Turns out the fat substitute may actually have a use--as part of a medical treatment for dioxin poisoning. In fact, if may have played a minor role in saving former Ukrainian president Victor Yushchenko's life. Yushchenko, as you may recall, was poisoned in an assassination attempt. NewScientist reports that skin growths called hamartomas were a critical part of the cure.
It now turns out that the lumps that grew on his face and body as a result probably saved his life by isolating the dioxin away from his vital, internal organs. They also helped to detoxify the poison, known chemically as TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlrodibenzo-p-dioxin), by producing powerful enzymes called cytochrome p450s that are normally confined to the liver.Read the whole fascinating thing.