Related Topics: News, Nutrition, Osteoporosis

Ingredient in Tequila Plant May Fight Osteoporosis and Other Diseases

The Agave plant gave the world Tequila Slammers, but it seems it could also have serious health benefits – and without the hangover.

AnnA Rushton

At the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Francisco on March 23, 2010 it was outlined how foods spiked with “fructans” from the Agave plant may help protect against osteoporosis by boosting the body’s absorption of calcium. Fructans are non-digestible carbohydrates that consist of molecules of fructose, the sugar found in honey, grapes, and ripe fruits. Scientific studies have suggested that fructans stimulate the growth of healthful bacteria in the large intestine in a way that increases the body’s absorption of minerals, including the calcium and magnesium important for bone growth.

Mercedes López Ph.D is with the National Polytechnic Institute, Guanajuato, Mexico where they certainly have an excess of Agave plants. She said that “fructans are considered functional food ingredients because they affect body processes in ways that result in better health and reduction in the risk of many diseases. Experimental studies suggest that fructans may be beneficial in diabetes, obesity, stimulating the immune system, decreasing levels of disease-causing bacteria in the intestine, relieving constipation, and reducing the risk of colon cancer.” She outlined that these results suggest that the supplementation of the standard diet with Agave fructans prevented bone loss and improved bone formation, indicating the important role of Agave fructans in the maintenance of healthy bone.

Sadly, tequila itself doesn’t have any fructans because they change into alcohol when Agave is used to make it, but you will find fructans in artichokes (also good for IBS), garlic and onions so undoubtedly most of us are already consuming them, albeit unknowingly.

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