New Sugar Substitute May Help Control Diabetes and Weight

In your disbelief, you may be asking yourself, “How would a sweetener HELP my diabetes?” Well, the American Chemical Society has recently released research that shows the possibility of a sugar substitute that could not only lower blood glucose levels, but may also help with weight loss.

Agavins, derived from the agave plant, were found to trigger insulin production in mice which in turn lowered their blood sugar. In the same study, it was found that agavins also helped the obese mice lose weight.

“‘Unlike sucrose, glucose, and fructose, agavins aren’t absorbed by the body, so they can’t elevate blood glucose,’ according to research by Mercedes G. López, a researcher at the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico,” (Forbes).

Agavins boost a certain peptide called GLP-1 (which stands for glucagon-like peptide 1) which triggers the body’s insulin production. Also since agavins are a fiber, they can make people feel fuller and reduce appetite.

“We believe that agavins have a great potential as light sweeteners since they are sugars, highly soluble, have a low glycemic index, and a neutral taste, but most important, they are not metabolized by humans,” read the study abstract. “This puts agavins in a tremendous position for their consumption by obese and diabetic people.”

Although all of this seems tantalizing, it is still in the very early stages of research. There will be many more tests to see if agavins are fit for human consumption and have the same effect. We are many years away from seeing agavins in your local grocery market.

However, there are a few downsides to agavins. For starters, it is not as sweet as other forms of sugar like sucrose, fructose and glucose. Also, like other types of fiber, not everyone can tolerate them, so they have the potential to cause digestive complications.

All in all, only time will shed more light on agavins. If they do prove to be beneficial, it would be a revolutionary discovery in the field of diabetes.

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