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Medical Edge: Potato Chip Diet

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- You might call it the "Potato chip diet."
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati  have discovered there may be an ingredient in some chips that might be a really good thing for some people to eat!  In just about any supermarket now you can find chips that are the traditional kind, or a lower fat version.  Some such as Pringles are made with a fat substitute not absorbed by the body called Olestra.
This fat substitute was the recent focus for a team of researchers who wanted to know more about Olestra.  They studied its impact in a group that ate Olestra Pringles and compared it to a group that ate Pringles without it.

Ronald Jandacek, a lipid chemist, said, "People in the control group ate 12 Pringles a day.  People in the Olestra Pringles a day ate 24 Pringles that gave them the same number of calories."

What makes this research unique is how they wanted to use Olestra for a purpose in the body to find out if they could reduce something in the body that shouldn't be there in the first place.  It's commonly referred to as a PCB.

Jandacek tells Local 12, "PCB's were used in electric transformers and other electrical equipment."
Even though PCB's were banned years ago Doctor Jandacek says they have stuck around in our environment and are stubborn.

"They get into the soil, plants and animals, they are stored in fatty tissue, and we eat them.  So it's mainly things we eat," Jandacek said.
Once in the body it's hard to get rid of them, or at least it was until Doctor Jandacek's team compared his two groups in the Pringles study.

He said, "And what we found was that the group that ate Olestra had like eight times the rate of decrease in the PCB's compared to the control group."
Previous research has also shown high levels of PCB's might raise the risk of health problems in the body such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  Who knows, Doctor Jandacek says, this could be one way to chip away at that risk.
Larger trials are now planned. This study is published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

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Video HERE



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