Yacon Facts: Who else wants to Know Truth about Yacon Syrup?
Is yacon (ya-kon) syrup the latest-greatest weight loss wonder food? Or, is it simply the latest marketing ploy to part you from your money? The yacon vegetable is not new; it is centuries old. But, unless you live in South America, it's probably new to you.
Yacon is a high fiber, low calorie tuberous, fruitlike vegetable. It has long been enjoyed by South Americans for it satisfying crispness and apple-like taste. In addition, its leaves are used to wrap around various foods while cooking.
Although the vegetable appeared in the U.S. around 2006, most people weren't aware of yacon syrup until recently. However, people in Bolivia and Peru have long used yacon therapeutically for digestive problems and diabetes.
Fact: Yacon syrup has received the Dr. Oz seal of approval as a weight loss aid.
Warning! Be alert for internet charlatans who peddle Yacon pills or capsules that likely contain preservatives and harmful additives.
Dr. Oz Study: [Link]
There were 60 female participants at the beginning of the study. At the conclusion 40 remained. For 28 days, the participants consumed a teaspoon of yacon syrup during or prior to meals.
The results showed that 73% of the participants lost about 2.9+ pounds, with an average decrease in waist measurement of 1.9″.
The Susana Genta Study [link]
In 2009, Susana Genta and other researchers studied obese women, who were in the pre-menopause stage. For 120 days, the participants were given 10 mg. monitored doses of yacon syrup and ultimately all lost weight, as well as decreased their body mass index.
They also presented with lower “bad” cholesterol and higher “good cholesterol”. Reportedly, constipation challenges were markedly improved. No adverse side-effects were reported.
A Japanese Study
A Japanese study focused on yacon's anti-hyperglycemic components. Or, the vegetable's capacity to maintain desirable blood sugar levels, even though it is naturally sweet. These findings pointed to the potential of yacon syrupas a better option for diabetics than simple sugars.
Fact: Yacon is rich in short-chain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which is a very long word for the natural sweetness contained in foods.
Now – this is slick! The little FOS guys do not act like simple sugars in our body. Instead, they mimic non-digestible carbohydrates or soluble fiber. As you are aware, soluble fiber serves to increase stool mass, which helps prevent constipation. Also, the body can't extract calories from FOS foods!
As a result, good stuff happens! Yacon syrup contains prebiotic properties. Good gut bacteria eat prebiotics. Good bacteria, like lactobacillus will send bad bacteria packing. Not only does this enhance our digestion and boost our immune system, it produces anti-inflammatory effects. Prebiotics have been connected with positive weight control.
FOS is contained in veggies and fruit, such as onions, garlic, bananas, beans and asparagus. But, here's the kicker. Yacon contains 30 – 70% more highly concentrated FOS, than other fruits or vegetables.
Some supermarkets and whole food stores carry fresh yacon. If you can locate this succulent vegetable, add it to your fruit salad for a pop of crunchy sweetness.
Yakon and Bone Health
Preliminary studies have found that yacon appears to amplify the body's faculty to absorb dietary minerals, such as calcium. Sustaining mineral concentration would in turn help maintain bone strength and ward off osteoporosis and/or bone fractures.
What is Mainstream Medicine Saying?
As to be expected, mainstream practitioners are veering toward cautious optimism. What I didn't suspect is the astounding numbers of doctors who are buzzing about yacon syrup! Here is a synopsis of what we uncovered.
- Physicians agree that while preliminary research is “encouraging”, more human studies are necessary before they make an informed conclusion. Or, they pondered, is it possible quiet studies have been conducted that did not bode well for yacon?
- Based on available evidence, yacon syrup seems safe and may help control cholesterol while encouraging weight loss.
- Doctors aren't convinced the statistics reported by Dr. Oz didn’t result because the women anticipated weight loss and paid more attention to nutrition during the study.
It is their general consensus that larger studies, with controlled trials, using a placebo, are needed before determining if yacon syrup is really effective for weight loss.
In the US, doctor schools do not teach plant therapy. It is enlightening to see mainstream medicine considering the value of old ways.
What's the Verdict?
About now, I expect you've got questions. “Will yacon syrup help me lose weight? Will it truly lower my bad cholesterol and raise my good cholesterol? Or could it be hazardous to my health in the long run?”
Fact: I too would like to see further studies but at this point, we are comfortable that controlled dosages of yacon syrup could act like a tonic to support your general health and well-being.
Fact: Pure yacon syrup is a wise alternative to simple sugar as it is low-calorie and does not cause blood sugar spikes. You will naturally lose weight if you substitute yacon syrup for high-calorie sugars that helped pack on the pounds to begin with.
Fact: High in fiber, rich in prebiotics and its amazing capacity to absorb minerals will aid in improving your digestion, decreasing your appetite and maintaining bone density. And anytime you lose weight, extra added attractions occur, such as better blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
We promised you truth and we have given you up-to-the-moment truth about yacon syrup. We would suggest consulting your doctor to determine if you have health issues that would preclude supplementing with yacon syrup.
Let's Talk Side-Effects
- In the US we expect synthetic medicines to provide instant gratification. Many people think if a little is good, a lot is better.
- Be mindful yacon syrup is a fiber-rich food. Taking too much would definitely not be one of your better ideas.
- Anytime excess soluble fiber is consumed, it can cause excess gas, diarrhea and/or digestive distress. Begin with one teaspoon of the syrup before meals. Then you can titrate upward until you reach the recommended 4-5 teaspoons daily.
The Final Word
Before you buy yacon syrup, ensure the label reads “100% natural yacon syrup”, with at least 30% FOS. It should never be diluted with water. I'll update this article with review of some supplements being sold online with hype & deceit.