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Lea Vuletic, Marija Klaic, Stjepan Spalj and Kristina Peros

Abstract

Background and Aims: Gum chewing after a meal stimulates salivation and may affect the motility of the gastrointestinal tract and the release of hormones through neural mechanisms. This study was conducted to assess if chewing a sugar-free gum for 20 min following a meal, as recommended for dental caries prevention, influences the postprandial blood glucose levels in a period of one hour. Materials and Methods: For each of 18 participants blood glucose profile was made by measuring capillary glucose concentration in 10-min intervals within one hour following: a) chewing a sugar-free gum, b) the consumption of an oatmeal, c) chewing a sugar-free gum after the consumption of an oatmeal. Results: No statistically significant differences were found in the glycaemic response following complex carbohydrate ingestion when a gum was chewed after a meal. Conclusions: The possible influence of gum chewing on the postprandial gastrointestinal and metabolic ongoings was not reflected in the postprandial glycaemic response under the conditions of this study. A more comprehensive study which would include more variables related to vagal efferent activity, digestion and metabolism would be needed to assess if chewing sugar-free gums to exploit their caries-protective potential can influence metabolic adaptability to nutritional challenges.