If you weren’t planning on celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a round of Margaritas, this news may make you think again, especially if you’re at risk for osteoporosis. According to Science Daily, Mexican researchers have found that blue agave, the plant used to make tequila, has substances capable of improving the absorption of calcium and magnesium, minerals essential to maintaining bone health. In other words, tequila may actually be good for your bones.
In the study, mice who ingested fructans from blue agave synthesized nearly 50 percent more osteocalcin, a protein that indicates the production of new bone, than mice that did not ingest agave. In addition, the diameter of the agave-eating mice’s bones was higher after eight weeks of ingestion, compared with their counterparts.
How does this work? When the fructans in agave reach your large intestine, they interact with the microbiota (bacteria) there. After they ferment, they can easily catch minerals and transport them to the cells that need them. This means that nutrients that would have been expelled as waste are given a second chance to be absorbed by the body.
“The consumption of fructans contained in the agave, in collaboration with adequate intestinal microbiota, promotes the formation of new bone, even with the presence of osteoporosis,” says Dr. Mercedes Lopez, the leader of the project.
Lopez and her team hope to use this knowledge to develop a new osteoporosis treatment from the fructans to aid the nearly 200 million people around the world who suffer from the condition.
In the meantime, we’ll keep toasting to our health with Margaritas and Palomas.