Researchers in Mexico from the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies have undertaken a rather unusual project with surprising findings. Those against animal research won’t be happy to hear it actually involved some rather horrendous mice testing, and I can’t say I was too keen to read about this either. However, the results suggest that sugars / fructans from the tequila plant can encourage new bone production.
Mice with induced osteoporosis was fed these sugars and bone samples were taken 8 months later. With the ingestion of the sugars, minerals and osteocalcin were more readily absorbed. These substances mix with gut bacteria in the large intestine and promote increases in calcium and magnesium, which are then more able to travel around the body and be used in the formation of new bone.
Considering 1 in 3 women (and 1 in 12 men) on average develop osteoporosis at some point, these findings could be very interesting for developing new means of treatment.
I have osteopenia and I’m not quite yet even 30. I’m a ‘step away’ from osteoporosis, and weak bones, especially at a young age, is quite a worrying condition. Treatments are often limited to those over a certain age and only for post-menopausal women; studies haven’t been done to suggest the benefit or safety for younger women, and so no specific treatment is usually offered unless it’s to address another deficiency that may contribute to the disease, such as vitamin D. The use of something like agave sugars may, in future, provide a means of treatment that’s more widely usable by men and women of varying ages, and that’s something I’d drink to!