Bubble gum therapy

Published: Monday 15 February 1999

Kids who thrive on bubble guru may well be keeping the doctor away. Research just published by Matti Uhari and his team from the University of Oulu in Finland shows that a sweetener commonly used in bubble gum, chewing gwn and some foods may prevent ear infections.

The plant sugar xylitol is known to inhibit the growth of bacteria. In this study, 857 healthy children were given 10 gram doses of xylitol in a sweet syrup, chewing gum and hard sweets while the kids in the control group received xylitol-free sweets.

After three months, as many as 41 per cent of the children who did not undergo the bubble gum therapy had car infection as compared to just 29 per cent in xylitol group (Pediatrics, Vol 102,No 4).

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