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Sticky solution; In association with the NHS.

CHEWING gum aids recovery from bowel surgery, evidence suggests. Work published in Archives of Surgery reviews data from five recent trials involving 158 patients. Chewing gum appears to speed up the return of normal bowel function by stimulating nerves in the digestive system, say the UK report's authors. Trials are now needed to see if this, in turn, can reduce the recovery time needed in hospital.

In each study, a group of patients chewed sugarless gum three times per day following surgery, for a period of five to 45 minutes, and were compared with patients who did not chew gum. Patients who chewed gum passed gas and had a bowel movement sooner than those who did not chew gum - signs that their bowel function returned sooner.

If chewing gum did reduce hospital stay, this could save the NHS millions of pounds, say the researchers, given that more than 31,000 bowel operations are carried out in England each year.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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