Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Does anyone really believe that surgar-free gum takes away cravings?
    Judith J Wurtman, PhD posted:
    The November issue of Women's Health has an intriguing article entitled ' Never Get Sick Again' Expecting the article to tell me to wash my hands as often as possible, I was surprised that the recommendations were not to increase hand hygeine but suggestions that , if followed, will improve our mental as well as physical health. After all who can argue with the benefits of regular massages ( unless you hate them) taking vitamin D ( important for bone strength) and increasing contact with friends and neighbors to prevent stress brought on by loneliness. Overweight readers were told to lose weight because it is well known that obesity may increase recovery time from an infection. But the advice as to how to lose weight was unhelpful.. Sharon Zarabi, a registered dietician who was quoted in the article told the reader to chew on some sugar-free gum in the afternoon when craving afternoon snack. And to stop drinking lattes and have green tea instead.

    Well what about drinking some fat-free lattes so calcium intake and bone health increase? Wouldn't this help keep us healthy? This was not an option.

    Nor was the option of satisfying the afternoon munchies with food.
    The article failed to note that for many people, mental and emotional health depends on eating a fat -free, protein -free, carbohydrate snack in the afternoon. We have known for decades that the level of serotonin, the brain chemical which keeps us in a good mood drops in the late afternoon . And early sunsets cause it to drop even morer than during the summer.

    The craving for an afternoon snack is caused by the brain trying to get more serotonin made. The brain needs us to eat a non-fruit carbohydrate when serotonin levels drop because when we consume a small amount of something sweet or starchy ( but with no protein ) certain processes go on in the body that lead to more serotonin being made.

    A stick of sugar-free gum won't stop the cravings because no serotonin will be made after it is chewed. But eating about 30 grams worth of popcorn, pretzels, crunchy breakfast cereal or cinnamon toast will trigger the manufacture of this very important chemical.

    And the effect will be to make us feel better since serotonin takes away grumpiness, tiredness, frustration, distraction, depression and best of all for the dieter, appetite.

    And to my way of thinking, that must help keep us healthy.
    Jis4Judy responded:
    Hi I must be abnormal in this area because the other day when I ate air popped popcorn I didn;t feel satisfied at all and ate more that day than usual ..
    I am not grumpy or tired all the time and I rarely eat bread maybe a couple of slices a week .. I don;t use gum at all to deal with craveings I usually have yogurt and berries to satisfy my sweet craveings ..
    Hugs Judy:)
    Sw 247 Cw 153ish remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey! life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!

    Helpful Tips

    desk tip works
    Hi, when I had a desk job I used to just pick up my legs under the desk as if I was walking up and down the stairs ... and it helps with ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Everyday Fitness - Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

    Achieve a better mind-body balance and live a healthier life with tips from wellness expert Dr. Pamela Peeke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.