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We are on a mission to tackle malnutrition and improve oral healthcare with an innovative vitamin infused chewing gum.

VitaGum addresses malnutrition and dental health with an innovative chewing gum

Effective treatment

VitaGum contains all essential vitamins needed to adress the most common causes of malnutrition in refugee populations.

Protects dental health

The gum contains ingredients that prevents oral cavities. It is to be taken after lunch and dinner, cleaning the teeth in the process.

High compliance rates

The format and taste makes it a great vehicle to form a habit. It’s been well tested amongst refugees and the wider population to ensure a great experience. 

Cost-efficient

Compared to getting a properly nutritious meal, the cost of getting a doctor to assign tablets, or dental healthcare, VitaGum is a cheaper option.

Environmentally friendly

We are committed to reduce the environmental impact by using reusable containers, with a lid where used gum can be disposed of in order to prevent pollution. 

We distribute the gum through partner organisations with existing grassroots connections and knowledge

Refugees are a diverse population with heterogeneous needs and conditions. We believe in partnering with organisations that have intimate knowledge about the places they work, and with existing distribution networks that we can use. We offer VitaGum at-cost, with subsidisation for selected partners. 

There are currently over 80 million displaced people worldwide

%

has Vitamin A deficiency

%

are anemic

%

has a Vitamin D deficiecy

%

deaths caused by vitamin, not calorie, deficiencies

%

has multiple oral cavities

Current solutions fail to address the challenge effectively

V2 compared to the standard UN food rations

UN food rations

2xV2gum per day

B12

  • 66% 66%
  • 100% 100%

B6

  • 38% 38%
  • 100% 100%

B1

  • 66% 66%
  • 100% 100%

C

  • 1% 1%
  • 100% 100%

Zinc

  • 75% 75%
  • 100% 100%

Iron

  • 40% 40%
  • 100% 100%

Folic Acid

  • 49% 49%
  • 100% 100%

Vitamin A

  • 9.6% 9.6%
  • 100% 100%

Vitamin D

  • 8.9% 8.9%
  • 100% 100%

Other applications

Displaced people with drug addictions

The similarities between the vitamin deficiencies and dental health issues between refugees and people with drug addictions are striking. People with drug addictions has a life expectancy 20 year below average, and diet plays a key role in this. 75% of people with drug addictions have severe, and completely treatable deficiencies. We believe VitaGum can be an effective solution. Gum is highly reported to be popular in this population. 

Useful for treatment across mental health disorders

VitaGum also has features that makes it useful for people with dementia, bulemia/anoreia, and schitzhoprehia. All suffer widespread vitamin deficiency, report high usage of gum, and have dental health issues that require better care. Compliance is a key issue, making VitaGum a great substitute for vitamin tablets.

VitaGum Team

News and updates

Harriet Lester, founder of VitaGum, featured in Oxford Enterprising

Harriet Lester, founder of VitaGum, featured in Oxford Enterprising

"I volunteer for a few refugee charities and whilst working in the Calais jungle I noticed that most refugees had very poor oral healthcare and nutritional deficiencies. As a biochemist, I am interested in using science technology and innovation to solve humanitarian...

VitaGum wins Oxford Inspired Pitch Competition

VitaGum wins Oxford Inspired Pitch Competition

It was such a great experience to participate in the Oxford Entrepreneurs Inspired pitching competition, being awarded with the first price and membership to Oxford Garage. Co-founders Andrea Stykket and Kay Yi Chong shared with investors and participants the idea and...

VitaGum wins All-Innovate Best Graduate Idea

VitaGum wins All-Innovate Best Graduate Idea

" Best postgraduate idea, awarded £5,000: VitaGUM from Wolfson College, founded by Harriet Lester, DPhil Biochemistry. "The All-Innovative competition provided many opportunities for us to grow as a startup. The 1-on-1 mentoring program helped us with our pitch...

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