Structure of Olestra®

Previous page (natural fats)

Olestra® is a hexa-, hepta- or octa-ester of sucrose (table sugar) and fatty acids. I have shown the octa-ester of sucrose and stearic acid below.

sucrose stearic acid
an olestra® molecule

You can see two things from these models:

  1. Olestra® is not digestible because it is too bulky. The enzymes which break down natural fats (triglycerides) can't get hold of it.
  2. Olestra® is likely to sequester fat-soluble vitamins; the molecule itself is like a little fat globule. These vitamins will then be carried out of the body with the olestra.

You may download the molecular structures represented on these pages as ZIP archives.
Copyright © 1997 by Daniel J. Berger. This work may be copied without limit if its use is to be for non-profit educational purposes. Such copies may be by any method, present or future. The author requests only that this statement accompany all such copies. All rights to publication for profit are retained by the author.

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