Researchers in America seem to have discovered that simply chewing gum after abdominal surgery can help get the bowels functioning more quickly than might otherwise be the case.
They found that in a small study of just 34 patients, those that chewed gum passed gas much more quickly than those that did not. They also seemed to have a first bowel movement much more quickly. And on average, chewers got out of hospital in 4.3 days; while those not chewing were left for 6.8 days.
You can find out more at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4725054.stm
(Image courtesy: Lusheeta, Own work)