As with many things internet based, a lot of information is copied and pasted, has a dash of creative license, a sprinkling of Chinese whispers and boom you have a new superfood or a superherb. When we select our products we look for the most effective and the very best quality. So we research, then research some more, and provide all of that research here, so that you can make up your own mind.
Studies have found that an ethanol extract of Maca may help inhibit the ability for the Flu A and Flu B virus to change the makeup of your cells. Meaning that you could potentially prevent becoming sick from these viruses. Quite phenomenal. (1)
Maca has ben shown to contain the following anti-oxidants: Polysaccharides (group of anti-oxidants), Polyphenols, Flavonols, Isothiocyanates (found in cruciferous vegetables, Maca is a member of the Brassicaceae / Cruciferae family).
When quantities of these compounds were tested individually, they were not shown to be available in significant enough quantities to be potent anti-oxidants. Although when Maca was tested for its anti-oxidant activity as a whole, the results were quite different, with research suggesting Maca may potentially have the ability to help manage intracellular ATP production during stressful periods, aiding in the balance between oxidants and anti-oxidants, meaning Maca has the ability to scavenge free radicals, and protect cells against oxidative stress. (3, 4, 5)
Studies suggest that after just 14 days Maca may improve sex drive / desire in both male and female sportspeople (as well as physical performance). Male
Studies have suggested that black Maca may aid in increasing sex drive in men, as well as sperm production, semen volume and sperm speed. Red Maca may aid in preventing and/or reducing the size of the prostate that has prostate hyperplasia. The polyphenols in Maca could be the active compound responsible for this reduction.
When combined with Camu Camu, Maca (Lipdium meyenii) has been shown to increase the ability of the male testes to produce and release sperm. Which means that it may be a useful natural tool to aid male fertility if administered at the right time. Female
It has been suggested that water extracts of yellow Maca may aid in the fertility of females.
Some scientific reports concede that there is insufficient evidence to support Maca’s ability to aid libido or be an aphrodisiac. In any case, the more studies the better we say. So we will keep on the look out for more recent studies as they come out and update our information for you. (11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18)
CIRCULATION (BLOOD PRESSURE)
The high amounts of Potassium in Maca contribute to aiding in a reduction in blood pressure. (6)
HORMONE (Menopause / Anti-depressant)
Studies have shown that an ethanol extract of Maca may potentially aid the ability to regulate the endocrine system hormones, but was able to specifically balance the follicle-stimulating hormone—which produces eggs and sperm — suggesting that Post Menopausal women could potentially use Maca to help balance their hormones naturally. Studies also suggest that Maca may aid as an anti-depressant for post menopausal women. (6, 7)
Noradrenaline is released by the central nervous system (CNS) and is — in simple terms — responsible for our “fight or flight” response to situations. Through activating the noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems, the results suggested that Maca extract may have anti-depressant like effects.
BRAIN HEALTH (HORMONES, NERVES AND ENERGY)
Studies indicate further potential applications in brain health — including superb potential for use in improving brain power, reducing the symptoms of depression and promoting wakefulness throughout the day, suggesting that an extract of Maca increased noradrenaline (hormone / neurotransmitter) and dopamine (neurotransmitter) levels. The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for a number of functions in the human body. Some are:
- pleasurable reward,
- cognition / attention / mood / memory / learning, and
- inhibition of prolactin production.
Studies also suggest that black Maca may have the ability to improve learning and memory. And after 14 days it may improve physical performance in sportspeople. (8, 9, 10, 14)
Studies suggest that Maca may improve bone density, pain, stiffness and function of a patient with osteoporosis, it is said to do this by balancing hormone response in both men and women. Further studies are required to provide more data, but the current findings are promising. (19, 20)
ORGANS (Skin and ULTRA VIOLET RADIATION (UVR)
Studies have suggested that water extracts of Maca, can help prevent the effects of UVR on the skin, and so protect the skin and aid anti-ageing.
There are 3 different types of UVR, which increase in strength as altitude increases (UV-A and UV-B (which reach earth), and UV-C (blocked by the ozone layer)).
It has been mused that some plants and animals that live in higher radioactive areas, have modified their genetics to cope with the higher levels of radiation—Maca is one of those because it thrives only at high altitudes (4000ft above sea level)—and so it has also been suggested that due to this it may have the same effect when consumed. (19, 20)