Agavines as an obesity prevention source

The body does not absorb agavines in the same way as fructose and glucose, so they will not spike blood sugar in quite the same way
Agave cactus plants are seen in a field – Photo: José María Martínez/EL UNIVERSAL
11/01/2018
14:46
EFE
Guadalajara
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Fructan consumption may help reduce body weight and combat metabolic syndrome leading to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis, according to Mexican scientists.

Fructans are polymers of fructose molecules and they occur in foods such as artichokes, asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions, jícama, wheat, and agave.

Mercedes López Pérez, researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Irapuato, Guanajuato, explains that our body does not absorb these polysaccharides also known as agavines in the same way as fructose and glucose, so agavines will not spike your blood sugar in quite the same way, generating a feeling of fullness in the stomach and decreasing glucose levels in the blood.

Agavines must be combined with the gut flora or gut microbiota. Probiotics found in the gut microbiota absorb the agavines, therefore they are “transformed into other molecules and a message to the brain informing that the stomach does not require any more food is sent," while increasing insulin levels, assures Mercedes López Pérez.

After more than a decade of experimentation with mice, the group of researchers from Cinvestav led by López Pérez have found that agavines helped to reduce glucose levels in rodents. These substances also produce "short chain fatty acids," they have a biochemical process of synthesis that reduces the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body, as well as impacting the decrease in body fat in the long term.

López Pérez added that a group of female mice with osteoporosis that consumed agavines for eight weeks recovered all their bone structure.

In the next months, Cinvestav researchers and doctors of the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara, in the western state of Jalisco, will initiate a research protocol to verify if agavines have the same effects in humans as in mice.

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