Olestra Eaters, Beware

Feb. 14, 2000 (Unused York) — People who eat olestra-containing potato chips and snacks may erroneously test positive for malabsorption — a condition stamped by the disabled assimilation of fat within the body (steatorrhea). Such comes about may lead to pointless restorative tests.

Announcing in the Feb. 15 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a inquire about team driven by Ranga Balasekaran, MD, found that people who regularly consume olestra-containing potato chips may test false-positive for steatorrhea because they too are likely to have high amounts of fat in their feces due to the unique chemical composition of olestra. Balasekaran may be a senior gastroenterology fellow at Baylor College Medical Center in Dallas.

The pancreas helps to process nourishment within the stomach and aids in the assimilation of fat from nourishment. When the pancreas is not working legitimately, malabsorption of fat may occur. “If we don’t know in the event that a understanding is eating olestra, and we see a tremendous amount of fat within the stool, then we’ll think the pancreas is not working legitimately and we are going to arrange expensive and now and then hazardous tests,” Balasekaran tells WebMD.

Olestra was affirmed in January 1996 by the FDA for utilize in place of fats and oils in prepackaged savory snacks. Olestra points to reduce a food’s fat and calories whereas maintaining its surface. Due to its chemical makeup, olestra isn’t digested or absorbed by the body. Hence, it may cause abdominal cramping and free greasy stools.

In the ponder, 10 solid volunteers consumed five ounces of traditional potato chips each day on days one through six of the test. On days seven through 12, members devoured five ounces of potato chips containing 40 grams of olestra.

“When members consumed 40 grams of olestra per day, the excretion of fecal [stool] fat expanded to levels observed in patients with steatorrhea caused by the malabsorption syndrome,” Balasekaran and colleagues compose. “Admissions of olestra in any quantity will relatively hoist measured fecal [stool] fat output and may wrongly propose malabsorption of dietary fat,” they conclude.

Seven grams per day is considered the upper constrain of normal for stool fat yield, but when participants devoured 40 grams of olestra per day, their stool fat output measured between 14 to 23 grams per day.

“If you’re having a fecal [stool] fat test, don’t eat olestra products for a week,” he advises. Stool fat tests are requested for loose bowels or weight loss to guarantee that the pancreas is working legitimately.

“It’s critical that once you see your specialist for gastrointestinal [stomach-related] side effects that you just tell him or her on the off chance that you ate or eat olestra-containing items because the specialist may not ask about it,” prompts Michael F. Jacobsen, PhD, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., in an interview with WebMD.

Olestra may be causing the stomach-related trouble, he says, but other causes may moreover be responsible and doctors ought to not be as well speedy to fault olestra.

Olestra products are fortified with fat-soluble vitamins — vitamins A, D, E and K — because these vitamins may be excreted with the fat. However, olestra may moreover decrease the absorption of carotenoids such as beta-carotene and other supplements which will play a part in avoiding certain types of cancer and cataract.

These are some of the reasons why there was discussion surrounding Olestra’s discharge.

In a related consider of fair over 1,000 people from Indianapolis, analysts found that 41.5% of participants detailed consuming an olestra-containing item at slightest once amid the ponder period.

People who said that they thought it was critical to eat a low-fat diet were five times more likely to eat olestra-containing products than were individuals who did not think eating a low-fat eat less was important, agreeing to the think about in February Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Within the ponder, intermittent customers detailed eating the products about 1.3 times per month on normal, whereas steady consumers ate olestra-containing items an normal of 3.1 times per month.

People who work out frequently, were overweight and/or did not have diabetes were among the most likely to eat olestra-containing items, the study found.

“We didn’t know who would choose to eat these products because they got a few awful media scope due to their potential impacts on the gastrointestinal framework and, on the other hand, they are a low-fat food,” lead analyst Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, tells WebMD. Neumark-Sztainer is an relate professor of epidemiology at the College of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. “We found that people who are health cognizant have the next tendency to expend the chips.”

Neumark-Sztainer and colleagues undertook the study to see what types of people were using olestra. After the product was introduced, they questioned volunteers almost their diets three times during nine-month interims.

Crucial Information: Individuals who eat olestra chips and snacks may dishonestly test positive for a malabsorption disorder, leading to costly and unnecessary tests. Olestra, a fat-based chemical, is planned not to be ingested by the body, so fecal tests of buyers appear an abnormally high amount of fat. In case you eat olestra and are going in for gastrointestinal side effects, be sure to advise your specialist.

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