Feel like doing a little spring cleaning?
January 4, 2005 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Feel like doing a little spring cleaning? Remember that horrid olestra stuff that gave you "leakage"? Or didn't, because you stuck to the fatty doritos because of the diarrhea stories? Apparently there's some evidence that it clears a series of toxins, including dioxin, from the bloodstream. Would've come in handy for Yushenko. Via Number One Hit Song.
posted by condour75 (32 comments total)
So, does Proctor & Gamble now become a pharmaceutical company? I'm doing my own spring cleaning using Dr. Agatston's special formula.
posted by Doohickie at 11:16 AM on January 4, 2005

That whole Olestra thing was a crock. Olestra was not some demonic product that did horrible things to people.

Read the complaints of what Olestra did to the average person, and you could just as easily replace "Olestra" with "fiber" and still have a largely true account.

Some (rare) people may have had an allergy, and had a nasty reaction, but that is no reason to torpedo the product. It really seemed like an instance of pseudo-science paranoia winning the day.

But no one is going to buy an anal leakage product, now are they?
posted by teece at 11:18 AM on January 4, 2005

The guy who recently did my fitness assessment was a big fan of detoxification. But he was utterly against eating processed foods. Does this make eating a stack of fat free pringles a good thing or a bad thing?
posted by jacquilynne at 11:24 AM on January 4, 2005

jacquilynne: Not sure, but maybe he'd be interested in this
posted by smcniven at 11:28 AM on January 4, 2005

Read the complaints of what Olestra did to the average person, and you could just as easily replace "Olestra" with "fiber" and still have a largely true account.

The concern with Olestra was not the infamous "anal leakage". The real problem is that the body requires fat to be present when absorbing certain vitamins. If there is no fat present because it's been replaced with Olestra, then the body wouldn't absorb those vitamins and the consumer might eventually suffer from vitamin deficiency.

The "anal leakage" stuff made for a much better sound bite, though.
posted by Slothrup at 11:30 AM on January 4, 2005

How cool is that! I love how so many things in the land of medicine are discovered by accident. Oh, this heart medication gives old men an erection. Everyone has malaria, but I'm thirsty so I'll take a sip of this bacteria-laden water. People who work with cows don't catch smallpox? You don't say!
posted by Plinko at 11:31 AM on January 4, 2005

I have never had anal leakage from fiber. Never.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:43 AM on January 4, 2005

Slothrup (on fats and vitamins): Are you serious? I can imagine it being an issue if all fats were replaced with olestra, but not for someone eating a bag of chips a week. Besides, what vitamins are present in fritos? I know I don't depend on that 2% RDA of iron in those cheese curls to stave off anemia.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:51 AM on January 4, 2005

But no one is going to buy an anal leakage product, now are they?

You sure?
posted by unsupervised at 11:51 AM on January 4, 2005

If you're craving anal leakage, a hefty serving of maltitol -- the most common sweetener in low-carb dessert thingies -- will unleash those floodgates.
posted by digaman at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2005

So, does Proctor & Gamble now become a pharmaceutical company?

Doohickie, you mean like this?
posted by esoterica at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2005

I don't WANT to be exposed to anal leakage!
posted by matteo at 12:02 PM on January 4, 2005

esoterica- uh... yeah... like that

And by the way, that's a neat name... esoterica... but what does it mean? ;- P
posted by Doohickie at 12:20 PM on January 4, 2005

Fiber provides bulk. Olestra leakage is....not bulky.
posted by availablelight at 12:40 PM on January 4, 2005

If you want detoxed and anal leakage, I hear enemas are making a comeback. Cooommmeeee Baaaccckkkkkk.....
posted by nofundy at 12:44 PM on January 4, 2005

Jeffery Steingarten has a great essay on Olestra in one of his books. When it first came out, he was so excited about it he got P&G to let him cook with it, like you would olive oil. He made French fries, I think.
posted by sugarfish at 12:45 PM on January 4, 2005

Always take anything said on the news with a grain of salt. And if the news is working hard to make a big deal of something, use the whole salt shaker. Since the news, at least for a while, couldn't stop talking about Olestra and anal leakage (Look ma, no quotes!) I presumed that some journalist found their sound bite of the moment.

Anal leakage. What a nifty euphemism for "shit dribble." :)

On the other hand, is it just me or is America becoming far too entranced by what comes out of our bowels, what shape it is, how compact it is, its bulk, its weight, colour, smell, odor content, and such like? When I see a late night infomercial offering me colon cleanse, I see that America has taken another turn.
posted by GreatWesternDragon at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2005

"Becoming" far too entranced, GWD? The US has always had a real fascination with the bowels. Check out The Road to Wellville (book or movie) for more on that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2005

Hey, at least we don't have German toilets.
posted by rushmc at 1:08 PM on January 4, 2005

rush, they are quite creepy. but I understand it's an old tradition that allegedly comes from the fact that, as pork eaters, Germans were afraid of the possible presence of certain kinds of parasites in the pork meat, and they devised that (quite appalling) way to check out visually their, ahem, porcine output
posted by matteo at 1:12 PM on January 4, 2005

Things would have been fine if it weren't for the fact that all Olestra-laden products had signage on their wrappings that clearly said in clear, bright letters: Olestra may cause abdominal and loose stools.

Sure, it then says something about vitamin inhibition afterward, but who reads past LOOSE STOOLS?

Oh, and Olestra-lized products taste weird.
posted by linux at 1:26 PM on January 4, 2005

Nothing but anecdotal evidence, but whenever I had the option I ate Olestra versions of chips (well, not whenever, but whenever I was going to eat some anyway and they were available).

Not a single problem. The integrity of my anus remains unbreached . . . or something like that. But I'm still fat.
posted by obfusciatrist at 1:28 PM on January 4, 2005

It was determined by my social circle - with a VERY small anecdotal sample - that East Coasters reacted to Olestra with horror, whereas West Coasters thought it was just dandy.

Then there's me, an East Coaster, who never had a problem with the junk, despite getting...different final results...but not...wrong final results...erm...just different.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:43 PM on January 4, 2005

Proposed P&G FAQ: If someone with high levels of dioxin or PCBs in their body eats Olestra(r) products, should they take special precautions in disposing of their A.L.?
posted by alms at 2:03 PM on January 4, 2005

From the German Toilets site: I've never splashed myself sitting on the toilet.

I have...
posted by Doohickie at 2:48 PM on January 4, 2005

Manufactured food additive = evil. Substance which "detoxifies" the body = good. Such a conundrum for the American PC food/eating police.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:04 PM on January 4, 2005

As enticing as being able to clear out all the dioxin I've been nibbling on lately is, I just can't get over the coating that olestra stuff leaves in the mouth. Ugh. That was the dealbreaker for me. Trying to make things "low fat" is pointless anyway, it's taste, calories, and portion size that people need to worry about - if they want to worry at all.

I never had any of that A.L. . . I think that's more of a personality-type issue though.
posted by BrandonAbell at 4:29 PM on January 4, 2005

Eh. I tried the Olestra chips when they came out, and I wouldn't go so far as to claim leakage but boy I didn't feel well after only four chips. I gave the rest of the sample pack to a friend, who was fine.
posted by Karmakaze at 4:55 PM on January 4, 2005

Not so the German toilet. The excrement lands on a bone-dry horizontal shelf, mere inches beneath one's posterior. Repeated flushings are required to slide the ordure off the shelf into a small water-filled hole, from which it hopefully disappears. See?
So the main difference is that other toilets give the ordure no hope?
posted by mzurer at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2005

mzurer - God bless grammar perfectionists: I thought the same thing... I had a vision of an optimistic and generally cheerful poop venturing gleefully into the dark.
posted by socratic at 6:38 PM on January 4, 2005

I, too, tried the Olestra chips, once. Only once.

My insides were violently upset for a day, and I felt dehydrated and miserable for the next three days.

Instead of "anal leakage", a better term would be "repeated, painful anal explosions".

It reaffirmed for me at the time that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat well, eat small portions, and to exercise.

Processed snack foods just aren't healthy, in any amount. Trying to do end runs (no pun intended) around your body will only cause you grief.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:59 PM on January 4, 2005

Except Twinkees. Twinkees can only cause joy. Partially hydrogenated joy, perhaps, but joy nonetheless.
posted by condour75 at 11:01 PM on January 4, 2005

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