Well Being

Pepsi Special: New ‘Fat-Blocking’ Soda, Made With Same Ingredient As Glue

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Pepsi is claiming its new soft drink, Pepsi Special, has “fat-blocking” properties due to the presence of added fiber. If you think getting your fiber from soda is a good idea, might we suggest: You're doing it wrong?

Launching in Japan this week, Pepsi Special is made with dextrin, a soluble fiber common in processed foods which Mosby's Medical Dictionary describes as “a tasteless, colorless, gummy substance.” Because dextrin is extracted from wheat starch, it should be avoided by those with celiac's disease or gluten intolerance.

Dextrin is also used to bind together ingredients in foot pads and to make children's glue.

Citing studies showing dextrin can lower cholesterol and block fat absorption in rats, Pepsi is claiming that Pepsi Special will have similar effects in people. Said Sue Baic, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association and perhaps the only sane person ever quoted in the Daily Mail:

“I think this drink is unlikely to make much difference to how much fat you absorb. I suggest a higher fibre diet with fruit, vegetables and whole grains would be a better way to fill you up and make you feel less hungry. Plus then you would get the benefits of all the vitamins and minerals as well.”

Indeed. Soluble fiber, including dextrin, may help lower cholesterol. And it may help slow the body's absorption of glucose, which in turn can prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes and the accompanying carb/sugar cravings. But you can also get soluble fiber in apples, citrus fruits, beans, carrots, oats and other whole foods — without the 250 calories, high fructose corn syrup and 69 grams carbohydrates found in a 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi.

Photo: NY Daily News