A new study by the American Chemical Society released a finding that says the sugar derived from agave plants, like those used in Tequila, present properties that may result in lower blood pressure. The derived sugar can also trigger insulin production and aid in weight loss, helping those suffering with diabetes. What makes the sugar from the agave plant so remarkable is that it highly soluble, has very little taste and, one of the main reasons it results in weight loss, it is not metabolized by humans. This means there is no spike in blood pressure. The sugars also help break down dietary fats, which help lowers bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, the majority of the agave is not found in the final product after fermentation, but there are still benefits.
The American Chemical Society says that they still have to do more research on the sugar, so it will not be in stores as a dietary supplement just yet. For now, drinking tequila in moderation, like wine for the heart, could still lead to lower blood pressure, as much as two to four mm Hg, and may aide those suffering with obesity, but this is more to do with the alcohol, than the agave. Also remember that any positive effect is negated if too much alcohol is drunk.
When drunk correctly, tequila can surprisingly result in little, to no, hangover too. Experts do not suggest drinking as much tequila as possible, that will still result in a nasty hangover, but drinking in moderation, staying hydrated and looking for tequila that is made with 100 percent agave is a good place to start. Tequila comes from Mexico, and like Champagne from France, the liquor can only be called tequila if it is made from the agave plant.
Customs in the United States are much more lenient though, classifying it as 51 percent or more agave is enough to be called tequila. This means as much as 49 percent is different types of alcohol, aka, mixing alcohols, which results in hangovers. Those looking to lessen their hangover will want to stick to clear tequila too, as the colored, or gold tequila, is that way because of carmel coloring, aka, mixing. The Tequila Regulation Council does not even consider that tequila.
Studies also show that a shot of tequila before a meal increases appetite and a shot after a large meal aids in digestion, as well as keeps the consumer feeling full longer. This is because the sugars tell the gut hormones that the stomach is full sooner and keeps the food in the stomach for longer. So, drinking tequila may aid those who consume it, in moderation, to lose weight because it tells the brain to stop eating sooner and keeps the stomach feeling full, longer, and weight loss can help lower blood pressure.
This is by no means a miracle drug to help lose weight and lower blood pressure. Most of the powerful properties are lost when the sugar is processed, like when it is made into tequila. The positive effects are too minimal to give credit to the agave. But research does say that drinking alcohol, like tequila, in moderation can result in feelings of satiation for longer periods, lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, and even alleviate headaches.
The sugars derived from the agave plant is what is really exciting about the research. Once they are able to extract these properties and distribute them for mass consumption, then this miracle-like drug could become a reality. For now, if you have high blood pressure, but still want a drink, stick with clear tequila and the negative effects may be lower than expected. But don’t expect any miracles.
By Chris Dragicevich