Study: Chewing Gum is Good for Your Brain
A new study revealed that chewing gum is good for the brain as it increases alertness by 10 percent.
In the study, researchers found that those chewing gum had a faster reaction time than those who were not chewing.
It was published in the journal Brain and Cognition and suggests that as many as eight areas of the brain are affected by chewing.
A theory for this says that chewing increases arousal and therefore leads to an improvement of blood flow to the brain.
Those included in the study were asked to either chew gum or not chew gum. Their brains were scanned to determine the effects.
They also performed a 30-minute test where the participant would press a button with their left or right thumb in response to the direction of an arrow.
Gum chewers took 493 milliseconds to react on average, while non-chewers took 545 milliseconds.
Professor Andy Smith of Cardiff University said, "The effects of chewing on reaction time are profound. Perhaps football managers arrived at the idea of chewing gum by accident, but they seem to be on the right track."
The study's researchers agree.
"Our results suggest that chewing induced an increase in the arousal level and alertness in addition to an effect on motor control and, as a consequence, these effects could lead to improvements in cognitive performance," they said.
There are conflicting studies, however, that correlate gum chewing with a loss in short-term memory.