Forget zero calories: Pepsi unveils ‘fat blocking’ soda

Here’s some news for the diet conscious. This soda claims to help you cut fat. No really – this isn’t some graffiti advert painted on a shady suburban wall in Kawaguchi by a fly-by-night green tea maker.

It is indeed Pepsi in Japan that recently made an announcement about its new product, Pepsi Special, which it claims helps reduce the ‘absorption of fat’ in human body, thus slimming you.

For those hooked on a staple of diet sodas, this has to be welcome news as, unlike the light and diet sodas that are common today, this isn’t just a zero-calorie soda – it burns down fat, or so claims Pepsi.

So soda, which started off as junk food, seems to have come a full circle and is now offering a solution to fat absorption! Unbelievable as it might sound, here’s how Pepsi says it works: The new soda is ‘special’ because of its not-so-secret new ingredient ‘dextrin’, a fibre supplement that, among other effects, may lead to improved dietary intake, alleviated irritable bowel syndrome and increased feelings of satiety.

Basically, it can make you feel full (even when you might not be and therefore help you cut down on calories), as well as repel fat absorption by the body.

The new soda is set for a November 13 release in the land of the Sumo.
According to a Google-translated press statement from Pepsi’s Japanese distributor Suntory, Pepsi Special helps “reduce the absorption of fat by the action of indigestible dextrin (dietary fibre)…”

The statement promises it will have a crisp and refreshing Pepsi flavor that hides the fibery aspects of the drink, and will be available for ¥150 (Dh7) for a 490ml bottle.

Incidentally, Pepsi Special won’t be the first ‘fat blocking’ soda to be launched in japan. The Japanese government certifies these colas as ‘food for specific health use,’ based in part on a 2006 study by Junichi Nagata and Morio Saito of Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition that indicated that rats fed dextrin and fat at the same time absorbed less of the fat than those that ate fat without dextrin.

Earlier this year, Suntory’s rival Kirin introduced Mets Cola in Japan in April, which sells for ¥140 (Dh6.5). According to reports, blood tests carried out on people after they drank the cola indicate that neutral fats remained lower after a person had eaten, with Kirin specifically targeting men in their 30s who enjoy eating out and drinking, but are worried about putting on weight.

Bottoms up, then?

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