Yacon Helps To Prevent Cancer
There are studies in vitro made in Switzerland that show that Papulaspora inmersa, which is a fungus from roots and leaves of yacon, have properties against human tumor cell lines of melanoma, colon cancer, glioblastoma, promyelocytic leukemia.
Studies in vitro in Japan, isolated chemical components from yacon roots.The components that showed a preventive effect were: enhydrin, uvedalin , sonchifolin, and parthenolide. The preventive cancer effect of this component of yacon leaves is better than observed in curcumin. Other studies in laboratory show reduction of colon cancer risk, cervical and breast cancer human cells.
Yacon Helps to Treat Depression
Laboratory studies in mice done in China show a promising positive effect of inulin‐type oligosaccharides extracted from yacon (YOs) in the treatment of depression.
The parameters of Behavioral despair models in mice included: tail suspension test (TST), forced swimming test (FST) and the learned helplessness (LH) paradigm . To eliminate false positive results, they explored locomotive activities too.
Positive results began to show before the first week of administration of YOs (25, 50, or 100 mg/kg, p.o.), the mouse were more alert, the immobility time in the mouse TST and FST improved, and showed no stimulatory effect on the locomotor activity.
After 15 days, considered subchronic administration of YOs (25, 50, or 100 mg/kg, p.o.), the animals looked more active and they escaped easily, even though there were more escape failures they did not seem discouraged and continued moving and improving their ability to escape.
These findings suggest that the inulin‐type oligosaccharides extracted from yacon may be a prospective natural source for antidepressants.
Yacon Helps To Improve Memory
Studies in a laboratory in Brasil investigated the neuroprotective effects of the leaves and roots of yacon in induced Alzheimer like-disease, β-amyloid (Aβ)-induced, neurotoxicity in rats.
The animals took extracts of the leaves or roots of yacon for 14 days before the induction of amyloid in their brains. Yacon leaf and root extract supplementation decreased oxidative stress and damage in the hippocampus of Alzheimer-like disease (AD-like).
The leaf showed neuroprotection activity by preventing memory deficits. Yacon can be a candidate to be used in the prevention and/or treatment of Alzheimer. More studies are required to replicate these findings.
Yacon Helps Fight Infections Due To Natural Antibiotic Activity
Studies of a laboratory in Argentina have demonstrated that yacon has inti-infections properties in the gut. It increased secretion of immunoglobulin A in mice and helps prevent Salmonella in pigs too. It also improves the immune response for Salmonella vaccines in the mouse model.
Yacon root flour regulates gut microbiota balance and has immunomodulatory effects without inflammatory responses.
In a study of Salmonella infection, Yacon flour helped the gut by increasing the secretion of immunoglobulin A. The antibody was not specific for Salmonella. Longer periods (45 d) of administration had no protective effect. Therefore, yacon can prevent enteric infection caused by S. Typhimurium when given up to 30 d.
Other studies in South Korea showed the antibiotic activity of Yacon leaves components against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)The antibacterial activity of Yacon is attributed to enhydrin.
The other components polymatin B, and allo-schkuhriolide did not show any activity against Staphylococcus aureus strains. The enhydrin showed good antibacterial activity against all tested strains (MIC = 125-500 microg/ml).
The use of concentrated yacon leaves tea alone has been studied for the purpose of treating diabetes. Several in-vitro studies have shown the efficacy of yacon tea leaves in lowering glucose levels in diabetics rats without side effects, but there is one study that showed the developed of reversible renal failure when researchers used the extract for three months while studying the anti-diabetic effects on glucose in laboratory-induced diabetic rats.
One common side effect at the beginning of consumption of yacon roots is flatulence due to the high content of inulin that is a non-absorbable prebiotic. It is better to eat a little yacon at the beginning to make the intestine used to it.
There are very few side effects to yacon, nevertheless, there has been one case reported in South Korea where a woman developed a severe allergy after eating yacon root. She had an antecedent to have developed pruritus when preparing Codonopsis lanceolata and his son was allergic to shrimp, apple or pear. If you are allergic be careful before you take yacon or other new foods.
Like any new food, you have to eat small quantities of yacon at first to see if you like it and to get used to it. If you eat too much at the beginning, sometimes it can cause bloating and/or diarrhea because of the high content of prebiotic inulin.
Yacon root and leaves have been used for centuries in South America as part of their natural remedies.
Yacon root is a natural edulcorant, it can be eaten raw, in powder, chips, syrup, and molasses. Yacon leaves can be prepared as a tea.
Studies in the laboratory show that Yacon has potential to help to lose weight, regulates blood sugar, improves liver health, kidney health, heart health, improves memory, helps in the treatment of depression, prevents cancer and has antibiotic activity. More studies should be done in humans.