Researchers have claimed that a snack food ingredient called olestra may be speeding up the removal of toxins in the body.
The trial demonstrated that olestra - a zero-calorie fat substitute found in low-calorie snack foods such as Pringles - could reduce the levels of serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in people who had been exposed to PCBs.
High levels of PCBs in the body are associated with an increase in hypertension and diabetes.
Principal investigator Ronald Jandacek, PhD, an adjunct professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at UC's College of Medicine, said that the findings showed that the rate of PCB disappearance from the participants that ate olestra was markedly faster during the one-year trial than that before the trial.
Olestra (brand name Olean) is a nonabsorbable fat product that Procter and Gamble developed in collaboration with UC and was introduced in snack foods (most notably Pringles) in 1996. Early reports of indigestion issues, however, prompted reformulation of the product prior to its market entry. The Kellogg Company purchased the Pringles brand in 2012.
Jandacek said of the clinical trial that plestra is a fat that passes through the body and remarkably it has revealed a potential health benefit of removing PCBs.
The study has been published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.