Maca Root Benefits and Side Effects

Maca Root Benefits and Side Effects. Maca Root or Lepidium meyenii, is the root of a vegetable native to the Andes region of Peru. Known as “Peruvian ginseng”, (even though it doesn’t belong to the same botanical family as ginseng).

Maca is consumed as a food and is said to boost energy, enhance fertility and sex drive. In foods, maca is eaten baked or roasted, prepared as a soup, and used for making a fermented drink called maca chicha. Few scientific studies have examined the effectiveness of maca.

Maca Root Benefits and Side Effects

Here’s a look at several findings from the available research.

1. Maca Root increases sex drive in both men and women

A review from 2010 that included four randomized clinical studies with a total of 131 participants, found evidence that maca improves sexual desire after at least six weeks of ingestion.

2. Boost energy and endurance

Some athletes and bodybuilders use maca root as a supplement to increase energy and performance. Maca may improve exercise performance, particularly during endurance events.

3. Increasing fertility

Another widespread use of maca root is to increase fertility, particularly in men. Maca can increase sperm production and improve sperm quality, thereby enhancing fertility in men.

4. Improving mood

Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety. A study in 14 postmenopausal women found that maca may reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Also, a 2015 study found that maca could reduce symptoms of depression in Chinese postmenopausal women.

5. Reducing blood pressure

It is possible that maca root can also help to improve blood pressure. The same 2015 study also found that 3.3g of maca per day for 12 weeks lowered blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women.

6. Reducing sun damage

When applied to the skin, maca extract may help protect it from the sun’s UV rays.

7. Fighting free radicals

Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells in the body.

Antioxidants can help prevent some health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

8. Improving learning and memory

Maca may improve brain function. In fact, it has traditionally been used by natives in Peru to improve children’s performance in school.

In this regard, black maca appears to be more effective than other varieties.

Possible Side Effects of Maca Root

Little is known about the safety and side effects of the short-term or long-term use of maca. Maca is not currently associated with any health risks in most people and is unlikely to cause any side effects in moderate doses.

Since it is a natural food, it is generally believed to be safe.

As with other supplements, maca hasn’t been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or those who are taking medications.