London, May 21 : If you thought chewing gums were just a sweet way to keep your jaws active, then you were underestimating these sugar-coated tablets, for now even hospitals are thinking of recommending it to patients for a quick recovery after surgery.
A new NHS study has revealed that patients who undergo bowel surgery are deemed fit to go home, almost 11/2 days earlier than usual, if they are treated with chewing gums.
A chewing gum dose of 30 minutes at morning, noon and night results in initiating gastric hormones.
This in turn stimulates the bowel and quickens the patients to carry on with their normal eating and drinking as compared to those who are not given gum.
In fact, health chiefs actually touted this discovery as a cheap way to free up beds.
The six-month long study of 67 bowel op patients at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, was led by consultant nurse Harriet Wright.
"Patients who received normal care went home four or five days after surgery. But those who chewed the gum went home an average of 11/2 days earlier. Gum gets patients better and home quicker," The Sun quoted her, as saying.
She added: "We now recommend it after surgery to help bowels to recover quicker. Hopefully this will become practice now."
Also, this research helped Harriet to get a masters degree in gastrointestinal disease at King's College London.