The Yacon plant is native to the Andes Mountains. The Yacon root, which can look like a cross between a potato and a carrot, tastes sweet with a fibrous texture. On long journeys, Incas would dig up and eat Yacon to quench their thirst. Studies have shown that regular consumption of Yacon leaf extract produces a significant decrease in plasma glucose levels, making it a viable component of a blood sugar management routine. However, studies have also shown that long-term use (90 days or more) can cause renal toxicity or kidney damage. So it’s recommended only take Yacon leaf supplements for 60-day cycles, with 30 to 60 days between cycles.
The Yacon syrup is popular because it is sweet but its inulin is indigestible as a sugar. Inulin passes through the digestive tract intact, only metabolizing by bacteria in the colon. As a soluble fiber, Yacon is a functional food and contains prebiotics – indigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and / or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improving host health.
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