Friday, June 2, 2017

Dept. of Don't Believe Everything You Read


This screen grab is from a promo of a story published in the UK newspaper The Daily Mail. Admittedly, tequila may not be THE liquor of choice in the UK, but the editors there should know there is no such thing as a "tequila plant." That's like calling barley a "Scotch whisky plant." The iconic Mexican beverage is distilled from roasted hearts of the blue agave plant.

Here's what the story actually is about.

Naturally-occuring sugars in the agave plant, called agavins, have been shown in tests using laboratory mice to help lose weight and fight diabetes, according to a newly-released study presented to the American Chemical Society. Thus, the potential exists to create a new sweetener to be used in diets for obese people and sufferers of type 2 diabetes.

The key words in all this being "mice" and "potential."

Agavins are non-digestible, and may help make people feel fuller so they might eat less; i.e., they act a dietary fiber and will raise blood sugar, according Dr. Mercedes G. López, who carried out the research.

“We believe that agavins have a great potential as light sweeteners since they are sugars, highly soluble, have a low glycemic index [as does the sweetener agave syrup], and a neutral taste, but most important, they are not metabolized by humans. Agavins are not expensive and have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them," Lopez said.

An important cautionary note: This is the only known study on the topic, so it has not yet had peer confirmation, and anyone with diabetes still needs to be extremely careful about alcohol consumption.

• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

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