Pepsi launch ‘fat blocking’ cola drink in Japan

A ‘special’ version of Pepsi’s cola drink has gone on sale today in Japan, with bold claims of weight loss and lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol coming from the soft drinks giant.

Funnily enough the drink will be named ‘Pepsi Special’, and will be distributed by Suntory International, who is hoping for a similar hit as the Japanese fat-busting drink Mets Cola, released by the beer company Kirin only a few months previously.

Both drinks contain an indigestible form of the light carbohydrate dextrin; occasionally used as a fibre supplement. Dextrin inhibits the body’s ability to absorb fat while eating and also reduces the level of ‘blood triglycerides’ in your bloodstream and bad LDL cholesterol. If that wasn’t enough though, it also manages to help keep HDL, the good cholesterol.

These claims are based on a 2006 study by Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition, conducted on rats that were fed dextrin. The study’s results went some way to showing that dextrin can help in reducing the absorption of fat in the body and also helping to bring down cholesterol levels.

Unfortunately no information has been released in regards to the drink’s sugar or corn-syrup content in the drink in comparison to the regular Pepsi drink  spokesman said it would have a ‘crisp refreshing and unique’ aftertaste.

Pepsi Special will have a unique look, being sold in a ‘luxury’ gold and black bottle with the Pepsi logo on the side of the bottle. The price will be initially set at 150Yen (£1.20), only slightly more than a typical 500ml bottle of regular Pepsi sold in the UK. However, there has been nothing said by either Pepsi or Suntory International regarding a European or U.S. release date.

One thing that is clear though is just who the drink could appeal to, going off the humorous advert that Pepsi have posted on their website. The ad depicts a young businessman who has to make a choice between a woman dressed in a pizza costume and another wearing a burger outfit. Basically it is claimed that the man will not have to discard either, as long as he drinks Pepsi Special. It would seem the soft drink giant is keen to appeal to young, health-conscious men who enjoy such drinks but are also worried about their weight, as well as possibly previous customers who have stopped buying soft drinks for health purposes.

The drink has been met with scepticism though by some people though. Sue Baic, a spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association, questioned just how effective the drink was in its fat-busting claims. She said: “I think this drink is unlikely to make much difference to how much fat you absorb. I can’t see any studies that show dextrin works in people. Even if it has an effect on rats that doesn’t mean it will translate into humans. 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.”

It is debatable just how ‘healthy’ though these types of drinks are due to the high volume of additives that are packed inside, many of which are disastrous for teeth. In addition, high sugar content will do nothing good for weight and in the long run can lead to health complications such as diabetes.

From Medical Specialists’ experience, and from contact with our thousands of patients, success comes firstly from factors such as lifestyle improvements such as a healthier diet and more exercise. Help can also be found from clinically proven treatments for obesity such as Xenical or XLS-Medical Fat Binder.

It may be also questionable whether or not a fizzy drink can have a genuine impact on your good and bad cholesterol levels. Luckily, for suitable patients, we can provide cholesterol-lowering statin medications Crestor (Rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (Atorvastatin). Along with diet, they lower ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL-C), increase ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL-C), and also slow the progression of atherosclerosis in adults with high cholesterol. We are pleased to inform our patients that we now also offer legal generic Atorvastatin, with prices from as little as just £11.25 per pack.

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