From the agave cactus, found in Mexico, comes Agave Nectar, a syrupy sweetener that is also famous in its use to make Tequila. It is also welcomed by vegans as a good alternative to honey. Though the agave plant may problematic to some people. There individuals who may have an allergic reaction from the Agave plant.
Agave nectar’s chemical make-up consists mostly of fructose, which is also found in fruit, honey, and maple syrup. If you have fructose allergy, you should definitely steer clear of agave. Intolerance of fructose happens when your body is deficient of the aldolase B enzyme. Without this enzyme in your digestive system, your body isn’t capable of breaking down sugar for your body to absorb it. If this occurs, your blood sugar can drop quickly, causing your body to start shutting down. If you ingest agave nectar with this condition, it can cause damage to your liver, amongst other health problems (1a).
There is another allergic reaction that agave is capable of causing. Agave also contains proteins that are sometime rejected by certain individuals. Your body’s immune system will send out antibodies, specifically immunoglobulin E antibodies, and begin to battle with the proteins. This reaction could trigger inflammation of the sinuses, lungs, throat, face, and digestive system. You may also develop diarrhea, stomach, pain, vomiting, wheezing, coughing, sinus congestion, and skin rashes (1b).
Allergic reactions caused by agave can produce severe symptoms. Your body could go into anaphylactic shock, which is when too much histamine and Ige antibodies enter the body and overwhelm it. Symptoms of anaphylaxis are the inability to breath, dizziness, a faint pulse, rapid heart rate and mental confusion. If you or someone you know shows these symptoms, you better have an epinephrine pen available (1c).
But if your body doesn’t suffer from any blood sugar problems, consume agave nectar with no worries.