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Your Ultimate Guide To Maca Powder and its Benefits

Your Ultimate Guide To Maca Powder and its Benefits

What is Maca Powder?

Maca is a Peruvian plant, cultivated between 4000m and 4500m high in altitude in the central Andes region.

(For reference, Hobartā€™s Mount Wellington is 1,271 metres above sea level!)

Maca powder has traditionally described medicinal properties, and is used most commonly in Western societies as a nutritional supplement. As such, export of the product has grown significantly in recent years as people learn more about maca powder benefits.

What is the History of Maca Powder?

Maca has been used by the Peruvians for centuries, for nutrition and to enhance fertility in humans and animals. The native population used maca after it had been naturally dried.

According to analysis in one literature review, the first written description about maca was published in 1553, describing the roots being used for ā€œmaintenanceā€.

A description one hundred years later stated the plant was grown in the harshest and coldest areas of the province it comes from, where no other plant for sustenance could be grown. It was here the use of maca was referred to for fertility, which has continued in literature and research ever since, also being referred to as having a stimulant effect.

Traditionally, the Andean people used maca as a medication to treat respiratory conditions and rheumatic disease.

Itā€™s no secret that maca is a hardy plant ā€“ surviving and thriving in harsh weather conditions throughout history. Now letā€™s take a look at some of the benefits of maca powder.

Maca Powder Benefits

The benefits of maca powder for humans have been studied significantly during the rise in popularity of maca root.

Peruvian maca is rich in fibre and a source of nutrients that our bodies need to thrive, including vitamin C, copper and iron.

According to research and literature reviews, maca can benefit a wide range of physical and mental conditions.

Bulk Nutrients Maca Powder

What Is Maca Powder Good For?

Different coloured roots of maca powder are available and have been linked to possible treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.

Some of the more common maca powder benefits include improvements to memory enhancement, antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory actions and improvements to sexual function.

A review of 57 studies, involving clinical and pre-clinical trials of various types of maca root, was conducted in 2021. It found different colour variations of maca root powder showed different effects. 55 of the 57 studies reported it could be an effective treatment for a range of conditions including memory impairment, depression, anxiety, blood pressure and sexual dysfunction.

Maca Powder for Sexual Wellness

A study conducted in 2015 studied 45 women who experienced sexual dysfunction, induced by the use of antidepressants. It found that 3,000mg of maca root powder per day for 12 weeks helped improve their sexual function and libido, compared with using a placebo.

Maca powder may also assist those struggling with erectile dysfunction. A 2009 study found consuming 2.4g of maca root per day for 12 weeks saw men experience a more significant increase in sexual wellbeing than those taking a placebo.

Maca Powder for Energy

Some studies on animals have suggested maca may help improve energy levels and enhance your mood.

One study released in 2022 suggested maca powder may have anti-fatigue effects in young women, after comparing the effects of maca and a placebo, during a four-week period.

A study of 175 people from 2016 reported that people who took 3 grams of maca for 12 weeks experienced more of an energy boost, than those who took the same amount of a placebo.

Bulk Nutrients Ambassadors Tammie Sarkozy and Tarran Lee in the gym with sled

Maca Powder for Anxiety and Depression

Maca contains flavonoids, a phytochemical compound thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

A 2014 study discovered that maca extract helped to increase dopamine levels, showing anti-depressant like effects.

A 2015 study found that maca could reduce symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women, with research conducted during the menopause process of 29 women from Hong Kong. The study found maca did not have any hormonal or immune biological action, but it appeared to reduce symptoms of depression.

How To Use Maca Powder?

One of the special parts of maca powder is how versatile it is to use.

Being a powder, maca can easily be mixed with liquid like water and consumed immediately. It can also be added to liquids like soups and smoothies without changing the flavour significantly.

How Much Maca Powder Per Day Is Needed To See Benefits?

How much maca powder you should take depends on your goals. Before introducing maca powder into your diet or any other supplement, you should consult a medical professional.

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References:

  1. Gonzales, G. F. (2012). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. PMC. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184420/
  2. Zhang, Y., Yu, L., Ao, M., Jin, W., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Medicinal effects of Peruvian maca (Lepidium meyenii): a review. Food & Function, DOI: 10.1039/C9FO02732G
  3. Wang, Y., Wang, Y., McNeil, B., & Harvey, L. M. (2020). Flavonolignans and Other Constituents from Lepidium meyenii with Activities in Anti-inflammation and Human Cancer Cell Lines. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b07305
  4. Shin, B. C., Lee, M. S., Yang, E. J., Lim, H. S., & Ernst, E. (2010). A systematic review of the versatile effects of the Peruvian Maca Root (Lepidium meyenii) on sexual dysfunction, menopausal symptoms and related conditions. ScienceDirect. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2667031322001075
  5. Shin, B. C., Lee, M. S., Yang, E. J., Lim, H. S., & Ernst, E. (2010). Is the hype around the reproductive health claims of maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) justified? PubMed. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20691074/
  6. Zenico, T., Cicero, A. F. G., Valmorri, L., Mercuriali, M., & Bercovich, E. (2009). Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on wellā€being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, doubleā€blind clinical trial. Andrologia. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00956.x
  7. Stojanovska, L., Law, C., Lai, B., Chung, T., Nelson, K., Day, S., ... & Apostolopoulos, V. (2015). Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. PubMed. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25954318/

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