Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and is an independent researcher by profession. She has completed her studies from university of Arizona and lives in Wasilla, Alaska. You can connect with her on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Can tequila combat osteoporosis?
But the plant used to distill tequila on the other hand, could.
Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave or tequila agave is an agave plant that is produced in Jalisco, Mexico. This plant is well-known to be the star component in tequila (as it is the base ingredient). Although more recently, blue agave nectar or agave syrup is gaining popularity as a new natural sweetener.
But recent research (1) now shows that this plant could also have new significant health benefits: it appears it may combat osteoporosis.
Substance In Tequila Plant May Combat Osteoporosis
A study at Mexico’s Centre for Research & Advance Studies indicates that the blue range of plant Agave Tequilana contains substances that help with the absorption of bone-building minerals calcium and magnesium.
The team guided by Doctor Mercedes Lopez, came to this conclusion by removing ovaries from female mice (in order to induce osteoporosis) and administered agave fructans. (Fructans are indigestible carbohydrates that are made up of chains of fructose molecules)
After eight weeks, they analyzed femur bone samples to measure the absorption of minerals (calcium and magnesium) and also a protein known as osteocalcin.
The team discovered that the mice who were administered the agave fructans synthesized nearly 50% more osteocalcin than the mice who did not. Much more encouraging, the size (in diameter) of the femur bones were higher compared to the mice who were not given the agave fructans.
How Your Gut Plays a Role in Bone Health
You can’t digest fructans as they are indigestible carbohydrates. But the good news is, your friendly gut bacteria can – and they love fructans!
Studies have demonstrated that fructans increase the absorption of several minerals including calcium and magnesium and trace minerals such as iron and zinc. (2)
You see, when fructans reach your large intestinal tract and interact with the microbiota that are living there, they become short chain fatty acids.
These fatty acids are crucial in catching minerals available in your intestinal tract. They also help to transport them through your cells.
“This way, we have a second chance to take advantage of the nutrients that were no longer available to the body. However, it is very important that people have a healthy intestinal microbiome, because only then it is possible that bacteria ferment fructans to transform them into fatty acids,” says lead researcher Dr. Lopez.
Quick tips to maintain a healthy gut: remove toxins from your diet, eat fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir. And finally, manage stress.
This and past research shows that consuming agave fructans and getting healthy amounts of intestinal flora, may assist in promoting healthy bone density and increased mineral absorption – even when osteoporosis is induced in pet models.
If human trials find the same results, agave fructans may be the next big food/ supplement.
- García-Vieyra MI1, Del Real A, López MG. Agave fructans: their effect on mineral absorption and bone mineral content. J Med Food. 2014 Nov;17(11):1247-55. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.0137. Epub 2014 Jul 28.
- Scholz-Ahrens KE1, Schrezenmeir J. Inulin and oligofructose and mineral metabolism: the evidence from animal trials. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2513S-2523S.