Tequila Plant-Based Sweetener Potential Alternative For Diabetics

shutterstock_139567325Mexican researchers have tested a new sweetener from the tequila plant and suggest that it may be an ideal alternative sweetener for diabetics due to the benefits it offers. They have studied the potential benefits of agavins, a natural sugar found in the agave plant. According to the researchers, it has the ability to reduce blood glucose levels in diabetics and also aid the obese in losing weight. The findings were presented at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Dallas, Texas.

A team of researchers observed and monitored a group of mice fed a standard diet and with water added with agavins. The mice were then weighed daily and with their blood glucose levels checked on a weekly basis. The results showed that the mice that consumed agavins ate less, lost their weight and showed lower blood glucose levels during the study compared to other known sweeteners such as aspartame, glucose, fructose, sucrose, and agave syrup.

According to Mercedes G. Lopez, Ph.D. of the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, “We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin.”

GLP-1 or glucagon-like peptide-1 is a type of hormone that can slow down the emptying process of the stomach, making people feel full longer after eating. Its effect also helps begin insulin production.

Agavins are considered as fructans. Comprised mainly of fructose, which gives the compound its sweetness. The fructose aids in healthy microbe growth in the stomach. But unlike fructose corn syrup, fructans like agavins do not affect blood sugar levels.

“This study represents the first attempt to evaluate agavins as sweeteners in spite of their lower sweetness compared to sugar,” Dr. Lopez added.

But the potential benefits cannot be overlooked. Agavins are also better than artificial sweeteners. The body does not absorb agavins unlike artificial sweeteners, which are also linked to weight gain as well as other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Its potential downside is that agavins are not as sweet as the artificial sweeteners in the market.

Source: Yahoo


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