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What are the Most Common Maca Effects?

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  • Written By: Synthia L. Rose
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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The lepidium meyenii plant, known casually as maca, delivers increased fertility, stamina, and hormonal balance as its most common health effects. Research claims maca effects also include relief from fibromyalgia suffering and an ease of menopausal symptoms. Sold as a dietary supplement or food, the root of the maca plant contains most of the nutrients and simulates the shape of a radish.

Scientists classify maca as an adaptogen, which means, in the simplest terms, that maca effects will adapt to each body’s hormonal needs. A woman who is not producing enough estrogen can usually take maca and find her estrogen levels return to normal, enabling her to reduce hot flashes, male-patterned balding and sometimes facial hair. A man suffering from an inability to achieve an erection or add muscle tone can typically take maca and find his testosterone increases so that these dysfunctions are ended. These two examples underscore maca’s use as a natural balancing agent that protects the body’s homeostasis. In addition to balancing estrogen and testosterone production, maca effects include normalizing the levels of progesterone, a female menstrual hormone; this enables women and girls to regulate menstruation and ease cramping and bloating.

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The power to optimize hormones has earned maca a place among libido enhancements. When estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone exist in the body in the optimal ratio, men and women often find they have a greater desire and ability to get sexually aroused and participate in more sexual activity; these maca effects often coincide with greater fertility and can help couples who are trying to conceive. For maximum sexual health, many people take roughly one tablespoon (5 g) of powdered maca a day. Simple energy boosts often require just 450 mg to 500 mg a day, which are the standard amounts in most supplement capsules. Different individuals respond to different amounts.

Rather than use maca as just a supplement to take along with a meal, some individuals elect to reap maca effects by actually cooking with the fresh root or loose powder. Brownies, muffins, and cookies can be made from maca. Cakes and smoothies made with bits of fruit and honey are other types of foods where maca can be a central ingredient.

Maca contains B vitamins, iodine and iron in addition to protein and starch. It is also a source of potassium. The energy-raising potential of maca is attributed to its 10 amino acids, which include tyrosine, glutamic acid and phenylalanine. The aphrodisiacal properties of maca can be traced directly to the chemical p-methoxbenzyl isothiocynate, as well as two unique metabolites: macamides and macaenes.

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donasmrs
Post 3

I know that most people use maca herb to increase sexual desire and performance, but I use it for general health and energy.

I suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and maca was recommended to me by a doctor. It works well for me. I have more energy and I can actually get some things done.

ysmina
Post 2

@ZipLine-- I'm not a doctor but as far as I know, in both men and women, maca helps increase reproduction hormones naturally. Maca is a stimulant to it helps the body produce more of testosterone or estrogen.

This is why people who already have normal hormone levels can have maca side effects. It's also why pregnant and nursing women are not allowed to use maca.

ZipLine
Post 1

So does maca extract act like a hormone in the body, like estrogenic foods? Is that why it's helpful for postmenopausal women?

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