Background and aims: Freeze-dried powdered yacon (FDY) can be considered a prebiotic product due to its fructooligosaccharides (FOS) content. The effect of 9 weeks of daily intake of FDY containing 7.4 g of FOS on glucose, lipid metabolism and intestinal transit in a group of elderly people was investigated.
Methods: Seventy-two elderly (mean age 67.11 ± 6.11) men and women were studied for 9 weeks in a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment. They were randomly assigned to the supplement group (which received 7.4 g of FOS as FDY) or the control group. At the beginning and end of the study, anthropometric measurements, blood sampling, clinical analyses and dietary intake were assessed.
Results: A daily intake of FDY containing 7.4 g of FOS for 9 weeks was associated with a mean decrease in serum glucose (p = 0.013), but supplementation did not reduce serum lipids in the study group. The administered dose did not adversely affect intestinal transit. It did not cause bloating, flatulence or intestinal discomfort.
Conclusion: Freeze-dried powdered yacon is a good source of FOS, and daily consumption can have a favourable effect on serum glucose in the elderly. It is also practical, easy and safe to use and store.