Maca - small tuber, big effect
The aphrodisiac effect of maca has been known for a long time. Even the Incas used the root as a medicinal plant. You can find out more about the positive effects of maca and everything about our new product Maca 8000 in today's blog post.
Table of contents:
What is maca?
The Maca plant (botanical name: Lepidium meyenii) belongs to the cress genus in the cruciferous family. The plant has been cultivated for over 2,000 years in the Peruvian Andes at altitudes of around 4,000 metres. Maca is therefore very resilient, as it has to withstand extreme weather conditions there.In Peru, the root is used both as a food and medicinal plant. The dried tuber powder is used for its healing effects. The Incas already used the maca plant for medical purposes, for example as an aprodisiac.
The maca tuber comes in different colour variations. The colour ranges from purple and black to cream and yellow. The root has a nutty and earthy flavour.
In addition, the dried tuber contains 59 % carbohydrates, 2.2 % fats and 8.5 % fibre. The fatty acids are mainly in the form of linoleic and palmitic acid. The tuber also contains a high number of omega-3 fatty acids.The root is rich in magnesium, vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium, copper and selenium. Selenium in particular is present in very high quantities. Selenium has an antioxidant effect and protects the body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Together with vitamin C, selenium is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect of maca. Selenium is also involved in the function of the thyroid gland and leads to normal sperm formation. 100 g of dried root also contains 16.6 mg of iron. This means that 100 g of maca root provides the daily requirement of iron.
The amino acids leucine, arginine, phenylalanine, lysine, tyrosine, alanine, valine, isoleucine, histidine, serine and aspartic acid are also present in large quantities.
In addition, it contains various secondary plant substances . Dried maca contains 0.5 to 2 % glucosinolates and polyphenols as well as mustard oil glycosides. Mustard oil glycosides are natural defence substances and have an antibacterial effect in the human body. They also contain plant sterols (phytosterols), which are primarily β-sitosterol, campesterol and ergosterol.
Effects of maca
The effects of the maca plant are very diverse. Among other things, it is said to have an aphrodisiac, potency-enhancing and mood-improving effect as well as strengthening the immune system.
The tuber is already used in Peruvian herbal medicine as an immune stimulant, but it is also used to treat anaemia, menstrual and digestive disorders, menopause symptoms, cancer, reproductive and sexual disorders and concentration problems.
The small tuber has been used as an aphrodisiac since the time of the Incas. A study conducted by Dording et al. in 2008 investigated the effect of maca powder on libido. Test subjects were selected who had been suffering from a reduced libido for some time. During the trial period, the test subjects were given 1.5 g of Maca powder daily in one group and 3 g in the other. After ingestion, it was shown that Maca had a positive effect on libido from concentrations of 3 g daily and sexual dysfunctions were alleviated in the study participants. A study conducted in 2015 also showed similar results.Potency
As early as 1961, researchers discovered that maca increases fertility in rats. This study was followed by repeated experiments on mice and rats. However, the exact mechanism of action was not described in the studies carried out. Supplementation of the root in men leads to larger sperm, a higher sperm count and better sperm motility when taking 1.5 g per day.
The positive effects of the tuber on fertility are probably due to the micronutrients and proteins it contains. Amino acids are necessary to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline, which play a role in the transmission of signals in the nervous system and in sexual arousal. Important amino acids in this context are phenylalanine, tyrosine and histidine, which are present in large quantities in the root. The high concentrations of arginine also play an important role in increasing male potency. Arginine is necessary for the formation of nitric oxide, which leads to vasodilation. You can read all about arginine and its effect on potency problems here.
A 2008 study by Brooks et al. showed that the root in concentrations of 3.5 g daily can reduce psychological symptoms such as anxiety and also reduce sexual dysfunction in post-menopausal women. The results of the study were not dependent on oestrogen activity!
Performance and immune system
Maca is also said to have a positive effect on tiredness and fatigue. People who suffer from chronic fatigue reported increased vitality in everyday life after supplementing with maca powder. This effect can probably be attributed to the fact that maca improves circulation. This is particularly interesting for athletes who want to get the best out of themselves during sport. Regeneration can also be improved, as the muscles can be supplied with oxygen and nutrients more quickly.The antioxidants it contains also have a supportive effect on the immune system.
The tuber contains many plant sterols. These are similar in structure to animal cholesterol, but in contrast have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. They lead to reduced cholesterol absorption in the intestine. This results in a slight reduction in LDL cholesterol, i.e. the "bad cholesterol".
Our high-dose capsules consist of a 20:1 extract from the powder of the natural maca root. It is 100% plant-based, well tolerated and free from soya and gluten. The product was developed in Germany under the strictest quality standards.
What dosage makes sense?
The optimum effects of maca are achieved when 3-8 grams of powder are taken daily in studies. Our new product Maca 8000 contains a total content of 8000 mg of natural Maca powder and is therefore the ideal dosage to achieve the best possible effects.
Are there any known side effects?
Toxic effects are not known for maca. Therefore, no side effects have occurred to date, even at higher doses.