The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

There’s Something In My Drink

on November 30, 2012

Pepsi is releasing a new pop called “Pepsi Special”.  Dietary fiber helps lower cholesterol and aid digestion and now Suntory Holdings Limited, a partner of Pepsico is adding it to pop. They claim that it will help to fend off weight gain.  They are adding dextrin to the pop, which is a dietary fiber that dissolves in water and is found in fiber supplements like Benefiber.  According to the article, Pepsi may have trouble with the FDA which discourages adding healthy ingredients to unhealthy drinks.

Dietary fiber from natural sources like fruits and vegetables regulates the digestive system, lowers cholesterol and may lower the risk of heart disease. The producers of Pepsi Special claim that it suppresses fat absorption and can help lower triglycerides after meals. They are touting it as the first “healthy” soda.

Interestingly this isn’t the first fiber-rich beverage released in Japan.  Kirin, a Japanese beer company, launched Kirin Mets Cola, a diet pop aimed at men in their 30’s which also contains dextrin.

Dextrin has been tested on rats and it was found that rats which were fed both dextrin and fat absorbed less fat than other rats who did not receive the dextrin.  Research however was not performed on humans and too much dextrin can make a person sick.  Studies show that too much dextrin can lead to stomach pain, gas and bloating and long term effects have not been studied.

So not fully tested and could lead to some embarrassing side effects.  It reminds me of Olestra the fat substitute that was released in the 90’s that included charming side effects like “anal leakage”.

I like diet Coke once in a while, but otherwise I have removed artificial sweeteners from my diet because the long term effects are just not known.  I never tried Olestra and I will not be rushing out to buy fiber-enriched pop.  I would rather get my fiber from the food I eat then play games with my health.  That’s just me, your choices are your choices, but it just seems like it would be easier and safer to eat real food than to keep searching for the “magical” fix.

– the Goddess


One response to “There’s Something In My Drink

  1. I can’t imagine drinking pop in order to get fiber, like you say, there are better ways to get fiber and it does sound like the whole Olestra thing all over again. I will say this though, I drink pop, and so do lots of other people and I drink it for no reason other than taste. What I mean is, I currently drink pop that has no benefits at all, just completely empty calories that are probably going to be the death of me. I can’t see someone saying, hey, I need some fiber, I should drink some pop, which I would not otherwise drink, instead of eating some vegetables. But I can see someone saying, well I am drinking this pop anyway, it may as well have fiber in it! It reminds me of the Michael Pollan adage (which I am sure I am mangling somewhat) “if it tells you it is healthy, it isn’t” since it is telling you it is healthy, it means it has a label, which means it has a package, which means it almost certainly isn’t good for you. Apples can’t extoll their health benefits since they have no labes, but crackers can and we all know which is better for you.

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