Is Yacon Syrup Effective For Weight Loss?

A recent episode of Dr. Oz extolled the virtues of a little-known product known as yacon syrup, referred to as a "game changer" in the weight loss arena. Today we'll look at this product and seek reviews from those who have tried it.

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About Yacon Syrup
Yacon syrup is extracted from the tuberous roots of the yacon plant. It contains few calories (about 20 calories in a spoonful) and is low in sugar. The taste has been described as similar to molasses, raisins, or figs. The syrup contains about 30% to 50% of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a natural sweetener which cannot be broken down easily by the human body. It passes through the digestive tract unmetabolized, resulting in a low calorie food. It is also a prebiotic, which feeds healthy flora in the bowels.

Outside of yacon syrup, you can also get FOS from a variety of fruits and vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, bananas, garlic, and onions. FOS is also available as a supplement.

How to Use Yacon Syrup
Take 1 teaspoon of 100% yacon syrup with or before each meal. It can also be used as a sugar substitute, such as in tea or coffee. You can use it in place of syrup or molasses on pancakes or waffles, or add it to oatmeal or fruit. It has been used as an alternative sweetener for diabetics, vegans, and those seeking to reduce sugar intake.

Research
Studies on yacon syrup are limited.

  • 2009: A study on obese and pre-menopausal women who took yacon syrup over 4 months resulted in “significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index.” (Genta, et al)
  • 2013: Dr. Oz presented his results of his experiment in which 29 out of 40 women lost weight by adding yacon syrup to their diet, and made no other changes to their usual daily habits. This was not a clinical study.

 

Toxicity of yacon leaves
While yacon syrup is extracted from yacon root, it should be noted that yacon leaves are potentially toxic. A 2011 study published in the Journal of ethnopharmacology suggested possible renal damage with long-term use of yacon leaves.

Potential benefits
Although research is limited, there have been some encouraging findings, including the following:

  • Constipation relief
  • Decrease in LDL “bad” cholesterol
  • Increase in HDL “good” cholesterol
  • Insulin sensitivity improvement
  • Weight loss

 

Dr. Garth Davis pointed out that “the study was just four months. I have seen all kinds of diets work for four months then fail. We see this over and over. They don’t go into enough detail about what diet they utilized. I also would like to know if the yacon group felt nauseated. We see several medicines that cause weight loss mainly because people get sick.”

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Side Effects
Possible side effects include:

  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea

 

Where to buy yacon syrup
Almost immediately after the Dr. Oz segment on yacon syrup aired, websites and affiliate marketers began appearing online offering the product. Dr. Oz himself admitted, “There’s going to be a marketing frenzy after this show airs.” When untrusted sources jump onto the latest health product, however, we often find watered-down products loaded with preservatives that barely resemble the marketed item.

Dr. Davis pointed out, “…the public really doesn’t know what they are getting. Next thing you know you have the next acai berry craze. And the crazy thing is that people shell out tons of money for the acai berry juice, loaded with preservatives, when a handful of blueberries is just as good for you.”

Yacon syrup can be found in health food stores, and you are probably better off purchasing it locally to avoid shipping charges and delays, and to be sure you are going through a trusted source. Be sure to purchase 100% pure yacon syrup.

yacon-syrup

How much does yacon syrup cost?
The price of yacon syrup will vary by brand and vendor, but we have seen it anywhere from $12 to $65.

Alternatives to yacon syrup
Some people opt to skip yacon syrup and simply purchase FOS capsules, typically for a much lower cost. We’ve seen bottles of FOS capsules which range from $8 to $20. You can also find probiotics which contain FOS.

Bottom Line
Although there is some evidence that yacon syrup has certain health benefits, it has not been studied extensively and further studies may yield more clues about the effectiveness of the product. It seems best suited for people who are overweight, consume little fiber, suffer constipation, or have high blood sugar. It should be avoided by those with diarrhea.

Purchase locally or from known, trusted sources, and only buy 100% pure yacon syrup.

Your Turn
Have you tried yacon syrup for weight loss? We want to hear from you. Let us know your experience in the comments below.

Sources

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5 Comments on Is Yacon Syrup Effective For Weight Loss?

  1. Yes, weight loss programs and products come and go. Some of them are combinations of isolates which the body does not recognize as foods.
    In my opinion, yacon syrup is different from other weight loss products, in the sense that it is from mother nature herself. The body recognizes it as food. In fact, it has been used as such for centuries! While the science may be limited, what we know of its ability to boost metabolism, help people burn fat, its sweet taste without spiking blood sugar level, make this weight loss product remarkable. And there has been no report-to date, to indicate that the syrup is toxic. The hype around so many weight loss products that eventually fizzle out, makes some skepticism understandable, but nature has surprised us over and over again, when we ask of it relevant questions. Unfortunately, we would rather invest our energy and money in harmful drugs. Yacon syrup, I believe is mother nature’s answer to the exploding world wide obesity epidemic. Yacon syrup may be the first safe weight loss product for diabetics-and non-diabetics alike!

  2. I think in general people need to speak to their doctor before going on any sort of diet. But all I can say is that Yacon Syrup works, but as long as you’re not going to pig out on high fatty foods ( which obviously defeats the objective. It is generally fine for diabetics but avoid taking it if you are breast feeding or pregnant.

  3. I almost overlooked Yacon Syrup because of the Dr. Oz frenzy. I’m glad I looked into because it does work to suppress my appetite. I also like the taste a lot. It also a much better sweeter than honey. http://www.nyaproductreviewer.com/2014/03/why-yacon-syrup-is-ideal-sweetener.html

  4. Unfortunately, I tried a teaspoon of Yukon Syrup with a glass of water 30 minutes before meals, three times a day, for three months and I did not lose a pound. The taste was delicious if only It had caused weight loss.

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