Phytochemical propertiess and nutrigenomic implications of yacon as a potential source of prebiotic: Current evidence and future directions

Yang Cao*, Zheng Feei Ma, Hongxia Zhang, Yifan Jin, Yihe Zhang, Frank Hayford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The human gut is densely populated with diverse microbial communities that are essential to health. Prebiotics and fiber have been shown to possess the ability to modulate the gut microbiota. One of the plants being considered as a potential source of prebiotic is yacon. Yacon is an underutilized plant consumed as a traditional root-based fruit in South America. Yacon mainly contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin. Therefore, it has bifidogenic benefits for gut health, because FOS are not easily broken down by digestive enzymes. Bioactive chemical compounds and extracts isolated from yacon have been studied for their various nutrigenomic properties, including as a prebiotic for intestinal health and their antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. This article reviewed scientific studies regarding the bioactive chemical compounds and nutrigenomic properties of extracts and isolated compounds from yacon. These findings may help in further research to investigate yacon-based nutritional products. Yacon can be considered a potential prebiotic source and a novel functional food. However, more detailed epidemiological, animal, and human clinical studies, particularly mechanism-based and phytopharmacological studies, are lacking for the development of evidence-based functional food products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalFoods
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Fructooligosaccharides
  • Prebiotic
  • Smallanthus sonchifolius
  • Underutilized
  • Yacon

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