'Fat-Blocking' Pepsi Now Available In Japan; Does It Work?

Move over, Diet Pepsi, and make way for “fat-blocking” Pepsi. The new product, named Pepsi Special, is now available for purchase in Japan, but does it work?

PepsiCo has made Pepsi Special available to the public in Japan, reports the Los Angeles Times. What separates Pepsi Special from Diet Pepsi is one ingredient, dextrin. Dextrin is a fiber supplement and can be found in products such as Benefiber and Equate.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Pepsi Special is being primed as a way to lose weight because it will keep body functions operating normally and allow regular bowel movements. This is not the only soft drink that features dextrin in Japan. Kirin Mets Cola is also touted as a health drink and according to Kirin, dextrin helps prevent the body from absorbing fat while eating, notes New York Daily News.

Questions of taste aside, the most important question about Pepsi Special involves its claims that it will help people lose weight. If a soda can do that, even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might approve.

But some are casting skeptical glances at Pepsi Special, saying weight loss will not be found in soda. According to USA Today, while dextrin, and fiber, does help your body's ability to absorb fat, those effects are minimal at best in Pepsi Special. Popular Science goes one step further, noting a study that showed that rats fed dextrin absorbed less fat than rats that were not fed dextrin. Unfortunately, no human studies have been done on the effects of dextrin and it's uncertain what some fiber in soda can do for a person.

While Pepsi Special might not cause you to shed pounds, it's also unlikely to appear in the United States. USA Today reports that the Food and Drug Administration does not allow soft drinks to be fortified with nutrients, which would include dextrin.

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