Orlando, Florida — Yacon root syrup has been found to serve as a prebiotic, making it beneficial for the maintenance of total health. It may not only work as a weight loss aid, but it also may help lower reduce blood sugar levels, bad cholesterol levels, and improve digestive health.

Yacon root syrup is extracted from yacon , which is a vegetable native to the Andes Mountains in South America. Because of its nutritional values, it has been introduced to the health and wellness market as syrup. A study published in Clinical Nutrition found that it may help people lose weight. In the study, the subjects who took one teaspoon of the syrup three to four times a day for 120 days lost an average of 33 pounds and 4 inches from their waist.

However, other than its ability to help people lose weight, yacon root syrup has another important health benefit. Around half of the sweetness of the syrup is FOS (fructooligosaccharides). It then serves as a prebiotic, which means that it helps stimulate the good bacteria in the intestine. These bacteria then support the transformation of FOS into short-chain fatty acids, which help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce bad cholesterol levels. In addition, it has a washout effect, which means that it helps the body regularly eliminate waste.

“There were no negative effects. Given that yacon is high in soluble fiber (as are oats and beans), I would have expected some gassiness, but the participants did not report that problem at the 10 mg dosage level used in the study (higher doses did cause some nausea and cramps). Many participants had had constipation prior to the study, and that seemed to be relieved by the yacon, but there did not appear to be adverse digestive effects.” — Dr. Neal Barnard

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