What is Maca Root :
Maca is an annual or biannual plant that originated in the higher-up plateau of the Andes mountain in Peru. It is also known as Ginseng Andin or Peruvian Ginseng, Lepidium meyenii. The plant looks similar to turnips or radishes but it is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cabbage, and kale.
The root of the plant has been used as a vegetable and medicine from a time back 3000 years. But with the increasing demand, it is now grown in different parts of the world.
Maca is known for its effectiveness in increasing sex drive or libido, boosting energy, and enhancing moods from ancient times.
What is Testosterone :
Testosterone is a sex hormone produced and released from the testicles of men and the ovaries of women. Testosterone level in men is much more than compared to women, that is why it is called male sex hormone. Production of testosterone at the stage of the fetus develops the male sexual organs and at the teenage, it causes secondary sexual development.
In the male deepening of the voice, the growth of hair in specific body parts is considered a secondary sexual characteristic. Testosterone is also important in increasing bone density and enhances muscle mass, distribution, and accumulation of fat in the body. It regulates the sex drive or libido, erectile functioning, and boosts mood.
Before finding the effect of maca on testosterone levels, let us go through the benefits of Maca.
Benefits of Maca
Maca has beneficial effects on males and females differently. In this article, we will discuss the beneficial effects on men only.
- From ancient times Maca has been used to enhance the sex drive or libido in men. But as it has many other benefits it can’t undoubtedly be tagged as aphrodisiac. It is rich in high nutrients, several vitamins, and minerals like iron, manganese, and potassium which revitalize the body. It also helps in maintaining healthy testosterone levels that have a positive effect on mood, vitality, energy, and stamina. Macaenes and macamides are two nutrients of Maca that support a healthy libido.
- Mild erectile dysfunction can be overcome using Maca as a supplement, that increases blood circulation and boosts libido. It is helpful in overall sexual well-being.
- The most common and oldest use of Maca is for fertility in both men and women. The inhabitants of Peru are using this root not only for fertility in humans but also for livestock fertility. Recent scientific studies confirm that Maca not only increases libido but also sperm count and motility.
- Maca can support muscle building, which means it is anabolic. It’s bioavailable protein and other nutrients to ensure natural healthy muscle mass growth. The anabolic property of Maca makes it popular among bodybuilders. Athletes also prefer to use it to increase their performance.
- Maca boosts energy and stamina, it is now scientifically proven. Though indigenous people in Peru used it for boosting stamina and endurance.
- Maca is a great source of calcium, 4 times more than the amount of calcium in milk. No wonder that it works wonders in protecting bone structure and improves bone health. In 2010 a study confirmed the positive effect of Maca in men.
- Maka has energizing properties because of its high nutrient content. These properties help Maca to act as an antidepressant. Continuous use of Maca improves emotional health, though this is not a well-known property of Maca.
- Cognitive functions are improved by the use of maca. Users experienced and still are experiencing a boost in concentration, focus, memory, and learning. It also gives clarity to the users.
- Maca contains high fibers, cellulose, and lignin. These fibers improve gut health and reduce hunger between meals by working as a good tummy filler.
- Like all other cruciferous vegetables, Maca also contains glucosinolates that act as pesticides in the plant. When animals or humans intake those plants these glucosinolates protect the body from cancer.
Effects of Maca on Testosterone in Men
The beneficial effects of Maca, as discussed above show a great deal of resemblance with that of testosterone boosters. But Maca does not contain any kind of steroid hormone. Its nutrient levels can stimulate testosterone production in the body. Like testosterone, it improves bone density and increases muscle mass and almost all functions of Maca are similar to that of testosterone. That is why it is misunderstood as a steroid or a source of testosterone.
Maca was the staple food in ancient Peru and it is a part of the plant that is edible. Though it works more or less the same as the testosterone hormone, it only stimulates the hormones and regulates to keep a healthy balance of hormones in the body. Those who are in hormone-sensitive conditions like uterine cancer, breast cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer should not consume Maca.
Last but not the list, it suppresses the production of stress hormone, cortisol.