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Agave & AGE's: More Reasons To Avoid Agave PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Novick, M.S., R.D.   
Friday, 28 August 2009 14:55

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog on why Agave is not only "not" a health food, but may be one sweetener you definitely want to avoid.   Agave is mostly fructose, which can comprise about 70-90% of the sugar in agave.  Since fructose goes directly to the liver, it appears to not effect blood sugar as much.  However, in the liver, it can increase triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, and insulin resistance. 

This is why it is important to never been misled by any marketing highlighting an isolated component of a food and/or food product.    Agave may look good in relation to blood sugar, but it looks very bad when looked at in relation to heart disease and diabetes.

Well, there are even more reasons why you should avoid Agave and that is AGE's.

When fructose is heated in can create Advanced Glycogen End Products (AGEs), which may be harmful as they may play a role in development of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure.  

One study compared the amount of AGE's formed between the subject following a traditional omnivorous diet and one following a more traditional vegetarian diet

(NOTE: This was not the same type of vegetarian diet recommended here!)

Advanced Glycation End Products and Nutrition
Physiol. Res. 51: 313-316, 2002

What the authors found was that the AGE's levels were higher in the vegetarians.   Upon closer examination, they discovered that it was higher levels of fructose in the vegetarian diet that was the main contributor to the increased level of AGEs and stated,

"Comparison of nutrition and plasma AGEs in vegetarian and omnivorous groups shows that the higher intake of fructose in alternative nutrition of healthy subjects may cause an increase of AGE levels."

In the above study, most of the AGEs were formed from the fructose which came from honey.  As the authors stated,  "Furthermore, the intake of honey is three times higher in vegetarians."

Honey has one of the higher concentrations of fructose out of many of the typical sweeteners available and is around 55% fructose depending on the variety.  Agave is 70-90% fructose. Therefore, substituting Agave for any other sweetener would make the above results (of a potential increase in AGE's) more likely to occur.

This is one more good reason to avoid Agave.

In Health

Jeff 

 

 

 

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