Fat substitutes incorporated into low-fat foods will soon be available to US consumers. Simplesse (NutraSweet) is commercially available only in an ice cream-like product called Simple Pleasures. Kraft General Foods expects to have FDA approval soon for its product, Trailblazer. Both products contain protein from egg white and from skim milk or whey, which is treated to make it taste and feel like fat. Used in food, this product replaces some or all of the fat and thus reduces total calories. Aside from frozen foods, fat substitutes may be used in salad dressing, cheese spreads, yogurt, mayonnaise, sour cream and other cold foods. Simplesse is unstable when it is heated, so it can not be used for baking or frying. The manufacturer does not say if Trailblazer is heat-stable. Both products can be used as a spread on hot toast or in milk substitutes for hot coffee without losing their texture or nutritional value. The amount of protein each contains is small; nonetheless the additional protein might be harmful for patients with hepatic (liver) or renal (kidney) disease. Test results suggest that people who are allergic to eggs or milk protein could have allergic reactions to these products. Neither product is effective for weight loss or lowering blood fat concentrations, but may make a low-fat diet more palatable and so might improve compliance. Both are considered safe for use. Each use of the product must be approved by the FDA; approval to date has been limited to use in a frozen dessert. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
The prospects for red-cell substitutes
Inexpensive blood substitutes could benefit many patients in developing countries. About two-thirds of developing countries do not have adequate blood transfusion services. Many units of donated blood are not even tested for infectious organisms. The ideal blood substitute should deliver oxygen adequately, have a long shelf-life, be relatively inexpensive, and have few side effects. A study published in 2000 reported the successful use of polymerized bovine hemoglobin to treat a woman with life-threatening anemia.
Publication Name: The New England Journal of Medicine
Substitutes for success
The author discusses the limited use of various blood substitutes developed in the past to reduce the chance of infection but which had unpleasant side effect. He points to platelet substitutes which offer a treatment for thrombocytopenia with fewer side effects.
Publication Name: Nature Medicine
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