Most Amazing Maca It improves some cases of infertility, relieves chronic fatigue and has a protective effect against stress. These are just some of the properties attributed to (Lepidium meyenii), a herbaceous plant native to Peru that, according to Peruvian history, has been cultivated since the time of the Incas.
One of its characteristics is that it grows more than 3,500 meters high in the Andes, where it lives in a particularly inhospitable area where there is hardly any other vegetation. In Peru its properties are well known and supported, mainly by the belief of its ability to increase fertility, and provide energy to people who consume it. But can you really increase it? What other health benefits could it have?
As explained by Teresa Ortega, vice president of the Center for Research on Phytotherapy (Infito) and professor of Pharmacology at the Complutense University of Madrid, maca has adaptogenic, immunostimulatory, depleting properties, improving reproductive disorders, increasing fertility, and contributing to the hormonal balance and, finally, of the memory. “This is due to the presence of a type of fatty acids (macaenos) and their corresponding amides, as well as their content in other active ingredients, such as alkaloids, abundant phenolic components (catechins) and a wide presence of vitamins,” explains Ortega .
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However, the specialist points out that there are very few human trials that can confirm one hundred percent these capabilities. In fact, most of its effects are endorsed by its traditional use. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in healthy men has recently been published, in which an increase in fertility (increase in sperm concentration and sperm motility) has been verified. However, the number of healthy volunteers, twenty, who participated in the study was small, “he says. In Peru it is common for maca to be used as a vegetable; however, in Spain it is only used sporadically for this purpose; it is more common to find it in preparations as food supplements.
Ortega specifies that, like all products that can exert a health benefit, to guarantee their efficacy and safety it is necessary not only to use quality products, but also to administer a sufficient quantity of active components, which is achieved through the use of preparations duly controlled, whose pharmaceutical form facilitates the dosage and keeps its components unchanged, so it is recommended to consult the doctor and / or pharmacist before starting to take it.
Regarding its benefits, Ortega explains that it would be indicated in cases of exhaustion and physical fatigue. “It seems to be effective both to increase fertility in men, and to stimulate sexual function. Effects have been observed in experimental animals that seem to confirm these benefits, however there are very few human trials. Some of these trials appear to show significant improvement in libido and slight antidepressant effects, especially in postmenopausal women, and a decrease in erectile dysfunction in men. ”
The Infito vice president concludes by advising against its use in nervous people, since in experimental animals it has shown a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Furthermore, their co-administration with stimulant drugs of the central nervous system is also not recommended. “Due to the presence of vitamin K, care must be taken in anticoagulated patients due to the possible interaction,” he warns.