By: Nikki Nies
Recently, Dr. Oz had a segment on yacon syrup as the newest, greatest weight loss treatment. This syrup has been described as raisin/fig like in taste, yet the efficacy of this latest syrup as a weight loss treatment is questionable. This syrup should be limited to 1 teaspoon before meals, with no more than 1 tablespoon consumed daily. Too much yacon syrup can lead to bloating, nausea and/or diarrhea.
The molasses like syrup, yacon syrup derives from the yacon plant in the Andes mountains. Present day Bolivian, Peruvian and Brazilian citizens tout this syrup as a low-calorie (20 calories/tablespoon), low sugar food that has helped with diabetes and kidney and digestive issues.
The syrup has inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and is high in fiber.Once FOS hits the gut, it helps promote good bacteria, which has been credited for helping to maintain a healthy weight, contain anti-inflammatory properties and gives digestive benefits.
While the properties of yacon syrup is promising, there’s very little scientific evidence of its efficacy. In a 2009 clinical study in Clinical Nutrition, it found that the obese women in the study that took 3-4 teaspoons of yacon syrup over a 4 month period had a significant decrease in weight, waist circumference, LDL cholesterol and insulin levels.
As stated, more studies are needed to provide clarity of the efficacy of yacon syrup and I’m not convinced yet of the weight loss mechanisms associated with it. I’m not advocating this syrup, but want to provide awareness on lack of clinical trials of yacon syrup as I’m sure I’m not the only one to hear about yacon syrup and/or Dr. Oz’s promotion of such product.
If you choose to try this syrup, please don’t place high hopes of this syrup as a “magic pill.” A healthy, balanced diet with exercise is the healthiest, safest way to a permanent, healthy life.
Genta, S., Cabrera, W., Habib, N., et al. Yacon syrup: Beneficial effects on obesity and insulin resistance in humans 2009