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Booze for better bones?

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It seems the tequila agave plant (Agave tequilana) has more to offer humanity than just its ability to get you black-out drunk. It can also help you maintain bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

Research conducted at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) in Mexico found that Agave azul, the blue variety of Agave tequilana, contains substances that can help with the absorption of calcium and magnesium — two essential minerals for keeping your bones strong and healthy.

The study’s findings show that the Agave azul plant contains fructans — like the soluble fibers inulin and oligofructose — that, when combined with a healthy amount of gut microbiota, encourage new bone formation… even after osteoporosis has set in.

These findings come from animal experiments in which researchers removed the ovaries of female mice to encourage osteoporosis. These mice were then given fructans from the Agave azul plant…

Eight weeks later, researchers took femur samples from the mice and found that mice who consumed Agave azul fructans had over 50 percent more osteocalcin — the body’s bone-building protein — in their femur than mice who did not. These mice also had a higher bone diameter than the other mice.

Besides highlighting the obvious bone-building benefits of Agave azul fructans, this study offers yet another reason to keep your gut flora flourishing. These fructans need the cooperation of your intestinal microbiota to become the short-chain fatty acids that ultimately capture available calcium and magnesium minerals and deliver them to your cells.

“We have a second chance to take advantage of the nutrients that were no longer available to the body. However, it is very important that people have a healthy intestinal microbiome, because only then it is possible that bacteria ferment fructans to transform them into fatty acids,” said lead researcher Dr. Mercedes Lopez.

So it appears a very promising osteoporosis treatment is on the horizon…

If you’re a woman over 50, this is good news for you. And I’m sure you know why… 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will fracture a bone as a result of osteoporosis. Quite often it’s a hip — and that can lead to an earlier death for many women.

Although, men over the age of 50 should also take note. Since women get osteoporosis more frequently, osteoporosis in men is often overlooked. But men are not immune to this danger… 80,000 men fracture bones as a result of osteoporosis each year.

So, in other words, regardless of your gender you could benefit from a little more Agave tequilana in your life. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for the health benefits, tequila shots don’t count.

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