Yacon Syrup: Does The Clinical Research Support The Weight Loss Claims?

In this, my latest series of research articles, I’m putting yacon syrup under the spotlight. If you’re anything like me, you probably groan when you hear about another ‘miracle pill’ or ‘diet game-changer’, or any of the other hyperbole associated with these old-but-new discoveries.

I mean, how many more pills, potions, fruits, veg or seeds can be discovered?

But then, you read a little further, and you discover that if you can take the exaggerated weight loss claims with a pinch of salt, some of these new discoveries can actually benefit you in a whole range of ways. Forget the miracle diet pill that lets you sit on the sofa eating cookies and not exercising and losing weight, that doesn’t exist I’m afraid.

However…I would like you to pay attention to this new syrup, as it could bring a lot of benefits to you and your lifestyle. I’ve found at least 20 clinical that have been undertaken on both humans and rodents, which you can view in my Yacon Syrup and the Health Benefits article for more information. I this article I’m focused specifically on yacon and weight loss though.

Have there been many clinical studies conducted on the yacon, in relation to weight loss?

In short, no. Unlike most new herbal supplement, numerous tests have been conducted within the last 3 years, testing the product for potential properties in boosting immunity, reducing weight and body fat, curbing appetite, improving blood sugar levels and more, but there have been very few to date focused specifically on yacon syrup and weight loss.

I’ve detailed what I could find though, so that you can make an informed decision about whether yacon syrup could help you lose those stubborn pounds:

Study 1: Genta et al, 2009 [1]

Format: Placebo controlled, double-blind

Subjects:  Obese and slightly dyslipidemic pre-menopausal women, 120 days

Dosage: Two doses were administered; 0.29 g and 0.14 g fructooligosaccharides per kg per day

Findings: “Daily intake of yacon syrup produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index. Additionally, decrease in fasting serum insulin…was observed. The consumption of yacon syrup increased defecation frequency and satiety sensation.” Yacon was better received at the lower dosage.

Study 2: on the Doctor Oz show

Format: Uncontrolled

Subjects:  40 women

Dosage: A teaspoon of yacon syrup before meals for 4 weeks


  • 29 (73%) of the women lost weight
  • 14 women lost five pounds or more
  • Average weight loss was 2.9 pounds
  • Average reduction in waist size was 1.9 inches
  • Total weight lost among all the women was 153 pounds
  • 27 (68%) recommended Yacon as a weight loss tool.

Study 3: A systematic review of medicinal, anti-obesity plants by Hasani-Ranjbar et al in 2013[2] found that “studies with Nigella Sativa, Camellia Sinensis…Yacon syrup… sea buckthorn and bilberries show significant decreases in body weight” but concluded that “safety of these plants still remains to be elucidated by further long-term studies.”

Is that enough to base a sound, clinical opinion on?

No, absolutely not. But does the evidence point to something very beneficial? Yes, I believe so. I truly believe in supplementing an otherwise healthy lifestyle (and I don’t mean the gym religiously and a ridiculous, carb-free, sugar-free, alcohol and caffeine-free diet, I mean a generally healthy, active life where we can enjoy a glass of wine and chocolate when we feel like it) with products like coconut oil and yacon syrup, particular both in an organic state.

Because we’ll lose weight? Maybe.

Because they are truly beneficial products that have been relied upon for centuries that could help us lose weight? Exactly. Let’s look at the bigger picture; even if yacon syrup isn’t the miracle weight loss pill we hoped for, it is certainly a sugar substitute that is beneficial for us in many other ways.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share your weight loss stories below, good or bad, as we’d love to hear from you.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19254816
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23777875

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