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Cactus may help fight against diabetes

A new study has found that sugars taken from a type of cactus could counteract serious illnesses. The research, by the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) in Mexico, examined how sugars from the agave cactus may benefit a range of conditions in rats, including diabetes, obesity, colon cancer and osteoporosis .
The agave cactus, which is also used for making tequila, contains fructans, indigestible sugar molecules that are already used in powdered food supplements under the name Inuli, although little is yet known about their benefits.
The study found that levels of blood glucose can be controlled by ingesting fructans, and that, according to Cinvestav’s Mercedes Guadalupe Lopez, “They also favor production of the hormone known as GLP1, responsible for producing insulin, which means they can help regulate diabetes.”
Lopez also pointed out that consuming about 10 to 15 grams of agave fructans each day helps to increase the regulatory levels of the appetite, which gives you the satisfied feeling of having eaten enough food.
The consumption of agave fructans can also have a beneficial effect on colon cancer, due to an acid generated in the fermentation process, and for osteoporosis, as fructans go straight into the large intestine to be converted into acids that lowers the pH, helping the absorption of minerals into the bones. Although the research has only been done on laboratory rats so far, the results have been seen as extremely promising.

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