Want to lose your craving for sweets? Gum could be the answer

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Losing weight can be especially tough for people living with a sweet tooth. So how do you tackle that little problem?

Alice Weiser has chocolate hidden all over her house -- in the freezer, in the bedroom, and she even stashes chocolate's in the book case. So she's a perfect person to test a sugar blocker gum. Will it help her say no to chocolate?

"Oh, they're like little Chicklets," she said.

The gum uses an herb to block the sweet receptors in the mouth. After chewing the gum, Alice eats chocolate candy.

"Bland, like nothing," she said.

"If I chew the gum first, sweets just aren't going to taste the same, so I'm not going to eat as much of it, or I won't eat it at all," said inventor Keith Klein.

Klein came up with the gum to help his nutrition patients get through sugar cravings. It lasts about an hour.

"Bitter, sour, salty," he said. "It will be unaffected by this. It only binds with the sweet receptor sites so that you can't taste the sugar within the food."

Elizabeth was stunned. "It tastes awful," she said. "And I love chocolate!"

I asked Dr. Deepa Vasudevan to try the gum. The UT-Houston physician works with patients who are trying to lose weight.

"Tastes a little minty," she said.

She chews the sugar blocker gum, then eats a chocolate chip cookie.

"It sort of tastes tasteless," said Dr. Vasudevan.

She says the gum is safer than similar pills that can raise blood pressure and heart rate. But will the gum help you lose weight?

"I feel it's not going to help those patients who eat because they want to eat, but if somebody really likes sweets, it probably is gonna make a difference.

So if you have a sweet tooth, for one hour, it appears you can make it disappear.

"I would definitely not eat chocolate," said Dante Crosa, who tried out the gum. "That's for sure. Oh my goodness."

The gum is helpful for people who have diabetes, and it also works on the sugars in alcohol. Klein says if you chew the sugar blocker gum and drink a glass of wine, it makes the wine taste like vinegar. You'll find more information on the gum and on how to order here.
(Copyright © 2007, KTRK-TV)

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