Chewing gum was found to help relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress among individuals, according to a new study.
The study, led by Andrew Scholey, professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University, Australia, was done on the Defined Intensity Stressor Simulation (DISS), a multi-tasking platform which reliably induces stress and also includes performance measures, while chewing and not chewing gum.
While chewing gum, participants reported lower levels of anxiety. They showed a reduction in anxiety as compared to non-gum chewers by nearly 17% during mild stress and nearly 10% in moderate stress.
Participants experienced greater levels of alertness when they chewed gum. The improvement in alertness over non-gum chewers was nearly 19% during mild stress and eight per cent in moderate stress.
Stress levels were also lower. Levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower than those of non-gum chewers by 16% during mild stress and nearly 12% in moderate stress.
Chewing gum resulted in a significant improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities. Both gum-chewers and non-chewers showed improvement from their baseline scores.
However, chewing gum improved mean performance scores over non-gum chewers by 67% during moderate stress and 109% in mild stress.