Everything You Want to Know About Yacon Syrup

05/28/2014 at 04:39 PM ET

Aaron Rodgers Beer Cheese Soup
Courtesy Naked Yacon, Alison Miksch/Getty

The mere mention of a potential weight-loss wonder can send the internet into a tizzy. After a recent re-run of the The Dr. Oz Show from November 2013 on yacon syrup, the search term spiked a whopping 5,316 percent on Yahoo.

If you’ve never heard of it before, join the club.

Yacon is a South American root which has been part of the Peruvian diet for hundreds of years — it looks a bit like a sweet potato (its extract has a texture like molasses), and is said to taste similar to raisins.

Intriguing. But why was everyone running to their laptops? Dr. Oz called yacon a “metabolism game changer” that supports good digestion and regulates blood sugar, all of which contribute to — you guessed it — weight loss. Ah, the magic words! Naturally, the world wants in on this seemingly easy-peasy way to drop pounds. But does it actually work?

In his quick weight-loss study, Dr. Oz asked 60 women to each consume one teaspoon of yacon syrup with or before each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for four weeks, without changing anything else about their diet or exercise habits. Call it a success: Nearly 75 percent of the women slimmed down, with an average weight loss of almost 3 pounds!

Yacon, both a prebiotic and probiotic, also works as a tea, or as a sugar substitute — although the jury’s out on whether the heat required for baking may mitigate some of yacon’s positive effects.

What’s the catch? Make sure you’re buying 100 percent yacon syrup with no additives or other substances, and beware that going overboard can cause diarrhea and cramping. As for any major side effects, yet another quick internet search doesn’t turn up much, so we’ll have to defer to our ancient Andean friends to clue us in.

—Brooke Showell

FILED UNDER: Dr. Oz , Expert Tips , Health , Nutrition

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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serena on

How come his wife & daughter (even before she was pregnant) aren’t using this weight loss miracle? They are both FAT. Oz himself is thin because of genetics.

Guest on

Someone always comes up with these weight-loss gimmicks and everyone is still fat. First it was raspberry ketones, then it was green coffee beans, and now this. The basic flaw is that Dr. Oz’s test group only tries the new products for one week. Anyone can lose weight the first week of a new program. The question is: Will it continue to work in the subsequent weeks and months or will Dr. Oz have to come up with a new weight-loss pill?

Anonymous on

Sorry, but no. First, three pounds in four weeks is not impressive. Second, though asking them to not change anything, I can guarantee you that each and every one of them did pay closer attention to what they ate and made more conscious choices. That’s what leads to the weight loss. Not a silly, overpriced syrup.