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It was used by the Incas. In Peru, people eat yacón because of its nutritional properties—few calories and low sugar levels. In Bolivia, yacón roots are eaten by people with diabetes or other digestive and renal disorders. In Brazil, the dried leaves are used to make yacón tea, said to be antidiabetic.
It is usually made with an evaporator, like the ones used to make maple syrup. It has a taste similar to molasses or caramelized sugar. In a study by Yoshida et al. (2002), an enzyme solution of yacón was determined to be a better antioxidant than enzyme solutions of potato, mushroom, eggplant and edible burdock.
In a study by Genta et al., it was shown that a daily intake of yacón syrup produced a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index when given to obese pre-menopausal women.