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Industry Voices - The Gum Doctor

Fortified chewing gum can protect against the common cold, claims Immuno Gum creator

By Oliver Nieburg+

23-Sep-2013
Last updated the 23-Sep-2013 at 14:19 GMT

Immuno Gum contains a herbal blend of eldberberry extact, Siberian ginseng and Echinacea and recently launched in Vitamin World stores in the US.

Immuno Gum contains a herbal blend of eldberberry extact, Siberian ginseng and Echinacea and recently launched in Vitamin World stores in the US.

Immune health chewing gum is a cheaper and more portable way to guard against the common cold than dissolvable vitamins, according to an emergency room doctor who has created his own anti-flu chewing gum.

Speaking to ConfectioneryNews, Immuno Gum creator Dr Terry O Neil said that chewing two pieces of gum fortified with zinc, vitamin C and elderberry when feeling the onset of a cold was more convenient than leading immunity products.

“If it’s a gum you are going to have a gum with you  - you’re not going to have a vitamin with you. It’s a very great vehicle to have an immunity product.”

Expensive but cheaper than vitamins

“They are very expensive, but the good thing about gum is that it tends to be cheaper than other products.”

He said the most popular immune health products in the US were dissolvable vitamins such as Airborne and Emergen-C, but these worked out twice as expensive as gum.

Herbal Blend

Immuno Gum contains 10mg zinc, 20 mg of Vitamin C and a proprietary herbal blend that includes eldberberry extact, Siberian ginseng and Echinacea.

“I wanted something functional and portable and had ingredients I believed in,” said O’ Neil

Immuno Gum has applied for a US patent on its herbal blend, but have been told by patent clerks that it could take between four and five years before it is reviewed.

Health claims and Canada launch plans

Immuno Gum was developed by practising emergency room doctor Terry O'Neil

Each active ingredient in the herbal blend is backed with at least three studies, but the product does not have Food And Drug Administration (FDA) approval to make any claims.

According to O’Neil, the company intends to conduct an efficacy study in the next 18 months to win FDA approval.

Immuno Gum recently received regulatory approval from Health Canada and plans to roll the product out in Canada in the near future.

Made in Italy

The firm is doing business as Immuno Gum, but its holding company is called O’Neil Gum Company, which is based in California.

Immuno Gum is currently on sale nationwide in the US through Vitamin World stores after a recent launch.

The sugarfree product comes in three flavors: mint, citrus and mixed berry.

The gum is manufactured and imported from Italy, but Immuno Gum is keeping the manufacturer under wraps. The Gum Base Company is a known contract manufacturer of compressed gum in Italy.

Private label manufacturer Fertin Pharma also produces an immune health chewing gum that contains plant extract Echinacea, Vitamin C and zinc.