yacon syrup fiction facts

Yacon Syrup and Weight Loss – The Facts and the Fiction

yacon syrup fiction factsYacon syrup has been associated with weight loss for some years now, although the reasons why it can be used to lose weight are not properly understood.

This is particularly true of those that use it, so let’s have a look at what is known about Yacon syrup and try to tie its claimed properties in with those it actually possesses.

We will start by listing the benefits of this sweet-tasting substance, and how it might, or even should, benefit your overall health and help you lose weight.

We will not spend much time on explaining what yacon syrup is, or how it is extracted and evaporated to a syrup. You will be more interested in its properties than in the source of this substance, obtained from the thick roots of the South American yacon plant.

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Health Benefits of Yacon Syrup

  1. Low-Calorie sweetener: Yacon syrup is sweet, and contains up to a third less calories than yacon syrup health benefitsregular sugar or even honey. It can, therefore, be used as a sweetener as part of a calorie controlled diet, or simply as a healthier option to regular sugar. Some prefer it to stevia or artificial sweeteners such as saccharin due to perceived health issues with these, although most artificial sweeteners are, in the main, safe to use. It is often taken by the spoonful when used as a weight-loss supplement.
  2. Helps Lower Cholesterol: Yacon syrup helps to reduce the amount of a certain type of damaging cholesterol in the blood. It also reduces the body’s resistance to insulin, making it a more attractive sweetening agent to diabetics than regular sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose.
  3. Prebiotic Effect: Prebiotics provide sustenance to beneficial bacteria in the lower gut or colon. These bacteria help you maintain a healthy digestive system and gut, and since yacon helps to maintain such colonies, it is a useful substance to take if you have problems in this area. Because of its prebiotic properties, yacon syrup tends to help promote a strong immune system.
  4. Burns Fats Faster: If you take yacon syrup regularly, it can help increase your metabolic rate: the rate at which your metabolism burns carbohydrates such as fat and sugars to generate energy. This is another benefit associated with its prebiotic effect and is particularly of benefit to the elderly and the sick, where their metabolism can tend to be sluggish
  5. Soluble Fiber: Yacon syrup consists of a mixture of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are complex sugars comprising sucrose and glucose molecules bound together. The majority of FOS in the syrup is a particularly tightly bound form known as inulin (not connected to insulin). It is a soluble fiber which passed through to the lower gut undigested. This is where it is broken down by the ‘good’ bacteria where it also acts as a laxative. The syrup is good to take if you are constipated, but not if you suffer from diarrhea.
  6. Antioxidant Properties: Inulin possesses antioxidant properties, destroying free radicals and believed to help reduce the possibility of contracting certain types of cancer. It also helps promote arterial health and protect against other free-radical induced issues.

Yacon Syrup Trial Results

Only one significant test has been reported in the literature. This was reported in 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition (see ref below) and comprised trials carried out on a group of 55 obese menopausal women for a period of 120 days.

Forty, who were given a daily dose of yacon syrup, lost an average of 33 lb (15 Kg) and also a reduced waist measurement. They went from clinically obese to simply ‘overweight’ and also displayed a reduction in insulin resistance and their blood displayed a 19% reduction in LDL cholesterol. Those suffering constipation also had this condition relieved.

The other 15 had been given a placebo, and they displayed no improvement in their condition. In fact, as a group, they were found to have put on an additional 2.5 lb.

Yacon Syrup Health Benefits – Conclusions

If a conclusion can be drawn from just one trial, then it shows that Yacon syrup can help you to lose weight. Yes, the trial was on already obese women, but these are the very people who want to lose weight. What was encouraging to the researchers was that many of the known theoretical and allegorical health benefits of yacon syrup were supported by the trial results.

When word-of-mouth benefits of a health supplement, or even a foodstuff, are supported by even just the one trial, it is a good indication that such reported benefits are genuine. All too often such benefits are proved false when a product is tested under strict trial conditions.

Perceived benefits may be no more than a placebo effect or wishful thinking. This seems not to be the case with yacon syrup and weight loss. This substance now appears to offer genuine health and weight loss benefits, particularly to those with a need to lose weight.


Clin Nutr. 2009 Apr;28(2):182-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2009.01.013. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Yacon syrup: beneficial effects on obesity and insulin resistance in humans.

Genta S, Cabrera W, Habib N, Pons J, Carillo IM, Grau A, Sánchez S.

yacon syrup health benefits

How to Lose Weight with Yacon Syrup, Tips, Does It Work?

One of the best and most effective weight loss tips is to use yacon syrup instead of sugar – or even in place of honey!

This substance is obtained from the tubers of the yacon plant, indigenous to many parts of South America. It is extracted in much the same way as maple syrup is from the maple tree.

Lose Weight Yacon SyrupThe liquid extracted from the root is heated in an evaporator to remove much of the water and leave a concentrated syrup – yacon syrup.

This syrup contains from 40% – 50% of an insoluble fiber known as inulin (do confuse this with insulin), comprising insoluble sugars known as fructooligosaccharides.

The rest includes the usual sugary substances found in sweet tubers and fruits such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose.

However, yacon syrup contains only around a third of the calories contained in most other sugars.

How to Lose Weight with Yacon Syrup

In order to lose weight, you should take the recommended amount of yacon syrup each day. The actual amount you use may depend upon the source of the syrup.

Generally, you can use it as a substitute for sugar as a sweetener when it will have a number of effects on your metabolism.

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The first is that, because it contains so few calories, it will sweeten your drinks or food without your body’s metabolism generating excessive amounts of energy.

The energy you do not use is ultimately stored in your body as fat. This is a throwback to the early ages of man when food was abundant from spring to fall or autumn, and scarce in winter.

Excess carbohydrates were stored as fat to be used as a store of energy in winter. This got people through the winter until the food was more readily available from late spring onwards.

Now, however, such fat stores are neither needed nor used, so it stays in your body! That’s why, if you eat more carbohydrates than you require, you will tend to store fat and gain weight.

How Does Yacon Syrup Work?

Yacon syrup can be taken as part of a regular low-fat diet and also used as a sweetener that contains only a third of the calories of regular sugar. However, it does more than this.

The inulin it contains is not changed during your digestive process and passes on to your colon in the same form as when you consumed it.

So you get an effective sweetening of the food and drinks that need it without it generating excessive glucose in your blood. This excess is normally converted to fat by your metabolism.

Not only that, but inulin is also prebiotic. This means that nourishes the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These bacteria help create a healthy metabolism and an effective immune system.

Not only is this good for your health, but it also helps to ensure a healthy hormonal system, helping to maintain effective weight control of your body.

How Do We Know it Work?

We know it works because of a trial carried out using 55 volunteers. The results were reported in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in April 2009. 40 Women given a daily dose of yacon syrup for 120 days lost a significant amount of weight, including a reduction in their weight measurement and their Body Mass Index (BMI).

15 Women, given a placebo over the same period and taking the same diet, lost nothing. This was a significant trial, showing that yacon syrup has a definite effect on your weight if taken correctly. It is important to take the syrup as suggested because it could otherwise have side effects, particularly diarrhea and flatulence.

However, there are no doubts that yacon syrup can be used to lose weight. The trial noted above shows this, and if taken correctly it is a safe way to lose weight. Yacon syrup is best used as part of a low-fat diet but will have an effect even if used in place of sugar in your normal diet.