DALLAS, March 16, 2014 A sweetener created from the plant used to make tequila could lower blood glucose levels for the 26 million Americans and others worldwide who have type 2 diabetes and help them and the obese lose weight, researchers said here today.
The main reason it could be valuable, they explained, is that agavins, a natural form of sugar found in the agave plant, are non-digestible and can act as a dietary fiber, so they would not raise blood glucose. Their report was part of the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.
The meeting, attended by thousands of scientists, features more than 10,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. Being held at the Dallas Convention Center and area hotels, it continues through Thursday.
"We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin," said Mercedes G. Lpez, Ph.D. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone that slows the stomach from emptying, thereby stimulating production of insulin. She added, "Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them." In addition, agavins, like other fructans, which are made of the sugar fructose, are the best sugars to help support growth of healthful microbes in the mouth and intestines, she said.
Lpez, who is with Centro de Investigacin y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, also noted that agavins can help people feel fuller, which could help them eat less.
Agavins contain fructoses, which begs the question: Are agavins like high-fructose corn syrup, a processed sweetener that has gotten a lot of bad press recently? Lpez pointed out that, indeed, high-fructose corn syrup is loaded with fructose sugars and, therefore, can raise blood sugar levels. But agavins are fructans, whic
|Contact: Michael Bernstein
214-853-8005 (Dallas Press Center, March 14-19)
Katie Cottingham, Ph.D.