It is well known that those who are obese or overweight have an increased risk of developing chronic health problems that include diabetes. Excess abdominal fat has been linked to insulin resistance and the development of other metabolic health problems. Research had shown promising developments using yacon root syrup in rats to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, even in diabetic subjects. A recent study was developed to determine if these positive health benefits could be replicated in humans.
What Is Yacon Syrup?
Yacon syrup is derived from the yacon root which is found in regions in South America. This root is harvested for dietary purposes for its nutritional value and also for medicinal uses. Natives to the region use the root as a fruit
to be eaten cooked or raw, though the root can also be made into other edible dishes such as syrups and jams.
When made into a syrup, yacon root is similar in texture and taste to other liquid sweeteners such as corn syrup. However, yacon syrup does not cause an increase in blood glucose levels associated with other sweeteners because of its high concentration of fructooligosacharides, often referred to as FOS.
These fructooligosacharides are hard for the stomach to digest which prevents excess sugars to enter the blood stream. Low in calories, yacon syrup is a natural sweetening option for dieters and diabetics.
Methods of Yacon Syrup Study on Obesity and Insulin Resistance
Yacon syrup is prepared by extracting the juice from the roots and allowing it to concentrate with evaporation at low temperatures. For this study,
subjects were given yacon syrup in concentrations of 0.14 grams of
fructooligosacharides per kg of body weight, 0.29 g/kg of body weight, or a placebo syrup created to be similar to the yacon syrup.
There were a total of 55 women involved at the beginning of the study, with 35 of those completing the study with good compliance. Women selected were between 31 and 49 years old without menopausal issues.
Subjects were also obese with dyslipidemia and constipation issues. None of the women in the study ha extenuating health conditions, including diabetes. Each subject also kept a diary regarding dosing times, food consumption, hunger levels, and other lifestyle factors and events, including potential side effects of using the syrup.
At the study onset, body measurements were taken. Blood tests were used to measure glucose and insulin levels as well as lipids, lipoproteins, calcium levels, and insulin resistance.
This study was performed double blind with a placebo control for 120 days. Women were randomly assigned to one of the three distinct syrup groups of either one of the two yacon syrups or placebo. A healthy diet was used in connection with this study combined with moderate walking exercise twice a week. No medications were taken during the study, and other foods containing FOS were eliminated from the diet during the study so as not to skew the results.
Subjects using the higher concentration of yacon syrup at 0.29 g/kg of body weight found the negative side effects resulting in gastrointestinal disturbances to be severe enough to be unacceptable. For this reason, the results of those taking higher concentrations of yacon syrup were not used in
Subject taking the 0.14 g/kg yacon syrup lost approximately 15 kg of body weight during the course of the study, while those taking placebo syrup showed little to no difference.
Those using yacon syrup also showed a reduction in total BMI by 6 points, while reducing waist circumference by about 10 cm.
In addition to weight loss, those taking yacon syrup had lower fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, showing better sensitivity to insulin as well. Those taking yacon syrup showed no difference in total cholesterol or triacylglycerols levels. However, there was significant reduction in LDL, or bad cholesterol, without affecting HD, or good cholesterol, levels. Constipation events were also reduced in those taking yacon syrup.
and lose up to 30 pounds in 120 days