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Pepsi launches 'weight-loss' version of Pepsi

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 16th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Carbonated drinks, or sodas - have never been recognized as effective agents for weight loss. Even the diet sodas on the market fail to send messages to our body that no sugar is added and fat is added anyway. Now, Pepsi has introduced a revolutionary soft drink called Pepsi Special, which purportedly blocks the absorption of fat.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Will Pepsis Special simultaneously solve Americans' neck-and-neck desires for weight loss and sugary, super-sized beverages? Pepsi Special has the added ingredient dextrin, a natural water-soluble dietary fiber derived from potatoes.

The commercials in Japan - where it is already available -- tout the product's effectiveness for weight loss. "Why choose between a hamburger and a slice of pizza? If you choose Pepsi Special, you can have both!" Straight off the bat, this illustrates why sugarless sods often fail. People are lulled into overeating by consuming diet sodas.

Pepsi claims that dextrin slows the absorption of fat in the body by binding with it and eliminating it as waste, not reserving it as empty calories. 

These claims are based on a Japanese study published in 2006 that showed that rats fed dextrin actually absorbed less fat than those that were not. However, just like the promises made in the late 1990s when U.S. snack food companies added olestra to salty snacks like potato chips, that fat-blocking ingredient also destroyed a substantial amount of valuable nutrients. It gave these avid consumers more than bargained for in terms of eliminating the additive.

Those who enjoyed foods with olestra experienced bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and frequently had loose bowel movements.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to defend olestra, although it is banned outright in the United Kingdom and in Canada.

Dextrin produces the same results, and has already been given the unappetizing nickname "Pepsi Poop." 

In the meantime, several U.S.-based research studies have examined the health benefits of dextrin. The reviews are mixed.

While the natural additive did help reduce levels of fat in the body, its overall effect is considered modest. In order for dextrin to really absorb enough fat to cause a considerate weight loss, its adverse side effects such as frequent diarrhea, gas and bloating-would be overwhelming.

Dextrin did offer other health benefits, described in a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology that claims it "improved glucose tolerance in lab mice [and therefore prevented their obesity]."

While a little dextrin won't send you dashing to the nearest washroom, chances are a diet punctuated by more than one daily serving of Pepsi Special may be more than you bargained for as it still contains high levels of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

If you genuinely want to lose weight or increase your intake of fiber, it's better to do so by eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

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