Tequila doesn’t usually go hand-in-hand with our proudest life moments, but perhaps we’ve been doing the stalwart spirit of messy nights out a disservice all along.
Because scientists in Mexico have found that, along with providing the backdrop for fun (and often fuzzy) good times, tequila has a unique medical benefit.
It turns out that our favourite throat-burning slammer may promote bone growth.
In a new edition of Science Daily, researchers outline how a substance of the tequila plant helps to boost the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Both compounds, found in the blue variety of the agave tequilana plant, are crucial to the formation of new bones.
This is true even in cases of osteoporosis, a condition where bones become fragile or brittle from loss of tissue. It affects around three million people in the UK.
“The consumption of fructans contained in the agave [plant], in collaboration with adequate intestinal micriobiota, promotes the formation of new bone, even with the presence of osteoporosis,” says Dr Mercedes Lopez, from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the potential health advantages of tequila.
A separate 2014 found that a type of natural sugar called agavins contained in the tequila plant could lower blood glucose levels for people with type 2 diabetes.
But Robert Schmerling, faculty editor of Harvard Health Publications, suggests taking the findings with a pinch of salt (sorry).
“The health impact of the alcohol in tequila — and the sugar content of agave — are just two of several ‘downsides’ that could come about if you were worried about your bone health and took the headlines too literally,” he writes.
“It’s relatively rare that doctors actually ‘prescribe’ these foods to prevent or treat disease,” he adds. “Perhaps they should. But, enthusiasm for doing so is tempered by concerns that excessive consumption may cause other, unhealthy effects.”
Noted. But still, it’s good to know that one of our go-to party drinks isn’t all bad… line ‘em up!