What Does Swallowing Two and a Half Packs of Gum Every Day Like Sean Spicer Do to a Body?

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Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer, White House press secretary to President Donald Trump, chews and swallows gum every day — and that is no alternative fact.

In a recent profile in The Washington Post, Sean Spicer is described as someone addicted to gum. Not only does the White House press secretary to President Donald Trump chew "two and a half packs by noon," but he also swallows his Orbit cinnamon gum. That's 35 pieces every day. Added Spicer: "I talked to my doctor about it, he said it's no problem."

Is it really though?

Given that the administration is known for its "alternative facts," we spoke with Beverly Hills-based Dr. Gary R. Cohan to find out if there are any consequences to chewing — and swallowing — that many pieces of gum on a daily basis.

Cohan — who's been practicing medicine in L.A. for 25 years and counts Fifty Shades of Grey producer Dana Brunetti and Matt Bomer as patients — tells THR: "Unless Spicer's got some undiagnosed intestinal blockage/stricture/scarring problem that would cause the gum to back up in his system, swallowing that many pieces of gum daily should do zero harm to an adult."

Why is that? To get a better understanding, Cohan pointed us to a Geek.com article that helps debunk the myth that swallowing gum is harmful — or that it stays in your body for seven years.

"The reason it is safe to do so ought to be evident from the history of gum, since it was first sold as a food product thanks to the discovery that it is essentially unaffected by the human digestive system," reads the post, which explains that gum is not broken down by the acidity of stomach acid, nor by hungry digestive enzymes, and aside from flavor crystals, releases virtually no useful vitamins. "The tough molecular structure of chewing gum simply enter the body, sits unharmed for a while, then moves through with ease."

However, if folks are constantly chewing on sugar-free gum, says Cohan, there's a good chance that they'll experience, uh, diarrhea (we know, TMI), since sugar-free gums tend to contain xylitol, a sugar substitute, which can cause bloating and loose stools.

"For some people, it's just a compulsive habit [to chew gum]," explains Cohan. "Gum addicts will chew through packs of gum, and it can cause jaw ache or dental problems or bloating. With [Spicer], it could be a nervous tick, who knows?"

Regardless of why Spicer chews gum continuously (the Post says it's because "the man just can’t stand a gross-feeling mouth"), Cohan concludes, "Spicer may get struck by lightning for lying every time he opens his mouth, but gum is unlikely to kill him."