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Olestra: Is it really that bad? PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Olestra: Is it really that bad?. By Sarah Gaynor. Yes. What is Olestra?.

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Olestra: Is it really that bad?

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Olestra is it really that bad l.jpg

Olestra: Is it really that bad?

By Sarah Gaynor

Slide2 l.jpg


What is olestra l.jpg

What is Olestra?

Normal fats are three fatty acids bonded to a glycerol molecule. Olestra uses a sucrose (sugar) molecule joined at esters to six to eight fatty acids, instead. It tastes and feels like a fat, but our bodies don’t even know where to begin to digest it.

Background l.jpg


  • P&G wanted a fat-reducing drug in 1975

  • Couldn’t show efficiency, so used as a food additive

  • Brand name: Olean

  • Approved in 1996 – Only by the US

  • Lay’s WOW in 1998

  • Label removed in 2003 – WOW discontinued, Lay’s Light begun

  • Other companies dropped olestra line of chips

Products l.jpg


  • Lay's Light Original

  • Lay's Light KC Masterpiece BBQ

  • Doritos Light Nacho Cheese

  • Ruffles Light Original

  • Ruffles Light Cheddar & Sour Cream

  • Tostitos Light Restaurant Style

  • Fat-Free Pringles

  • Fat-Free Bar-B-Q Pringles

  • Fat-Free Sour Cream and Onion Pringles

Concerns vitamins l.jpg

Concerns: Vitamins

  • Warning label: “This Product Contains Olestra. Olestra may cause abdominal cramping and loose stools. Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, and K have been added.”

  • Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble

  • Olestra carries them away

  • Chips fortified with vitamins

Concerns carotenoids l.jpg

Concerns: Carotenoids

  • Organic pigments

  • Found in fruits, vegetables like carrots, palm oil

  • May lower risk of blindness, heart disease, cancer

  • Like the vitamins, fat-soluble

Concerns abdominal cramping and loose stools l.jpg

Concerns: “Abdominal cramping and loose stools”

  • Biggest problem

  • Eight-week studies (17 test subjects):

    • 8 g (16 chips) a day increased diarrhea by a factor of 5

    • 32 g (about 3 oz of chips) gave half the subjects diarrhea

    • 8 g: gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, loose stools, nausea, and gas increased by 65%

    • 20 g was enough to double incidents

    • Intermittent symptoms lasted 40 days

  • Testimonials

    • http://www.zug.com/pranks/olestra/

Procter and gamble s stance l.jpg

Procter and Gamble’s stance

  • Reduce consumption of fats

  • Eat as much as you want

  • “Olean is a replacement for fat, not for common sense.”

  • Gastrointestinal effects are similar to that of a high-fiber diet

  • “The added vitamins have no impact on the body’s vitamin levels regardless of how much or how often Olean snacks are eaten.”

    –Olean website

Complaints l.jpg


  • More than 20,000 complaints

  • More complaints after label removal, name change, removal of Olean label, too

  • Some consumers went to hospital

  • Frito-Lay being sued by Massachusetts woman

  • Backed by nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Is p g trustworthy l.jpg

Is P&G trustworthy?

  • Actonel, a drug for osteoperosis (Britain)

  • Dr Aubrey Blumsohn at Sheffield University

  • Ghost writer, no access to data

  • Finally gained access—results framed poorly and innaccurately

  • No action from university; suspended for talking to media

Conclusion l.jpg


Believe what you want to believe, but I won’t be eating Lay’s Light anytime soon…

References l.jpg


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olestra - olestra infohttp://www.cspinet.org/olestra/OLES-M.AVI - anti-olestra commercialhttp://www.cspinet.org/olestra/ - anti-olestra sitehttp://health.howstuffworks.com/question526.htm - how olestra workshttp://health.howstuffworks.com/fat.htm - how fat workshttp://www.olean.com/ - main site

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1657302,00.html – legal bit

http://www.thes.co.uk/search/story.aspx?story_id=2026307 – recent news on legal bit

http://scientific-misconduct.blogspot.com/search?q=proctor+%26+gamble – legal bit central

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d9/Olestra_stereo_animation.gif - molecule gif

http://www.zug.com/pranks/olestra/ --eeew....

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/lax/182862349.html -- also very gross

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00524.html - being approved

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/2003/ANS01245.html - changing the label

http://cspinet.org/new/200601041.html - Getting sued

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat - fat info

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/06/23/oleanproducts.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/06/23/fin_canadian_ban_adds_to.html&h=373&w=600&sz=85&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=FtEqjJTzuA8ToM:&tbnh=84&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dolestra%2Bproduct%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den – News article on falling sales in 2000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotenoid - carotenoids

http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/fats/156/ - problems with olestra

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