New Sweetener From The Tequila Plant May Aid Diabetes, Weight Loss
Could a new sugar substitute actually lower blood sugar and help you lose weight? That's the tantalizing - but distant - promise of new research presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) this week.
Agavins, derived from the agave plant that's used to make tequila, were found in mouse studies to trigger insulin production and lower blood sugar, as well as help obese mice lose weight.
Unlike sucrose, glucose, and fructose, agavins aren't absorbed by the body, so they can't elevate blood glucose, according to research by Mercedes G. López, a researcher at the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico.
And by boosting the level of a peptide called GLP-1 (short for glucagon-like peptide-1), which triggers the body's production of insulin, agavins aid the body's natural blood sugar control. Also, because agavins are type of fiber, they can make people feel fuller and reduce appetite, López's research shows.
"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," read the study abstract. "This puts agavins in a tremendous position for their consumption by obese and diabetic people."
The caveat: The research was conducted in mice, and more study is necessary before we'll know whether agavins are effective and safe in humans. In other words, we're a long way from agavins appearing on grocery store shelves.
That said, with almost 26 millions of America Continue reading