Using Maca root (Lepidium meyenii) to benefit health isn’t a new fad! This superfood root has been cultivated as a source of food and nutrition for about 2,000 years in the mountains of Peru, where it has had a strong reputation as a fertility-enhancing part of the diet.
Maca root is a member of the Brassica family, similar to kale, broccoli and cabbage. It does not contain any type of hormone but supports the major glands involved in hormonal balance– the pituitary gland, thyroid gland and adrenal glands. In nourishing these glands, maca works to balance the hormones already produced by the body, enhance libido and increase stamina.
A Look at the Benefits of Maca for Male Fertility
Maca appears to have many benefits on reproductive and general health. It is most known for increasing libido in both men and women. Most of the research has been done on women, but there’s no reason to think it can’t also work in men:
- Studies in 2002, 2010, and 2015—all indicate that taking maca root powder can enhance libido compared to taking a placebo. One study showed that the sexual dysfunction seen when people take antidepressants can be improved with taking maca.
- Men with mild erectile dysfunction have been shown to have an increase in sexual health after taking maca for about 12 weeks. It has not been shown to improve severe erectile dysfunction, however, which is often due to significant health problems like nerve damage or atherosclerosis and is not just from a hormonal imbalance.
- Maca can enhance endurance and energy. It is used by bodybuilders and athletes to improve physical performance, while also enhancing their libido. It isn’t known exactly how maca can do this but the results often speak for themselves.
- In 2016, a review of the literature on the subject found that maca could increase the quality of male sperm in both infertile and fertile men.
- Maca helps the normal antioxidants in the body work better, including glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Because antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body, they are helpful in overall health and can improve the health of sperm cells in men (and egg cells in women).
- A 2019 study in The Journal of Exercise and Nutrition followed 22 males who received a placebo or about 2 grams of maca for a month. Tests were done to look for the effect of this food product on grip strength, fatigue, and sexual function. Men demonstrated improvements in all three areas when taking maca compared to the placebo. Because sexual functioning in men is highly related to libido and erectile function, the taking of maca can be said to improve fertility in men.
So, What’s in Maca Anyway?
As mentioned, maca is not a hormone and does not contain hormones. It does contain many healthful vitamins, essential amino acids, and the essential metallic nutrients (iron, zinc, and calcium). Maca contains all the amino acids we can’t produce ourselves and must get through the diet. Maca root contains flavonoids that improve mood, reduce anxiety, and lessen depression.
Men, Consider Maca!
Maca appears to be just as healthy, if not healthier, for men as it is for women. Recent studies show improvement in energy levels, physical strength, and libido and other studies show an improvement in the health of male sperm. It’s easy to consume as a part of the Male Fertility Diet. You can use it in powdered form when making smoothies and you can toss it in a variety of recipes to reap its benefits.
- Krawiec, S. (May 1, 2019). Patented maca improves physical performance, sexual function, and fatigue in men, says recent study. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/herbs-botanicals/patented-maca-improves-physical-performance-sexual-function-and-fatigue-men-says-recent-study
- Sinrich, J. (Dec 7, 2017). Can Maca Powder Boost Your Energy and Sex Drive? Here’s What You Should Know. Retrieved from https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19544647/maca-powder-benefits/
- Kandola, A. (reviewed 18 July 2018). What are the benefits of maca root? Retreived from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322511.php