gum" constituents. For the most part tho the rubber in gum passes through like corn, peanuts and such.

So, no - no "seven years" to digest. I remember hearing that as a kid. I think it is the kind of thing kids are told to discourage them from swallowing outright instead of chewing gum.

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