Agave Sweetener: The Shocking Truth

Here is the shocking truth about agave syrup sweetener: The following information was taken from an unpublished article by Rami Nagel, sent to me by Food Chemist Dr. Russ Bianchi.

In the quest to find a substitute for sugar that is natural and healthy, agave nectar and agave syrup have become extremely popular. These sweeteners are advertised as "diabetic friendly," raw, and a "100% natural sweetener."  Yet they are none of these.

Agave Sweetener: The Shocking Truth

Agave nectar is in reality not a natural sweetener but a highly refined form of fructose, more concentrated than the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas!

Many people think that fructose is healthy because it comes from fruit and is labeled as having a low glycemic index. Actually this is a myth. The sugar that comes from fruit is called levulose and there are big differences between levulose and fructose which is highly processed and chemically altered.

Levulose is naturally occurring in fruits, and is not isolated but bound to other naturally occurring sugars. Levulose contains enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fruit pectin. High fructose corn syrup contains "free" (unbound), chemically refined fructose. Research indicates that free refined fructose interferes with the heart's use of key minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium.

Refined fructose is processed in the body through the liver, rather than digested in the intestine. The process of metabolizing fructose can cause a strain on the liver and has been found to cause fatty liver disease and could lead to metabolic syndrome This is part of the reason why fructose causes increased cholesterol levels. Levulose, on the other hand, is digested in the intestine.

One research study was done with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy (enlarged hearts), delayed testicular development. The male rats did not live long. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production. The females were unable to produce live young. REF:
Fructose is a processed man-made sugar and levulose is the sweetener made by nature and found in fruit. Dr. Bianchi explains:

"If fructose were natural, I would be able to go out to corn field and get a bucket of sweetener. I can go to a beehive and get honey that I can eat without processing it. I can go to an apple tree and pick an apple and eat it. I cannot go out into a cornfield, squeeze corn, and get fructose syrup, and I cannot go into an agave field, and get the product sold on retail shelves, as agave nectar. Falsely labeled agave fructose and high fructose corn syrup are both products of advanced chemistry and extensive food processing technology."

High fructose corn syrup is made with genetically modified enzymes and is 55% refined fructose. Agave syrup is also made with genetically modified enzymes using caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals and so forth in the conversion of agave starches into highly refined fructose inulin that is 70%+ fructose. According to the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Labeling Enforcement agave, whose main carbohydrate is starch, requires the label "hydrolyzed inulin syrup." The true name would be hydrolyzed high fructose inulin syrup.

"The product called 'agave nectar' is really chemically refined hydrolyzed high fructose, which is intentionally mislabeled to deceive consumers," states Dr. Bianchi.

Other Warnings About Agave Sweetener
Agave plants are known to contain large quantities of saponins which should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding because they might cause or contribute to miscarriage. They are known to contribute to internal hemorrhaging by destroying red blood cells, and they may gravely negatively harm people taking statin and high blood pressure drugs.

Supposedly, refined fructose has a low glycemic index, and won't raise your blood sugars much. However, refined fructose is not really safe for diabetics. Dr. Bianchi states that "By eating high fructose syrups, you are clogging the veins, creating inflammation, and increasing body fat, while stressing your heart. This is in part because refined fructose is foreign to the body, and is not recognized by it."

The best thing to do if you want something sweet, is to eat a piece of fruit. Use natural sweeteners in moderation-- for uncooked dishes, unfiltered, raw honey or dates work well. For cooked dishes or sweet drinks, a good organic maple syrup. Organic raw brown sugar or organic white sugar is a better option than agave syrup, or artificial sweeteners.
For additional reading on the Dangers of Refined Fructose and problems with food labeling and deceptive health practices read Sweet Deception by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Kendra Pearsall.

About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)