Sham feeding with chewing gum has been shown to promote bowel motility. This may reduce symptoms of abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting sometimes associated with bowel preparation for colonoscopy.

In a study by Lee J et al, 131 patients were randomized to either bowel prep with polyethylene glycol (PEG) solution alone or PEG plus sugarless chewing gum.

The result: The chewing gum group reported lower abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting. It also took the group a shorter time to ingest the PEG solution.

Take Home Point: Gum chewing may improve the tolerability of PEG-based bowel cleansing agents for colonoscopy.


Lee J et al. Effects of gum chewing on abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting and intake adherence to polyethylene glycol solution of patients in colonoscopy preparation. J Clin Nurs. 2016 Feb; 25(3-4):518-25.