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Laxative Coca-Cola Is Catching On in Japan as a Heath Drink

Citizens warn that if you drink too much, you’ll have ‘loose bowels’
BlakeDavidTaylor /

Japan is famous for some pretty wild foodstuffs, like cheese smoothies, cough drop-flavored Kit Kat bars, and Nicolas Cage corn puffs. So it comes as no surprise that country has welcomed Coca-Cola Plus as a health drink — because it makes you poop.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the fizzy drink contains a high-fiber substance called indigestible dextrin, which increases the body’s ability to remove waste. As a press release from Coca-Cola explains, the beverage is designed “help suppress fat absorption and help moderate the levels of triglycerides in the blood.”

The Japanese government last year gave the no-calorie beverage a gold label certifying it under the Foods for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU) designation. Each product in this category, which accounts for $6 billion in sales each year, is characterized as having a particular health benefit. Coca-Cola Plus is the nation’s third “healthy” cola.

But some people think the healthy label is inappropriate. Michicko Kamiyama, a lawyer for Food Safety Citizens’ Watch, is concerned about the government endorsing sodas as healthful.

“If you have a well-balanced diet and do an appropriate amount of exercise then you don’t need them,” the 77-year-old told The Wall Street Journal. “I personally think it is totally ineffective.”

On the other hand, Tominaga Ozawa drinks the pop at least once a week after finishing 18 holes of golf. Even though he has his doubts, he thinks “it’s good.” But the 70-year-old prefers to drink in private, because “in Japan, your image can suffer if you say you drink cola,” he told the paper.

As far as side effects go, Seiji Miyata says to go easy on the guzzling.

“The only caveat we have is that if you drink too much — it is in there, that you may have loose bowels from overconsumption,” the 54-year-old art director told the paper.

We’re just going to stick with water.

To see what else Japan is snacking on, here are 10 things you can buy from a Japanese vending machine.