Researchers in Mexico say compounds from the fruit used to make tequila may provide a more effective way to treat diseases of the colon.
Chemists at the University of Guadalajara say compounds in blue agave may be more effective at delivering drugs to the colon than current methods and could lead to improved treatments for ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer and Crohn's disease, the American Chemical Society said in a release.
Many drugs are destroyed by stomach acids before they can reach the colon but the tequila compounds, a class of polysaccharides known as fructans, resist destruction in the stomach and could allow more of the drugs to reach the colon intact.
"This study shows that the agave fruit is good for more than just tequila. It also has medicinal value," said study leader Guillermo Toriz, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the university.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International