It wouldn't be the first time that the "fake fat" product was used as an emergency agent to flush out dioxin, one of a group of chlorinated hydrocarbons that are toxic, lipophilic (attracted to fat) and persistent in the environment and animal tissues. About five years ago, two Austrian women suffering from dioxin poisoning were given olestra snacks, which resulted in removal of dioxin at 10 times the normal rate, according to some reports.
In an as-yet-unpublished study, researchers at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, along with Trevor Redgrave at the University of Western Australia, treated a patient with PCB toxicity over a two-year period with olestra in the form of fat-free Pringles. The patient's chloracne disappeared and the PCB level in fat tissue dropped dramatically.
The same University of Cincinnati School of Medicine team is reporting new research that sheds light into how diet affects retention and re-distribution through the weight gain-loss-regain cycle of chlorinated hydrocarbons, which include DDT, PCBs and dioxins. They also looked at the effects of the additive olestra, which is made by Procter & Gamble, on this redistribution and perhaps more importantly, on excretion of toxins from the body.
Indeed, "combined dietary olestra and caloric restriction caused a 30-fold increase in the rate of excretion" of a test toxin, while the toxin's distribution "into the brain resulting from the restricted diet was reduced by 50% by dietary olestra," the study found.
The study, "Effects of yo-yo diet, caloric restriction, and olestra on tissue distribution of hexachlorobenzene," was conducted by Ronald J. Jandacek, Nicole Anderson, Min Liu, Shuqin Zheng, Qing Yang and Patrick Tso of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati Sch