What is Maca? Properties and benefits.
What is Maca? Properties, Advantages and Benefits
You can call it whatever you want: Lepidium meyenii, its scientific name, Peruvian Ginseng or maca. The truth is that this plant from the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, which grows in the heights of the Peruvian Andes, it has traditionally been given culinary and medicinal uses.
The properties and benefits of Andean maca are found in its roots, from which the maca extract is extracted. Maca contains proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, iron, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, thanks to them their energizing and nutrient properties.
Common properties of maca
Rich in essential minerals: magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, bismuth, manganese, sulfur, sodium, copper, selenium, iodine, silicon, iron, and tin.
• It provides vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin C and vitamin E.
• It is antioxidant, energetic and revitalizing.
• It increases libido and improves fertility: it increases the number and mobility of sperm.
• It reduces premenstrual symptoms and menstrual pain.
• It stimulates the formation of red blood cells.
• It helps in cases of anemia.
• It regulates cholesterol and helps in diabetes, increasing the activity of the pancreas.
• It has anti-stress and antidepressant properties.
• It reduces osteoporosis.
• It increases learning capacity and memory.
• It reduces symptoms of fatigue.
Benefits of Maca for health
It is surprising all the medical applications that can be given to maca. For this reason, the products that incorporate it as a component are highly demanded, since it is recognized that it brings extensive benefits to the body. We will now review some of them.
Increases sexual desire in men and women
After numerous studies it has been proven that food supplements containing maca increase sexual desire (after at least six weeks of consumption) in both men and women.
Its effect in improving sexual dysfunctions is still being analyzed. Now, regarding male fertility, it promotes an increase in the volume, quantity, and mobility of sperm, both in infertile and healthy men.
Relieves symptoms of menopause
The gradual decrease in estrogen in women who are in the process of menopause generates very annoying signs, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings and insomnia. Maca has been shown to mitigate these effects.
On the other hand, in this difficult period in a woman's life, they are more likely to suffer an accelerated loss of bone mass, which is why there is a peak in the appearance of osteoarticular discomfort, mainly osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and some forms of arthritis. Well, scientific research has proposed that red maca has properties that help protect bone health.
The biologist and endocrinologist Gustavo Gonzales Rengifo, director of the Laboratory of Endocrinology and Reproduction of the Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy of the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia, commented that maca with black roots favors memory and learning, while reducing states of anxiety.
In view of plant compounds called flavonoids, especially yellow maca, it has the potential to provide a greater sense of well-being and combat stress, fatigue, and depression.
Optimize sports performance
Although there is no clear scientific evidence, it is argued that due to its characteristics, the so-called Peruvian ginseng is a powerful energy source that increases muscle mass and improves athletic performance. For these reasons, it is highly required by athletes.
Improves learning and memory capacities
Black maca can boost brain function. In Peruvian lands, it is often used to improve the performance of children in school.
Reduces the size of the prostate
Middle-aged men may have an enlarged prostate, resulting in urinating disorders. For these circumstances, Peruvian ginseng acts as an anti-inflammatory.
On the other hand, it has been said that thanks to the large amount of glucosinolates that it contains, maca reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Contraindications of the consumption of maca
As long as its consumption is not abused, maca does not present adverse effects. Being an energy product, one of the main negative effects could be insomnia, which will be solved by avoiding the consumption of maca at nighttime.
Its consumption is not recommended for people with thyroid problems, as it contains goitrogenics, substances that can interfere with the normal functioning of this gland.
Pregnant or breastfeeding period women should consult a doctor before taking it.
In any case, it is always recommended, before using any of these products, to consult with your specialist doctor.
Exialoe products containing maca
VITALOVE: VITALOVE is a food supplement with Vitamin C, zinc, and plant extracts such as Damiana and Muira Puama that help improve sexual relations, or Maca that increases sexual desire. In addition, Turnera diffussa and Arginine contribute to physical and mental well-being. It also contains ingredients that help athletes reduce fatigue from physical activity and improve recovery, endurance, and muscle development. Indicated for both men and women.
- Alcalde AM, Rabasa J. Does Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improve seminal quality? Andrologia 2020; Jul 12:e13755. doi: 10.1111/and.13755. View abstract.
- Stojanovska L, Law C, Lai B, Chung T, Nelson K, Day S, Apostolopoulos V, Haines C. Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric 2015;18:69-78. View abstract.
- Lee, K. J., Dabrowski, K., Rinchard, J., and et al. Supplementation of maca
- Brooks NA, Wilcox G , Walker KZ , Ashton JF , Cox MB , Stojanovska L. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause. 2008;15:1157-62. View abstract.
- Dording CM, Schettler PJ, Dalton ED, Parkin SR, Walker RS, Fehling KB, Fava M,Mischoulon D. A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of maca root as treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in women. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015;2015:949036. View abstract.
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