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Sugar from the Tequila Plant Could Prevent Obesity, Diabetes

Update Date: Mar 17, 2014 10:52 AM EDT

According to a new study, researchers from Mexico reported that sugars derived from the tequila plant, also known as the agave plant, have the potential to provide many health benefits for people. The study that was conducted on mice models revealed that the natural sugars, agavins successfully protected the mice from self-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In this study, the researchers utilized mice models to test the effects of different sugars. The mice were divided into six sugar groups and one placebo group that had a plain water diet. The sugar groups involved aspartame, glucose, fructose, sucrose, agave syrup and agavins, which were all added to the mice's water source. The researchers discovered that the majority of the mice in the agavins group experienced a reduction in weight, food intake and blood glucose levels in comparison to the other sugar groups. The plain water group experienced the same reductions as the agavin-supplemented water group.

"We believe agavins have a great potential as a light sweetener," Mercedes G. López, of the Centro de Incetagcioan y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico wrote according to FOX News. "They are sugars, highly soluble, with a low glycemic index and a neutral taste...This puts agavins in a tremendous position for their consumption by obese and diabetic people."

Despite the findings, the researchers stated that creating a sweetener derived from the agave plant will not be easy. Agavins are not as widely available in comparison to other sugars and are not as sweet as the sugars people are used to.

"Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them," said Mercedes G. López, Ph.D.

The study, "Agavins as Potential Novel Sweeteners for Obese and Diabetic People," was presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Dallas, TX.

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