Chewing gum may be an effective complementary therapy in patients with mild to moderate depression

Appetite. 2013 Jun;65:31-4. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 Feb 12.


Previous studies indicated that chewing gum may relieve stress and depression. There have, however, not been a significant number of studies on clinical usage of chewing gum. In the present study, 30 patients with mild to moderate depression were given either medication combined with chewing gum, or medication only, for 6 weeks. Turkish adaptation of Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) was used to measure depression levels. Assessments were conducted by the same physician both before, and after treatment. The physician who was responsible for the assessment was not aware of the group allocation. Changes in main HAM-D scores and each item were analyzed by independent samples t test and Chi-Square test, respectively. Those patients who were administrated chewing gum responded better to the treatment than patients who took medication only. The most beneficial effect of chewing gum was observed on the gastrointestinal symptoms, e.g. loss of appetite, and flatulence among others. These results indicate that chewing gum may not be directly effective on depressed mood; however, it may reduce the symptoms originating from depression.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastication*
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Chewing Gum