Effects of yacon flour associated with an energy restricted diet on intestinal permeability, fecal short chain fatty acids, oxidative stress and inflammation markers levels in adults with obesity or overweight: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial

Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2021 May 18;64(5):597-607. doi: 10.20945/2359-3997000000225.


Objective: Yacon flour is rich in bioactive compounds (phenolic compounds and fructooligosaccharides (FOS)), and may therefore reduce the risk of diseases associated with excess body weight. However, its effect on fecal short chain fatty acids (SCFA), intestinal permeability, oxidative stress and inflammation markers has not been studied in adult humans with excess body weight. Thus, we evaluated the effect of the consumption of yacon flour on these variables.

Methods: Twenty-six excess body weight (30.4 ± 2.4 kg/m2) adults (31.3 ± 8.5y) were randomized to one of two groups (yacon flour or control; n = 13) on a double blind clinical trial. Subjects received a breakfast drink containing or not yacon flour (25g) associated with an energy restricted diet, for six weeks. The flour chemical characterization, FOS and total phenolics contents were evaluated. Antioxidant capacity was evaluated in vitro and in vivo (plasma). Intestinal permeability, fecal SCFA, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers also were evaluated in vivo.

Results: Yacon flour was well tolerated. It presented an in vitro and in vivo antioxidant capacity, increased plasma total antioxidant capacity (ΔYAC: 49.16 (-4.20; 156.63)) and reduced protein carbonyl concentrations (ΔYAC: -0.98 (-1.54; -0.42)). A reduction in SCFAs was observed in both groups (Δacetic: -3.16 (-5.07; -0.95) vs. -1.05 (-2.65; 1.11); Δpropionic: -1.05 (-2.60;-0.38) vs. -0.41 (-2.08; 0.09); Δbutyric -0.75 (-1.38; -0.04) vs. -0.28 (-0.98; 0.11), for YAC and CON, respectively). Other variables did not change.

Conclusion: The yacon flour increased the plasma antioxidant capacity, decreased oxidative stress and SCFAs in adults with obesity or overweight.

Keywords: Yacon; intestinal permeability; obesity; oxidative stress; white blood cells.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asteraceae*
  • Diet
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Flour*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Permeability


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile

Grants and funding

Funding: this project is supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) (protocol number: APQ-02277-14).