Yacon syrup is the latest weight loss craze, with an official endorsement from television health guru Dr. Oz and dozens of websites pushing the product. But those looking for objective reviews of the product are finding some difficulty.
Many potential buyers wary of past diet scams are taking a close look at yacon syrup to see if the results meet the hype. Yacon is a South American root that has been part of the traditional Andes diet for years. Juices from the root are extracted and filtered to create a syrup with a dark color and consistency, similar to molasses.
Those turning to Dr. Oz would find a ringing endorsement. The talk show host’s website gives details of a study in which viewers tried yacon syrup for 28 days.
Dr. Oz asked 60 women to eat one teaspoon of yacon syrup with or before each meal for four weeks. They were told to maintain their normal diet otherwise. Among the 40 women who completed the project, 29 lost weight and 14 lost five pounds or more.
The show touted the results, calling yacon syrup a “metabolism game changer.”
But the endorsement didn’t go over well with anyone. Dr. Oz has been known to hitch on to other weight loss fads that turned out to be scams (or just ineffective, like Garcinia Cambogia).
It is often difficult to find an objective yacon syrup review. Search results for “yacon syrup” turn up a host of health and fitness blogs, but some are just obvious fronts for outlets selling the weight loss product.
But unlike many other weight loss crazes, yacon syrup actually has some real science backing it. An April 2009 study from Clinical Nutrition found that the syrup had a good result for the control group, which was ‘obese and slightly dyslipidemic pre-menopausal women.”
The study noted:
Daily intake of yacon syrup produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index. Additionally, decrease in fasting serum insulin and Homeostasis Model Assessment index was observed. The consumption of yacon syrup increased defecation frequency and satiety sensation. Fasting glucose and serum lipids were not affected by syrup treatment and the only positive effect was found in serum LDL-cholesterol levels.
While the results seemed to endorse yacon syrup as a weight-loss method, critics point out that it is just one small study and would need much more before it could be certified as an effective addition to diet and exercise.