According to the studies and research conducted by Dr. Kjersti Aagard, premature childbirths can be lowered by chewing a sugarless gum that has Xylitol in it. This research was conducted in an African country, Malawi.
Xylitol Present In Sugarless Chewing Gum Stops Early Child Birth
Premature births can be termed as that birth happens more than 3 weeks earlier as per the tentative date for the child’s birth.
We can also say that the birth of a child which takes place before the 37th week of a women’s pregnancy is known as premature birth. Some of the signs of premature childbirth are as follows:-
- Comparatively small size of the baby, it also includes a large head which is disproportionate to the size of the body.
- The babies would lack fat stores in the body which results into a sharp looking and fairly less roundness than a baby born in a normal time span.
- The baby’s body would be covered with lanugo. These are the fine hair on a premature baby’s body.
- The baby might have problems in breathing or respiration.
- It might have difficulties in eating, as it would lack in reflexes for sucking and swallowing food.
The substance named Xylitol is a chemical compound. It is a solid chemical found in crystal form and is colorless. Another property of this chemical is that it is water-soluble. The main use of Xylitol is that of a food additive and substitute of sugar. Some researchers concluded that if sugar is replaced with Xylitol it might promote better dental health. It does promote dental health but there is no proof that it prevents dental cavities.
According to reports, there are around 15 million premature babies born every year around the world. So, Dr. Kjersti Aagard conducted research in Malawi, Africa. Malawi has very high rates of gum diseases in women which have been interlinked with the premature birth of children. The study conducted in Malawi had more than 10,000 women as subjects for a time period of six years. There were some women who joined before being pregnant and some came during their first few months of pregnancy. So, they were divided into two groups, one group provided Xylitol chewing gums and the other half had not been given anything.
The group which had been given Xylitol chewing gum during the experiment had 13% of premature births and 9% of the babies had low birth weights. Whereas the other group had about 17% of premature births and 13% of the babies were born with low birth weights. Another thing that was observed was, if the Xylitol chewing gum was used before 20 weeks of pregnancy then it reduced the chances of premature birth mainly between 34 to 37 weeks period.
This particular experiment using Xylitol was innovative and unique on its own. Following are some of the things which makes it unique:-
- The things used in the experiment were readily available and there was no need for special searches to gather those things.
- The non-sugar Xylitol chewing gums were inexpensive for the researchers or even for the participants.
- The means for the experiment were palatable as well.
- It uses Xylitol to not only reduce oral problems but also to improve outcomes related to birth.
The experiment is even praised by Dr. Zsakeba Henderson, the senior vice-president of the March of Dimes. It is a nonprofit organization that works for the better health of children and mothers.
Experiments like these should be welcomed and there should be the same experiments conducted at different places in the world to reduce premature birth and oral problems.