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Health Benefits of Maca Root Supplements

health benefits of maca root

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In recent years, the maca plant is growing in popularity. It is originally a plant native to Peru and is usually available in the form of a supplement. Traditionally, the maca root can improve fertility and sex drive. Here are the health benefits of maca root supplements.

Can Increase Fertility in Men

When it comes to male fertility, it is very important to have sperm quality and quantity. Therefore, there is some evidence that suggests maca root increases fertility in men (1, 2).

A recent review of five studies shows that maca can improve the quality of semen in infertile men (3).

In one review study in nine healthy men, researchers observed an increase in sperm volume, count and motility after consuming maca for four months (4).

Can Improve Your Mood

Many studies show that maca supplements can improve mood. It can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, especially in women with menopause (5, 6).

Maca contains plant compounds called flavonoids responsible for these psychological advantages (8).

Can Improve Memory

Maca can enhance brain function. In reality, people in Peru use it to improve the performance of children in school for many decades (9, 10, 11).

Studies in animals with memory impairment show enhancement in learning and memory (12, 13, 14).

The black maca is more rewarding than other varieties (15).

Can Relieve Symptoms of Menopause

Several unpleasant symptoms can result from the natural decline of estrogen that occurs during this period.

These include hot flashes, dryness of the vagina, changes in mood, lack of sleep, and irritability.

One study of four menopausal women studies found that maca helped improve symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and interrupted sleep (16).

Animal studies also show that maca can help protect bone health. After menopause, women have a higher risk of osteoporosis (17, 18).

Can Reduce Prostate Size

The prostate is a gland that is present only in males. Prostate gland enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is normal in aging men (19).

A larger prostate, because it covers the tube through which urine is expelled from the body, may cause various problems with passing urine.

Ironically, animal studies suggest that red maca decreases the size of the prostate (20, 21, 22).

Red maca’s effect on the prostate has been suggested to be due to its outrageous amount of glucosinolate. Such drugs also contribute to a reduced risk of prostate cancer (23).

May Boost Energy Levels

The maca supplements have been claimed that it can help you build muscle, increase strength, boost energy and improve performance in exercise.

Some animal studies also show that it increases endurance efficiency (24, 25, 26).

In addition, one small study in eight cyclists shows that they improved the time it took them to complete a 25-mile bike ride after 14 days of maca extract supplementation (27).

There’s actually no empirical evidence to confirm that maca can increase muscle mass or strength.

Can Increase Libido in Men and Women

It decreases a common problem among adults sexual desire. Therefore, there is great interest in herbs and plants that naturally improve libido.

Maca has been heavily marketed as being effective in enhancing sexual desire, and research supports the argument (28).

A 2010 review which includes four clinical trials with 131 participants found evidence that after six weeks of consuming maca, it improves sexual desire (29).

Also, read supplement for erectile dysfunction

Nutrition Profile Of Maca Root

Maca root powder is a very nutritious source of several essential minerals and vitamins (30).

28 grams of maca root powder contains:

  • Calories: 91
  • Carbs: 20 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
  • Iron: 23% of the RDI
  • Copper: 85% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 16% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 10% of the RDI

Maca root is a good source of carbohydrates, it is low in fat and has a fair amount of fiber. Some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper, and iron, are also high in maca.

In addition, it includes many plant compounds, including glucosinolates and polyphenols (31, 32).

The Bottom Line

Maca supplementation can offer many health benefits, such as increased libido and better mood. Most of the studies, however, are small, and many have been done in animals. While studies on maca are promising, but it needs to be studied in greater depth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is maca root?


The maca plant is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng, scientifically known as Lepidium meyenii. It grows primarily in the Central Peruvian Andes, in harsh conditions and at very high altitudes above 13,000 feet. Maca is a herb that is cruciferous and therefore related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.

How to use it?


Maca is easy to add to your diet. You can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, baked foods, energy bars and more. The optimum dosage has not been identified for medicinal use. The maca root powder dosage used in research, however, typically varies from 1.5 to 5 grams per day.

What are the side effects?


Maca is safe and has no serious side effects. Therefore, Peruvian natives assume that eating fresh maca root can have adverse health effects, and suggest first boiling it. However, be cautious with maca if you have thyroid problems. That is because it includes goitrogens. Therefore, these compounds can interfere with the thyroid gland’s normal function.

Can I apply maca on my skin?


Ultraviolet (UV) sun rays can burn and cause damage to the exposed skin. UV radiation can cause wrinkles over time and may increase skin cancer risk. However, there is some evidence that applying maca extract, a concentrated form of the plant can help protect your skin against UV radiation.

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Marwa Khan MS
Marwa Khan is a licensed dietitian nutritionist and editor at DefatX. She writes for several national publications where she promotes women’s health, healthy living, and body positivity.
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