Pepsi has launched a massive counteroffensive aimed at consumer health groups and critics not entirely impressed with the company’s efforts to further public health. According to the soft drink giant, a newly unveiled product has the potential to reduce harmful cholesterol, block fat and generally promote good health.
The only problem for Pepsi is the fact that evidence seems to point elsewhere.
Designed to take the Japanese market by storm, Pepsi “Special” includes dextrin in its composition, which is a type of dietary fiber. Those behind the new version of Pepsi and its promoters have said that the inclusion of dextrin will not only lead to the blocking of fats, but will also help the body to prevent surges in triglycerides and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Sadly, this is not exactly backed up to a huge extent by the scientific community.
Right off the bat, the inclusion of indigestible fiber in a diet does not in fact “block” the absorption of fat – rather it just flies through the body trying to find an exit as fast as possible. The idea of using such fiber as a tool for weight loss isn’t unheard of, but evidence points to negligible benefit, if any at all.
With regard to Pepsi Special’s ability to lead to lower cholesterol levels however, this is where the claims have been met with greatest disapproval. There is currently no evidence to suggest that drinks with a high level of dextrin will in fact lead to such benefits, unless by way of consuming the drinks leading to a lesser appetite.
And of course, weighing up these minor and in most cases debatable benefits against the known health concerns that come hand-in-hand with most sodas paints an entirely less comforting overall picture.
As such, probably best not to expect Pepsi Special to make its way through the FDA and appear on the shelves in the US anytime soon.