Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is commonly used to flavor sugar-free chewing gum. While these types of sugar substitutes have the benefit of being inexpensive and low in calories, there are some concerns about the health risks of aspartame gum. Some users of aspartame gum and other aspartame products have experienced mild to severe cases of migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea and vision problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States banned the use of aspartame in 1980, but it was later approved after a number of research studies showed it to be safe for consumption. This is still a matter of debate, and consumers with concerns on the topic can always choose to go for aspartame-free gum.
There are, no unpleasant health side-effects associated with aspartame-free gum. An aspartame-free gum is generally flavored by using sugar substitutes like xylitol, a natural substance that is derived from corn and birch syrup, and also occurs in many types of fruits and in some vegetables. Xylitol is about 200 times sweeter than regular cane sugar, and the sweet flavor it imparts to the gum will last longer, a fact that people who like to chew gum for long periods are bound to appreciate. The flavor is different from that of regular sugar or that of an artificial sweetener.
As natural sweeteners are used instead of regular sugar in aspartame-free gum, the gum can be safely recommended for people with diabetic health issues. The lack of regular sugar means that there is no risk of the aspartame-free gum causing a steep rise in the sugar levels in the bloodstream. These type of sweeteners can also be easily absorbed by the body without needing to be processed by the insulin hormones; the main issue with diabetes is low insulin production by the pancreas and therefore poor absorption of glucose in the blood stream.
Regular and large-scale intake of sugar can cause obesity problems, but since aspartame-free gum is sugar-free and calorie-free, consumers can enjoy it without worrying about any weight gain. Being sugar-free also means that this gum is good for oral health and will not bring about dental decay problems. The xylitol in aspartame-free gum has antibacterial properties, and chewing this type of gum for several minutes after a meal can help with maintaining a correct oral hygiene.