The plant that gave us tequila may actually give us some hope in diabetes treatment and weight loss management. According to a recent study, the plant has properties that have been shown to suppress the appetite and lower the blood sugar of rodents.
Agavins: The Key
The plant contains a property called 'agavins', which are a type of sweetener. The body can't metabolize the agavins, which are a form of fiber. This means agavins aren't absorbed in the blood, so they don't cause blood sugar spikes. The fiber can help curb the appetite by giving the sensation of feeling full.
Agavins as a Sweetener
Agavins can be used as a sugar substitute. They're not as sweet-tasting as other sugar substitutes, but the benefits to using them could make it worth the sacrifice if you can get used to it.
In addition, other studies show that agavins may increase beneficial bacteria in the gut.
For some people, fibers like agavins can cause digestive problems. Other than that, there are no known health hazards, so for most people they might turn out to be a great substitute. Clinical trials on humans will give us more insights.
Agavins are not the same thing as agave nectar, which is often marketed to diabetics as a sweetener. Agave nectar actually contains fructose, which is the same sugar found in fruits—and this kind of sweetener does affect your blood sugar. So be careful not to confuse the two!
Photo: The RX Review