Maca, the peruvian superfood

camu camu
Camu camu
March 27, 2015

Maca, the peruvian superfood

maca product

Origin of maca

Maca(Lepidium meyenii walp) is a cruciferous vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes mainly on the heights of Junín (plateau bombom) between 13,000 and 15,000 feet (4100-4500 m), these extreme growing conditions favor the composition rich in nutrients and phytochemicals that make a super food. The part used is hipocolito that lies between the root and the stem and is therefore concentrating the best of the plant, its millennial long  consumption demonstrates its unparalleled health benefits and general welfare of its consumers.

The maca root is an extraordinary food, an unequaled source of amino acids and it contains a complex of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Also contains an impressive collection of bio-active compounds, many of which, if not all, count for its numerous benefits such as glucosinolates, alkaloids and sterols. It has high nutritional value due to its proteins e.g. polypeptids that make 11% of the dry root. It also contains 10% calcium, and significative amounts of Magnesium and Potassium and other minerals such as iron, silicium, iodine, manganese, zinc, Sodium, Copper.

The main vitamins found  are thiamin, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. Its carbohydrates come from the cellulose and the lignin (polyholosids).

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Traditional use of maca

Traditionally, maca has been used to improve physical and mental endurance of the people of Andes, besides promoting fertility and overall health of those who consume the balancing the body positively from these traditional properties attributed to maca . The best scientific studies conducted to date, and our ancestral knowledge of their benefits make this safe for use.

  • It is suggested it restores mental and physical balance,
  • As an adjuvant to reduce stress (stress)
  • Gives vitality and improves endurance in physical work and sports.
  • Increases the body's own immunity,
  • Relieve premenstrual pain and regulates menstruation cycle,

  • Improves thyroid function,
  • Prevents osteoporosis,
  • Increases libido, combat infertility in men and women,
  • Strengthens the body's hormonal system to promote and maintain optimal health, working through the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to help balance the endocrine glands
  • Strengthening the immune system.

Benefits of Maca

The main benefit of maca is that of  an adaptogen , food that is going to balance our body according to the needs of each part, it acts mainly on the endocrine system,  balancing our hormonal levels and promoting our comprehensive health naturally by means of their main phytochemicals, an alkaloid called macaina 1,2,3 and 4, its other benefits studied and tested by the ancestral knowledge are due to the presence of sterols, macronutrients, vitamins and minerals in large quantities.

Symptoms pre- and post-menopausal
As mentioned above, the Maca is an adaptogenic plant. Adaptogens are a support for the body to deal with the factors of physiological, biochemical and psychological stress, including changes that occur over the years, both, pre- and post-menopausal. Women may experience different symptoms during menopause such as hot flushes, irritability, mood swings, insomnia and night sweats, but also a surprising decrease in sexual desire (libido) and vaginal dryness. An Australian research in pre- and post-menopausal women showed that a preparation of concentrated Maca (Maca-GO) stimulates the body's production of estrogen and levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone, decreases.
Another beneficial effect of Maca is the effect it can have on bone density, animal studies have shown that Maca extract is effective in preventing bone mass (osteoporosis) and the loss of estrogen production, and can improve bone density. Low levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women is one of the causes of osteoporosis.
Pre-menstrual syndrome and hormonal imbalance
The SPM is associated with a range of symptoms such as irritability, bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness and cravings for certain foods. The causes of PMS are not fully understood, although it is known that come into play fluctuations in hormonal and neurochemical changes in the brain, Maca appears to have a normalizadota action of hormonal imbalance. Based on traditional use and prescription of Maca for doctors specializing in complementary medicine has proven that you can alleviate the above symptoms such as cramping, bloating or headaches.
libido and impotence
Many sexual problems are reported to decrease the sexual desire in both men and women and erectile dysfunction in men. Research has shown that it is possible to improve sexual function in men and women with Maca. A systematic investigation, in which four clinical trials were compared, indicated that Maca has some positive effects, although more studies are needed. Animal studies with rats and mice indicate that Maca increases libido and moreover, it has been observed that after taking Maca androgens increase in rats. Maca contains a relatively high concentration of amino acids such as tyrosine and phenylalanine, which are precursors of neurotransmitters and co-determine the sexual function, and further, to arginine, which plays a role in the formation of nitric oxide, which disfavors impotence in men. It is possible that the macamides and macaenos also influence sexual behavior, although this has not been scientifically proven.
Animal studies suggest that Maca may increase fertility. The fertility-enhancing properties of maca are probably due to the phytosterols and phytoestrogens. Maca alkaloids would go against sterility and glucosinolates in Maca have antioxidant eliminating free radicals. In men, Maca increases sperm production and mobility of mature sperm in testicular tubes. Both the quality and quantity of sperm are important for male fertility. A clinical study with nine healthy men, orally administering Maca appeared to increase the volume of seminal fluid. In addition, the number of sperm count and motility, hormone levels (sex hormone) in blood serum were unchanged after taking Maca.
Against enlarged prostate
Most men over 50 have problems with enlarged prostate (BPH). The exact causes of enlarged prostate with age are fully known. Modified hormone levels in blood affect cell division ability of this gland. There is evidence that the Red Maca can prevent prostate hyperplasia, however, yellow and black Maca Maca does not have this effect. In rat studies, prior to administration of the testosterone that is produced by the enlarged prostate, it was found that the rats that were given red Maca did not suffer this enlargement. Red Maca compared with other types of Maca, contains a high concentration of glucosinolates and polyphenols; both substances are capable of contributing to the contraction of the prostate.

Side effects and contraindications of maca

It would seem that maca is perfectly safe when used orally, properly.

Using when processed as gelatin, maca has been shown to be safe in apparently healthy adult males when administered orally up to 3 grams per day for 12 weeks of treatment, also after treatment for up to 4 months.

The experimental animal study has shown that the use of maca during pregnancy does not adversely affect the products functions, and conversely prevents embryonic loss.

It is speculated; popularly maca could have adverse effects on blood pressure.

In a study performed (not indicate the sample size) blood pressure at 4 and 12 weeks of treatment with maca was evaluated, it was observed that both systolic and diastolic pressures decreased significantly with treatment compared with placebo. However, these results do not necessarily indicate that maca possesses an anti-hypertensive effect; it needs additional studies in this area.

Moreover, to date there have been no reports that indicate that the use of maca as a food product has adverse reactions in healthy people. However, it has been found that in patients with metabolic syndrome, using maca rises diastolic blood pressure.

Still, it is recommended that any consumption is previously naturally dried .

In the literature i have found no reports about contraindications with the use of maca, and or possible drug interactions, however we need more clinical studies at different doses and at different treatment times to assert their safety, but their safe use is established by the traditional consumption spanning hundreds of years by the people of Junín.

       Instructions for use of maca          


Ethno medical Use

Traditionally, maca hypocotyl was not used fresh, they were naturally dried for consumption. For this,  fresh hypocotyls are exposed to sunlight for 4-6 days until dry, then they are stored in cold and dark room  until use.

Dried hypocotyls 108.  can be stored for years for food purposes, hypocotyls are hydrated and boiled until they reach a smooth texture 109, the natives of the central Andes do not use fresh maca because it is considered harmful.

It is characteristic of macas distinctive strong flavor that makes it unacceptable for many people, this is an important aspect in the diet. It is rich in sugars, proteins, starch and minerals. In many cases this peculiar flavor can be disguised by other components used in the preparation of juices during cooking or mixed

The popular use of maca in the central Andes is more than 100 grams per day, equivalent to 1.4 g / kg 43.

This is an important factor to consider in future studies.

Recommended Use

It is recommended to consume an average of 5 g per day of gelatinized maca powder capsules or tablets or 3 x 800 mg.

The products on the market contain 500 mg of maca in a tablet or capsule, the dose ranges between 1500-3000 mg / day. It is important to note the type of  processing and type of maca extract, which could generate a difference from intestinal absorption and biological effect , expected at a certain concentration.

However, maca, being considered a nutraceutical, does not require a prescription, and the demonstrated safety of maca is easy to use.

It’s Still to be developed, and clinical studies to better standardize the extraction technique, the preparation of the final product, and the optimum dose to achieve the desired effect.

Maca premium products

Maca has different presentations and genotypes(red, black and yellow) according to their different processes, but has proven effective in each use.

  • Wholesale Maca Root Powder
  • Organic raw maca powder
  • Organic gelatinzed maca powder
  • Black Maca powder
  • Red Maca powder
  • Maca slices

  • Hidroalcoholic maca extract
  • Organic Maca tables 800 mg
  • Organic Maca capsules 500 mg
  • Black maca capsules 500 mg
  • Red maca capsules 500 mg

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