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New caffeinated gums are a concern for many

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CHICAGO, IL – Need a little boost? Wrigley’s has the answer, Alert Energy Caffeine Gum.

One piece equals half a cup of coffee. Sounds great, doesn’t it? So what’s the problem?

Dr. John Higgins, with UTHealth Medical School said, “When you absorb caffeine through the mouth, through the mucosa of the mouth, it actually gets absorbed faster and quicker, and reaches higher levels than if you actually consume it.”

Especially when it comes to kids who may not be used to the effects of caffeine.

“They’ll often take 2 or 3 piece, so you’re going to get more than that 40mg in a lot of cases.”

That equals 2 or more cups of coffee in a matter of minutes. Would you want any of those kids in your classroom?

But the effects can be much more dangerous.

“Those high levels that they’re not used to are creating some problems. Some of it may be the nervous system, might be the heart or other systems in the body. We have seen in some cases associations with some children dying.”

Dr. John Higgins along with 18 other doctors from around the country wrote a letter to the FDA voicing their concerns about energy drinks. Alert gum raises those concerns even further.

“We’re concerned that these beverages, with the amount of caffeine they have, are potentially not safe and even harmful for these individuals.”

So what’s next?

“Your baby’s going to be crawling a bit slow on floor…oh, we can fix that, we can add caffeine to the baby formula, you know, where does it stop?”

Wrigley’s says the gum isn’t intended for children, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get their grubby little hands on it.