The company called Sweet Victory formulated the product using plants. It tastes like regular gum and comes in two flavors: mint, ginger and lemon.
It works within two minutes by blocking sugar receptors on the tongue, and its effect can last for up to two hours, the company said. During that time, sweet foods or drinks that normally arouse the senses will taste sweet or sour, and the drive to binge on sweets can wear off, lasting longer than the physical effect.
“Most of us struggle daily with food cravings,”Gitit Lahav, a psychologist who has spent nearly a decade researching the link between nutrition and psychology, said. Lahav co-founded Sweet Victory with dietitian Shimrit Leaf. “Even with growing awareness of the impact of excessive sugar consumption on personal well-being, getting rid of the sugar ‘habit’ is a real struggle for most of us. This has prompted us to search for a solution that would help consumers better control their food choices.”
With their background in plants, Lahav and Leif turned to the ancient Indian botanical gymnastics, (Gymnema sylvestre) known from the Ayurvedic tradition for its positive effect on glucose metabolism.
In India, it is known as “gurmar” in Hindi for “sugar destroyer” and is said to prevent the absorption of sugar beyond its effect on the tongue. “The atomic arrangement of the biologically active gymnemic acid molecules is in fact similar to that of the glucose molecules,”Lev explained. “These molecules fill the receptor sites on the taste buds and prevent activation by the sugar molecules in the food, thus reducing sugar cravings.”
In India, the leaves of the peel are often chewed to obtain the effect. “We were amazed at how quickly this worked,” Note Lev. “We sought a more effective, enjoyable, and convenient delivery method for this herb, and so we set out to conquer its distinct bitter flavor.”
The duo first experimented with homemade gum recipes using homemade gum-making tools. Then they combined the techniques with their nutritional knowledge to devise the perfect recipe using a few selected natural sweeteners. The formula was further improved with the help of one of the leading companies in the Israeli confectionery industry. Today, after sourcing Organic Gymnema Leaves in India, the startup makes its silence in a facility in Italy certified to produce functional supplements.
The chewing gum underwent a successful pilot study at the Obesity Research Center of the Sheba Medical Center in Israel. One of the participants said: “I chew gum twice a day when I feel the need for something sweet, and my candy feels tasteless. I even tried the chocolate mousse and it tasted tart! The most surprising thing is that I have no desire to eat.”
According to the Innova Market Insights Global Health and Nutrition Survey, in 2021, 37% of global consumers indicated that they had reduced their sugar intake within the past 12 months. These efforts reflect the prevailing view that high sugar consumption is a causative factor for a range of conditions, including tooth decay, weight gain, and diabetes. Research has suggested a role for sugar in activating opioid receptors (reward centers) in the brain, which may explain its attractive nature.
The gums work on both a physical and psychological level.Lahav added. “Most people crave something sweet at certain times of the day, usually after lunch and at night. Over time, it becomes an automatic instinct that makes it difficult to break the habit. Chewing Sweet Victory gum in those tough moments can slowly break bad habits and help build good habits. Better and healthier.”More clinical trials to determine its effect on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes are in the pipeline.
Sweet Victory is commercially available in France, where it costs 7.7 euros for a box of 12 pieces, Panama and Israel. It is scheduled to be launched in the United States and then globally. She added that she plans more flavors for 2022.