ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
CAREGIVING
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Countdown to Hair Loss
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss

An ingredient in agave -- the plant used to make tequila -- may help fight bone-weakening osteoporosis and other diseases, Mexican researchers say.

Agave, artichokes, garlic, onions and chicory are rich, natural sources of fructans -- nondigestible carbohydrates consisting of molecules of fructose linked together into chains, according to background information in a news release from the American Chemical Society.

"Experimental studies suggest that fructans may be beneficial in diabetes, obesity, stimulating the immune system of the body, decreasing levels of disease-causing bacteria in the intestine, relieving constipation and reducing the risk of colon cancer," Mercedes Lopez, of the National Polytechnic Institute in Guanajuato, said in the news release.

Previous research has also suggested that fructans stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine in a way that increases the body's absorption of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, which are needed for bone growth.

In this study, Lopez and colleagues tested the effects of agave fructans on bone growth in mice. Compared to other mice, those fed agave fructans absorbed more calcium from food, excreted less calcium in their feces, and had a 50 percent increase in levels of a protein associated with the build-up of new bone tissue.

"These results suggest that the supplementation of the standard diet with agave fructans prevented bone loss and improved bone formation, indicating the important role of agave fructans on the maintenance of healthy bone," Lopez said. "They can be used in many products for children and infants to help prevent various diseases, and can even be used in ice cream as a sugar substitute."

But drinking tequila won't help, the study authors noted. The fructans turn into alcohol when agave is processed into tequila, they said.

The study was to be presented Tuesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

SOURCES: American Chemical Society, news release, March 23, 2010 Published on: March 23, 2010