Does Yacon Syrup really work? Benefits and side effects

By Jade Chung

Is Yacon Syrup a Real Game Changer for weight loss?

yacon_syrupThe weight loss market is full of new powders and pills that claim a slimmer shape safely and effectively.

Well, the truth is that most diet supplements fail to actually encourage any fat loss at all, and mostly just leave us disappointed at having spent money on a fad in the first place.

However, a new pill product is changing this fact, as it is fulfilling its claim to be unlike the rest. This is Yacon Syrup, an organic remedy that is changing the game for those who wish to expend more calories in a healthy and natural way. A good place to buy yacon syrup is here, I came across this site during my research and it provides a whole host of information and useful resources.

Yacon Syrup on Dr.Oz – The recent study that made it so popular

The remedy grabbed the attention from health experts and health-conscious people when Dr. Oz. talked about it on his show. He conducted a small experiment wherein almost 40 women had one teaspoon of this syrup either before or with each of three meals for almost four weeks.

These women were told to do so without changing the diet or workout habits. The results of this experiment were really surprising, with 73% of participants experiencing weight loss of which 14 of them lost over 5 pounds. Further, their waist circumference shrunk by an average of 1.9 inches.

Where does Yacon syrup come from?

The remedy is extracted from the Yacon plant that are grown in abundance on the Andes mountains in South America. Available as pills, the syrup boasts a sweet flavor like raisins. Those who have consumed the syrup agree that it tastes good enough to be used as a low calorie sweetener in items such as coffee. Unlike other dietary weight loss supplements, Yacon does not contain chemicals; it is 100% natural.

What Makes it so Beneficial for our health?

Technically, the organic syrup works as a prebiotic that aids in controlling the bacterial activity in the intestines. As a fact, the type of bacteria present in the intestines can contribute to the manner in which the food is digested and absorbed.

In simple terms, ensuring the presence of bacteria in the intestines can boost the effectiveness of digestion.

According to Dr. Oz, the Yacon Syrup works by accelerating your metabolism through the support for skinny bacteria. Further, it reduces the level of hunger hormone called ghrelin, which also helps in controlling insulin to keep your fullness high until a longer period.

Therefore, it moderates insulin and food cravings to make you lose weight. In addition, the syrup boosts the absorption rate of minerals as well as calcium. Apart from weight loss, Yacon can help with chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, as it is a great source of fiber. At the same time, it can also aid in reducing sugar levels.

The Side Effects of Yacon Syrup: Are There Any?

While there are no major side effects, it has been found that Yacon syrup raises the frequency of bowels and loosens stool. This means that those suffering from diarrhea or loose stools should not take it. Similarly, people who are allergic to sunflower seeds should not have it because the Yacon extract is associated with the sunflower plant.

Intermittent fasting diet guide, a healthy way to lose weight?

By Jade Chung

intermittent-fasting-dietWe all understand the basic maths behind losing weight: we need to consume less calories than we burn.

And we are all familiar with the basic dietary mantra: eat less, exercise more. So does the popular 5:2 fast diet change either the maths or the mantra? Not at all.

The maths behind the 5:2 fast diet

The simple maths, in calorific terms, is that in order to lose 1lb we need to consume 3,500 calories less than our body needs. Taking the average daily required calories as 2000 for women and 2400 for men, the weekly requirements will be 14000 for women and 16800 for men.

The 5:2 fast diet works on the principle that for two days each week (normally not consecutive days) the calorific intake should be reduced to just one quarter, hence women will consume 11000 (a saving of 3000 calories) and men will consume 13200 (a saving of 3600 calories).

Since it is claimed the 5:2 diet has a ‘metabolic advantage’ over other diet that results in greater weight loss, those who follow this diet should lose at least 1lb each week. That may not sound like a startling weight reduction, but it is sustainable: it is claimed the diet induces a lifestyle change for participants which they will be happy to continue week after week, month after month.

Although many people will begin this diet with the primary objective of losing weight, the 5:2 fast diet offers significant health benefits beyond weight loss.

The claimed health benefits of intermittent fasting

Research suggests that intermittent fasting may help to protect against some cancers, and enhance the body’s response to anti-cancer therapy.

This is because fasting lowers production of the IGF-1 hormone (Insulin-Like Growth Factor). This hormone is important to children since it is essential to growth, but studies show that children born with a deficiency of IGF-1 which results in restricted growth (a condition known as Laron syndrome), will be protected against both cancer and diabetes.

Lower levels of IGF-1 help the body to repair itself. Intermittent fasting, which reduces levels of IGF-1, is thought to put the body into ‘repair mode’, which allows cancer cells to be more effectively targeted and aids the body’s response to chemotherapy.

Weight loss and intermittent calorie restriction can also apparently, reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 40%.

Studies in mice have shown that fasting, either permanently or intermittently, increases life-span by up to 40%. Although animal studies cannot necessarily be replicated in humans, calorie restriction produces a protein called Sirtuin, which is thought to have life-extending and anti-ageing properties.

There has been a recent world-wide increase in Type 2 diabetes, which is thought to be due largely to obesity. The 5:2 diet (and others which involve intermittent fasting or reduction in calorific intake) dramatically improve insulin sensitivity, which is essential to the prevention of diabetes.

Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and if the pancreas stops producing sufficient insulin (common in overweight people) the body is unable to regulate blood sugar, which results in the development of Type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting is thought to improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn protects against Type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent calorific intake can also decrease the risk of heart disease. Although much of the research to date has involved animal studies, this form of diet has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, all of which are significant risk factors in heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

Researchers claim that this form of dieting may also reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, although it should be noted that this study was based upon animals, not humans.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the 5:2 diet can improve the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and can also help to regulate the hot flushes experienced by many women during the menopause.

Ongoing research may well provide more definitive answers in the fullness of time, but in the short-term, the limited results are both promising and exciting. The 5:2 fast diet can help to achieve sustainable weight-loss, but also offers significant health benefits.

Is the diet for everyone?

Unfortunately, this form of dieting is not suitable for everyone: it should not be followed by children or teenagers, pregnant women or nursing mothers, and people with Type 2 diabetes or any other medical condition should discuss the diet with their doctor before starting it.

One important side effect is that sleep patterns can be disturbed. One American study, on rats also suggests that a restricted diet may reduce fertility, so perhaps it would be sensible to avoid any diet that restricts calorie intake whilst trying to conceive.

Apart from these, there appear to be few side effects and the diet programme should be suitable for any adult in general good health.

Is Garcinia Cambogia really worth buying, does it actually work?

By Jade Chung

garcinia-cambogia

The Garcinia Cambogia Fruit

I have a sweet tooth, I crave chocolate and I am prepared to guiltily confess to occasional indulgence in the odd cream cake.

Like most people, having enjoyed the satisfying ‘high’ during consumption of these guilty treats, I go on to experience the inevitable low that tends to follow gluttony.

So the claims of Dr Oz that Garcinia Cambogia could suppress appetite, aid the body to burn fat and, by increasing levels of serotonin, could provide that ‘feel good factor’ normally achieved only by chocolate and cream cakes, were enticing and exciting.

I needed to find out more, I wanted the facts and during my research came across a good resource, click here for some good information on garcinia which explains in more detail how this little exotic fruit works.

What is Garcinia Cambogia extract?

My first question was ‘What is Garcinia Cambogia’?  Is the product crammed with dangerous chemicals or the E numbers that medics and nutritionists urge us to avoid?  Apparently not: Garcinia Cambogia is a type of fruit grown in India which is simply dried and ground before being transformed into this relatively new (at least in the West) weight-loss product.

The active ingredient extracted from the fruit is hydroxycitric acid (HCA).  Well I’m no scientist, but surely an extract from a citrus fruit could do me no harm?  Could a daily dose of Garcinia Cambogia actually count as one of the five a day that doctors urge us to take?

Whilst sadly, no-one seems to claim that my daily intake of fruit and veg could be reduced if I were to take this product on a regular basis, surely such a ‘natural’ product could have no harmful side-effects?

Internet reviews of the product suggest it may be harmful for diabetics and nursing mothers: I’m neither so that wouldn’t put me off.  Common side-effects apparently include headaches, inability to sleep and dizziness.  More worryingly, some reviewers claim that flatulence is a problem, and a couple even claim a link with gall bladder disease and liver disease.

I try to avoid technical articles written by very clever people who use vocabulary which is totally beyond my understanding wherever possible, but before embarking on a course of drugs which might cause antisocial side-effects (or worse!), I felt a perusal of the academic literature in the guise of clinical trials relating to Garcinia Cambogia might be sensible.

Having struggled through the rather turgid methodology of a couple of scientific reports and finally reached the results section, I was non-the-wiser: the conclusion seems to be that in controlled trials involving those who take Garcinia Cambogia compared with those who are given a placebo, there was no difference in weight loss.

However, there was a statistically significant difference in fat-loss between the two groups, with those taking the product rather than the placebo losing the greatest amount of fat during the course of the trial.

So where does that leave me?  Is Garcinia Cambogia ‘the holy grail’ that Dr Oz suggests?  Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but my research does suggest there could well be some small benefit in Garcinia Cambogia for a cream-cake eating chocolate addict.

Perhaps actual weight loss may not inevitably be enhanced, but I could certainly use a product that prevented my guilty indulgences from taking up permanent residence around my middle.