(THE ATLANTIC) — You might be familiar with wheat dextrin as the supplement that's sold as Benefiber in the U.S. It's a soluble fiber that absorbs water as it moves through our intestines. That promotes movement of food through the bowel, and contraction of the bowel wall itself (bowel movement, if you will).
Pepsi distributors in Japan are leveraging this mechanism, less explicitly, in adding dextrin to their new product, Pepsi Special. It's being reported and marketed as a "fat blocking soda."
They base that claim in part on a 2006 study by Japan's National Institute of Health and Nutrition that found rats that ate dextrin absorbed less fat from their food. Because it essentially moved right through them. So, with the blessing of the NIHN, the product is designated a "food for specified health use."
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