Despite several news organizations reporting that a new study might show that tequila could actually help prevent diabetes and obesity, the leap from the agavins, the sugary compound in the agave plant, to tequila, which is distilled from agave, is actually too formidable to draw that conclusion. We know, we wanted it to be true too, but the facts are that the very preliminary study released by the American Chemical Society just doesn't show that the liquor is in any way good for you.
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As Fox News reported, the study tested diet-induced obesity and diabetes on a group of mice who were also given agavins, the sugary chemical compound found in agave. Other mice in the study were given agave syrup, aspartame, glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Of the sugars, agavins helped control blood sugar levels and reduce weight in the mice better than the other options.
Agavins help combat diabetes and obesity due to the way that they are metabolized. The natural sugar acts as a dietary fiber in the bloodstream and do not raise blood sugar levels, leading some scientists to believe that it is a healthier alternative sweetener.
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However, according to local nutrition expert Sharon Salomon, not only is the agavin content in agave distillates like tequila and mezcal nearly non-existent, the study itself is not yet conclusive to correlate to human diets.
"Agavin may some day be made into a sweetener or added to other products but this is not the type of research that should be reported because there's really nothing there yet," she says. "Unless you're a fat mouse being fed straight agavin!"
We'll hold out for the day when a study actually proves liquor is good for us -- other than maybe anecdotally in an emotional way.