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Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 436; doi:10.3390/nu8070436

Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) as a Food Supplement: Health-Promoting Benefits of Fructooligosaccharides

1
Department of Morphology, Institute of Biosciences, Sao Paulo State University, Botucatu 18618-689, Brazil
2
Departament of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sao Paulo State University, Araraquara 14800-903, Brazil
3
Institute of Health Sciences, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Sinop 78550-000, Mato Grosso, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Promoting Components of Fruits and Vegetables in Human Health)
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Abstract

Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius), a perennial plant of the family Asteraceae native to the Andean regions of South America, is an abundant source of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). This comprehensive review of the literature addressed the role of yacon supplementation in promoting health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. According to several preclinical and clinical trials, FOS intake favors the growth of health-promoting bacteria while reducing pathogenic bacteria populations. Moreover, the endproducts of FOS fermentation by the intestinal microbiota, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), act as substrates or signaling molecules in the regulation of the immune response, glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism. As a result, glycemic levels, body weight and colon cancer risk can be reduced. Based on these findings, most studies reviewed concluded that due to their functional properties, yacon roots may be effectively used as a dietary supplement to prevent and treat chronic diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: yacon; prebiotics; fructooligosacharides; functional food; chronic diseases yacon; prebiotics; fructooligosacharides; functional food; chronic diseases
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Caetano, B.F.R.; de Moura, N.A.; Almeida, A.P.S.; Dias, M.C.; Sivieri, K.; Barbisan, L.F. Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) as a Food Supplement: Health-Promoting Benefits of Fructooligosaccharides. Nutrients 2016, 8, 436.

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