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Yacon Syrup Linked to Weight Loss

A South American root is gaining media attention as a healthy weight loss supplement.

Pamela Bump

The age-old consumption of the yacon [pronounced: yah CONE] plant’s root throughout the Andes Mountains and South America is gaining new attention due to its possible link to weight loss and other health benefits. Those interested in taking advantage of yacon’s positive effects can consume it as a syrup.

Yacon syrup, a sweetener extracted from yacon roots, has not only been linked to weight loss, but also to healthy digestion and blood pressure levels, according to health expert Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Dr. Oz recently featured “The Yacon Syrup Project” on his program, “The Dr. Oz Show.” The project examined the effects of yacon syrup on 60 women over four weeks. The participants were told to consume one teaspoon of yacon syrup with each meal without changing their lifestyle or eating habits otherwise.

Oz said that, out of the 40 women who completed this study, 73 percent lost weight and 14 women lost at least five pounds. The average weight loss was 2.9 pounds. The average waistline reduction was 1.9 inches in the four-week period.

A report titled, “Yacon Syrup; Principles and Processes” described yacon as an “underutilized and scientifically neglected root.” However, the report suggested that the crop is now gaining attention as it has been found to have a high content of fructoooligosaccharides (FOS).

According to the report, the syrup will not increase the amount of glucose in the blood and may also be consumed in moderation by diabetics.

Another study,“Yacon Syrup: Beneficial Effects on Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Humans,” similarly investigated the consumption of yacon syrup by women.

In the double-blind controlled experiment, obese -menopausal women who participated consumed two small doses of yacon syrup each day for four months. According to the study’s abstract, “At the start and end of the study, anthropometric measurements, blood glucose, calcium, lipid and insulin concentrations, and Homeostasis Model Assessment index were determined.”

Results of the study concluded, “Yacon syrup is a good source of fructooligosaccharides and its long-term consumption produced beneficial health effects on obese pre-menopausal women with insulin resistance.”

Selected Sources: 

“Yacon Syrup: Beneficial Effects on Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Humans” by S. Genta et al., Clin Nutr, 4/09

“Yacon Syrup Principles and Processes” by II. Manrique et al, 2003,

“The Yacon Syrup Project” The Dr. Oz Show,, 11/01/13