New Stride Spark Chewing Gum with Vitamins B6 and B12……please…spit it out!

What is it with chewing gum these days?

healthy gum

Are you kidding us?

It used to be that all your gum had to give you was fresh breath.  Then came whiter teeth, then strong teeth, then energy in the form of caffeine, and now, this…..

While waiting in line at Target, I saw the new Stride Chewing Gum: Stride Spark with vitamins B6 and B12.

I guess I shouldn’t be knocking anything that can deliver vitamins to this vitamin deprived society, but let’s just take a look at what else you’re getting with your “energy boosting vitamins”.

Stride ingredient list:

  • sorbitol: sweetener
  • mannitol: sweetener
  • glycerin: sweetener and natural lubricator (keeps the gum from drying out your mouth)
  • natural and artificial flavor (whatever those are…)
  • xylitol: sweetener
  • acesulfame potassium: artificial sweetener
  • aspartame: yet another artificial sweetener
  • BHT: artificial preservative
  • Artificial color blue #1
  • Vitamin B12 in the amount of 25% RDA in one piece
  • pectin: a thickening agent
  • Vitamin B6 in the amount of 25% RDA in one piece
  • soy lecithin: a thickening agent
  • sucralose: ok….another artificial sweetener that’s 7 sweeteners. Is this gum sweet or what?

Sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are polyalcohol based sugars. While you won’t toss your cookies after ingesting these types of “alcohol” sugars, you may still need the bathroom, because they can cause diarrhea, bloating and gas.   Yeah, while you’re trying to avoid bad breath on your date, you end up stinking up the car anyway.

Aspertame (nutra-sweet) is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners on the market. It is also the one that has had the most complaints of any food additive available to the public. It’s been linked with MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders. Possible side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, panic attacks, dizziness, irritability, nausea, intestinal discomfort, skin rash, and nervousness. Some researchers have linked aspartame with depression and manic episodes. It may also contribute to male infertility.  Which may work on a date, but not after the wedding.  A 2007 study states aspartame may cause cancer including lymphoma and breast cancer.  But this chemical is so widely used, and the dollar amount profit so high, I doubt manufacturers would even consider switching to another alternative.

Acesulfame Potassium sounds like it might be ok.  I mean, it has the word potassium in it and all,…but it isn’t.  It is a chemically derived sweetener that, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has not been adequately tested on animals or humans.  They don’t know what it might do.  How does it feel to be a guinea pig?

Sucralose, an artificial substance, seems to be the safest among the sweeteners, but it is not without concern.  At extremely high doses it had effects on the thymus gland (which is the head honcho of the immune system) and reduces the “good” bacteria in your intestines.

Even if all these chemicals were absolutely safe, there would still be the harm of your mouth constantly being fed “sweet” without the carbs.

This constant sweet in your mouth really pisses the brain off.  When we eat sweet foods, special taste buds trigger enzymes that prime our brain to anticipate an extra energy boost.  The enzymes in your mouth begin a cascade that primes your cell receptors for an insulin surge (the result of ingesting food), and when it doesn’t arrive your brain feels cheated. Your brain wants the energy boost you promised it, so you start craving carbs.  (isn’t our brain amazing?)

In one study, people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to three times the amount of calories as the control group. There was a more recent study that linked drinking sugar-free soft drinks to weight gain, again because of the brain’s perception of the sweet causing cravings. But this is individual. It all comes down to the brain’s perception of calories, which can get thrown off whenever artificial ingredients are substituted for whole food.

But what about the vitamin B’s…. I need energy!

Here’s a novel idea:  get your B vitamins from food!

The same amounts of B vitamins that are in the one piece of chemical gum are also found in:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 serving of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup garbonzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 oz sunflower seeds
  • baked potato
  • 3 oz salmon
  • 1 serving of breakfast cereal

…..and the list goes on and on.  Yes, there are calories in these foods and not in the gum, but there are also protein, minerals omega-3’s, and real carbs.

I haven’t ingested any artificial sweeteners in the past 6 years.  There’s no reason to.  And I’m still just as sweet :p

If you must….OK…chew the damn gum…..but chew in moderation and please don’t think that your gum is going to take the place of your healthy well-balanced diet ….right Violet Beauregarde?…….

Categories: diet, nutrition, vitamins

Tags: , , ,

29 replies

  1. I drive a motor coach for a living and any little spark I can get helps me get through the drive what do you suggest other than this sense this is the best thing I have found.

  2. I chew gum as a way to manage my anxiety. This is my favorite kind, based on taste alone. Now I’m gonna feel bad when I chew it. I’ve tried “natural, healthy” gums and they last for about 30 seconds. I guess I need to make a conscious effort to chew it less. *sigh*

    • why feel bad? Isn’t life hard enough without finding things to feel bad about? I like to follow the “happiness factor” way of life. If this gum gives you so much pleasure that it scores above a 6 out of 10 on the happiness scale, then the happiness trumps the unhealthiness. This can only work on a few things in your life though or people would give scores of 9’s to cheeseburgers and double chocolate shakes….
      Seriously though, I don’t think the gum is going to push you into the “unhealthy” column…..I say keep chewin if that’s what floats your boat. There are plenty of other drug-free ways to manage anxiety….here’s a free meditation focused on anxiety:

  3. 5 months ago, I had my mind set on quitting smoking. I told myself not to do the patch to do this cold turkey. I picked up a pack of your b6 b12 gum. I could not believe how the flavor lasted. I am proud to say with chewing your gum, this is what helped me quit smoking. I just want to say thank you for making this gum, and for helping me quit smoking.

  4. Thought this might be interesting… This is what Dr. Mercola says about xylitol:
    Xylitol is a high-grade sweetener extracted from birch cellulose. It is one of the sugar alcohols that does not cause a severe spike in blood sugar levels. It also comes with an added benefit, because it is anti-bacterial — many studies show that it actually helps prevent dental cavities. That is why it is often used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, breath mints and sprays, and pharmaceutical products such as cough syrups, cough drops, and throat lozenges.

    Xylitol is even used in products such as nasal wash to prevent nasal or throat infections, and it is very effective in that application. Xylitol has also been reported to be useful in preventing ear infections,[10] and some evidence suggests that it can help prevent gum disease. Bacterial salivary organisms do not feed, grow or ferment on xylitol as they do on simple sugars.

  5. A friend of mine called Ariane chewed a whole to pack to herself one night. Please tell me, Savvy Sister, is she going to be allright ?

  6. great idea
    love the gum
    top up on missed vitamins
    Too much sugar???
    any rational person knows how to moderate
    same as alcohol and cigaretees

  7. Wow, I never thought about what I was putting in my mouth.
    Thank you for bring to our attention something we are mindlessly doing!!

  8. Just wondering, is it possible to effectively OD on the B vitamins in this gum? like chewing 5 pieces a day? Can you take too much B-12 and B-6?

    • Great question! The “B” vitamins are water soluble, so you body just uses what it needs and the rest wash out of your system in your urine. Vitamin C is also that way. The vitamins you can OD on are A,D,E,and K. This can’t happen with food only supplements.
      Thanks for your comment!

  9. I definitely think this gum is a step in the right direction. So many people are deprived of their trace vitamins and minerals. Even with the artificial sugars, unless you eat an entire pack or two a day, little to no harm can occur. People are going to chew gum and therefore it seems like a good idea to fortify it with the vitamins that many people do not achieve in their daily diets.

  10. Xylitol is also highly toxic to dogs, yet another reason not to buy this stuff.

  11. Those pesky sweeteners! They are horrible!

  12. maybe its a good thing chewing gum is banned here….I have a hard time resisting temptation. I used to love strawberry bubble yum which was a brand of bubble gum we could get easily before the law was in place. I also loved chiclets. Wow I think the last time I chewed gum was maybe decades ago!

  13. I did not know that gum have so many artificial sweetners in them. Lucky for me, I don’t eat them. There is nothing more irritating to me than someone who chew and chew on something endless. So no, I don’t eat them. But a good thing to know nevertheless when I see someone again chewing them.

So whaddya think?

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