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Tequila ingredient aids in weight loss, study says

K Pacho Cocina and Tequila in New Hyde

K Pacho Cocina and Tequila in New Hyde Park, seen March 23, 2012, has a variety of margaritas. At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, a study was presented that shows a sweetener created from the same plant used to make tequila, possesses a number of health benefits. Credit: Barbara Alper

Break out the shot glasses, it looks like National Tequila Day may be coming early.

At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, a study was presented that shows  that agavin, a sweetener created from the same plant used to make tequila, possesses a number of health benefits.

Researchers found that agavins can help lower blood glucose levels for those suffering from type 2 diabetes as well as help the obese to lose weight.

That’s right, weight-loss from a sweetener.

Unlike agave nectar or syrup (a popular staple on health food store shelves whose molecular structure more closely resembles high-fructose corn syrup), agavins are non-digestible and act as a dietary fiber, effectively keeping blood sugar levels lower. In fact, agavin releases a hormone that keeps the stomach fuller, longer, stimulating the production of insulin.

Mercedes G. López, a researcher with Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico, asserted that the sweetener can help people to feel fuller, in turn helping them to eat less.

Unfortunately, according to the study, while agavins are used in the production of tequila, their wonderful benefits are not retained within the drink.

The research asserts that, “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.”

Essentially, agavins are there at the start of the process, but by the end, any benefits to be had are gone.

That’s ok, though.

While tequila may not help you to lose weight (we’ll still hold out hope that they can find a way to make that work), it does make us glad to know more natural sugar alternatives are being explored.

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