For many, tequila is a bringer of joy.
And according to new research, it could be giving us something else–bone health.
Scientists at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) in Mexico have identified substances in the tequila plant (yep, it comes from a plant–you learn something new every day) that enhance the absorption of calcium in the body.
According to Science Daily, a blue variety of the agave tequilana plant–the one tequila is made from–contains substances that are able to improve one’s absorption of calcium and magnesium, both of which contribute to maintaining good bone health.
And that’s even if you have osteoporosis, a condition which weakens the bones.
To find this out, researchers induced osteoporosis in female mice before giving them agave fructans–polymers of fructose molecules found in the plant.
Eight weeks later, they took samples to measure the mice’s absorption of minerals and presence of osteocalcin, a protein that signifies the production of new bone.
And it turned out mice who consumed those plant polymers not only synthesized almost 50% more of that bone-producing protein, but that the diameter of their bones was higher than mice that weren’t given those polymers.
Dr. Mercedes Lopez, who lead the project, concluded that ‘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.’
So hey, shotting tequila isn’t quite the same as extracting stuff from the plant it originally comes from. But we’ll take any excuse.