When I’m in the Philippines, I try to drink at least one can of fruit juice every day. Back in July 2012, I discovered I was drinking Del Monte Pineapple Juice Drink instead of the juice without the word “drink” on it.
The cost was about the same — 14 pesos per can (about 30 cents USD) — and cheaper than most other beverages. When I noticed the word “reducol” on one of the cans, I decided to find out what it was all about.
The first time I noticed the word “drink” on one of the cans, I did a double-take. It said “Pineapple Juice Drink”. I was sure I’d bought cans without “drink” on them before, so I searched the Del Monte websites to see what was going on. One of their products pages showed me an exact image of the can I had next to me.
I moved around the website a bit more and yes, they sell the 100 percent juice (not juice drink) as well. Checking the ingredients on my can, I found out it would be 100 percent if not for the added 1 gram of reducol.
I found somewhat of what I was looking for when I read about it at one of Oprah Winfrey’s websites. Since then, a website called Reducol popped up. It’s basically an oil extract derived from coniferous trees, but they don’t mention what trees. Pine trees are coniferous and pine oil is used in a lot of things, so that would be my guess.
Supposedly, reducol mimics consuming too much cholesterol and causes our bodies to bypass digesting it. What they fail to mention is whether it mimics the good as well as the bad cholesterol. Consuming too much of this stuff could result in too little of the good cholesterol, which we actually need for all kinds of things.
The only information I found was on the can itself:
Initial phase of a clinical trial conducted among Filipinos aged 25 to 60 years old has proven that drinking Del Monte 100% Pineapple Juice Drink with Reducol™ has resulted to a decrease in mean LDL cholesterol in 4 weeks.
Supposedly, it works well for Filipinos (and many less than well-to-do Filipinos eat high cholesterol foods), but I’m not Filipino and I watch what I eat.
While reducol may be beneficial, I don’t believe I should be consuming it daily. I don’t even eat food with cholesterol in it daily. I can go for days at a time without eating any kind of meat or dairy products.
Once I discovered it, I avoided the “pineapple juice drink” even when it was the only fruit juice available where I went shopping. Just before I left the Philippines in 2018, I saw the reducol drink still being sold at the Royal Subic store at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. I have to remember to avoid it when I return.