Tequila plants could help people with diabetes and those fighting obesity.
A natural form of sugar found in the agave plant called agavins is non digestible.
Although it provides the sweetness, it can act as dietary fibre and does not raise blood glucose. They can also increase insulin.
Agavins, however, are not found in the finished Tequila product so drinking Tequila does not have the same benefits.
“Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them,” says Dr Mercedes Lopez.
Dr López, is with Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
She explains that agavins are the best sugars to help support the growth of healthful microbes in the mouth and intestines.
They can also help people feel fuller leading them to eat less.
Unlike high-fructose corn syrup, a processed sweetner that has been given a lot of bad press recently, Lopez says the agavins are fructans.
The human body can’t use them the same way as corn syrup and so they don’t affect blood sugar.
Agavins should not be confused with agave nectar or syrup which is sold by health food stores which is much more like high fructose corn syrup
The agave is the plant from which tequila is made. López explained that agavins are the only carbohydrates used to produce the drink. All ethanol in tequila comes from the fermentation of glucose and fructose generated after agave pines are cooked.
But because the agavins are converted to ethanol, agavins are not found in the finished product.
The research was presented ot the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical society, the world’s largest scientific society