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

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what is olestra
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
Background
  • 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
Products
  • 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
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
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
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
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
Complaints
  • 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
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
Conclusion

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

references
References

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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