Towards A Crappier Cola

Nov 16 2012 @ 10:16am

A dietary supplement that promotes bowel-movements is the key ingredient in Pepsi Special, a new cola in Japan. Samantha Bonar explains:

Pepsi Special is made with dextrin — an indigestible form of dietary fiber sold as Benefiber in the U.S. It is also commonly used in glue. Studies on rats have suggested dextrin can reduce the absorption of fat in the body and lower cholesterol levels. There is no information about how much sugar Pepsi Special contains compared to regular Pepsi, but a spokesman told the Mail it would have a “crisp refreshing and unique” aftertaste. (Dextrin is said to have a rather unpleasant aftertaste, which could account for the “unique.”)

A dumbfounded James Hamblin unpacks the health angle:

Is high-fiber cola healthier than regular cola? Sure. Dextrin has been found to have several health benefits: It “may increase micronutrient absorption, stabilize[s] blood glucose, lower[s] serum lipids, may prevent several gastrointestinal disorders, and ha[s] an accepted role in prevention of cardiovascular disease.” But pairing it with soda and looking at the end product as healthy is insidious. If it leads us to justify drinking more soda, the benefits will be negated.