ERZURUM, Turkey -- Feeling depressed? You might want to chew a little gum. According to researchers at Ataturk University, chewing gum when combined with medication can relieve some symptoms associated with depression. The study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Appetite, found that those who chewed gum along with medication had reduced symptoms of depression, loss of appetite and gastrointestinal upset compared to those who simply took prescribed medications.
The clinical study, which included some 30 participants, found that patients with mild to moderate depression responded better to treatment than those who took medication alone. The study used a sugar-free, flavorless non-branded gum. However, as the researchers noted, the results appeared in relationship to loss of appetite and flatulence, among other somatic symptoms, not mood.
While the antidepressant drugs did the heavy lifting in alleviating depression, the study remains significant. Researchers say it may open the door to gum as a delivery system for antidepressants, which could represent a new category of functional gums.