While tequila is a drink lots of people love, it is also good and bad in its own ways. That being said, research has been for some time now showing the positive side quite prominently.

For those who might not be aware tequila is made from something called Agave Tequilana (blue agave). It is a soft plant that has spines on the end of its leaves. This is a plant that is grown in Mexico and is actually quite beautiful. It does well in surviving through even some of the worst conditions and is used for several things.

Don’t get me wrong, anything can be a bad thing if you overuse it but a little tequila might actually not be a bad thing. The sugars from the agave used to make the tequila have been found on more than one occasion to be able to lower blood glucose levels for those with type 2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, and so much more. One study I recently came across really got me thinking.

This study was presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) back in 2014. Agavins are not digestible and act as a dietary fiber. This meaning they can’t raise blood glucose according to researchers. It was also found that these ‘tequila sugars’ were able to increase the amount of insulin within the body.

For this study, they fed mice a standard diet and added agavins to some of their water. The mice who consumed agavins ate less overall and had lower blood glucose levels. The mice who were consuming agavins actually even began producing a hormone called GLP-1 that made them feel fuller longer. This meaning it was allowing them to lose weight through its consumption.

The abstract of this study goes as follows:

Agavins are fructans contained in most Agave species. Fructans are polysaccharides with a wide range of applications in food items, among their more relevant uses are as prebiotics, soluble fiber, and indigestible carbohydrates, to mention some. Inulin from chicory (Cichorium intybus) has been in the market for decades, it is well known prebiotic and it has been deeply investigated, a large number of research paper have confirmed many of the kindness of this carbohydrate. However, most of these applications are as a supplement, agavins are been now used as supplements too but, what about their use as sweeteners? In spite of the many efforts done to perform more research in agavins, their similarities with inulins have been a stumbling block. Therefore, we believe that agavins have a great potential as light sweeteners since they are sugars, highly soluble, have a low glycemic index, and a neutral taste, but most important, they are not metabolized by humans. This puts agavins in a tremendous position for their consumption by obese and diabetic people. We housed male mice of the line C57BL/6J, mice were fed a standard diet; agavins with different polymerization degrees (DP) obtained from different Agave species, were added in their daily water. Mice were weighed daily and their glucose blood levels check weekly. Most mice that drank agavins independently of their DP reduced their food intake and lost weight, a reduction on the glucose levels in blood was also observed. This study represents the first attempt to evaluate agavins as sweeteners in spite of their lower sweetness compared to sugar table. Moreover, agavins as other fructans are the best sugar for oral and intestinal microbiota.

No, this isn’t an article telling you to drink more tequila but it should remind you that sometimes beneficial things can be found in the most unexpected places. What do you think about this? Perhaps agavins could make more changes in this day and age than we thought before?

 

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