In the world where convenience is highly desired, we are often assaulted with various products that promise excellent results. Even the healthiest of us tend to bend a little when it comes to their health. Some of these products may be excellent; however most of them can do more harm than good. Some people have also been taken in the use of hormone balancing drugs to help them deal with daily stressors and though this may be seen as ideal at the time can result to further complications in the future due to the ingredients incorporated in the capsule.
That said, we do not need to despair yet as nature has provided us with natural products that can help us with our overall health especially those individuals who have hormonal imbalances. One of the superfoods that one should take note of is the maca plant. The plant is a native in the Peruvian Andes and known for its medicinal properties. The locals have long considered the plant not only as a staple in their daily fast but also for its medicinal abilities especially the root part.
Maca for Females
Several studies were conducted on the effects of the maca plant concerning female hormones. In one double blind placebo-controlled study, it was found out that, the introduction of maca helps stimulate the production of the estrogen hormone while at the same time suppressing the follicle-stimulating hormone. It also helps reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms for women who are into their postmenopausal stage. (International Journal of Biomedical Sciences)
The results of the study led to the conclusion that the maca plant offers an alternative for women who are entering or are into their early post-menopausal stage and is an available option to consider if the patient wants another alternative to the Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Maca may also reduce symptoms such as anxiety, depression and other psychological symptoms. It can also help decrease sexual dysfunction for postmenopausal women; as such, the patient would feel better without affecting their sexual hormones. (November 2008, Menopause)
Maca for Males
When it comes to the opposite sex, studies of maca is confined to its effects on the male sexual health. In a study published in October 2006, black maca extract is said to help increase the sperm count after just one day of treatment at the epididymal level. An increase is also seen thereafter up to the vas deferens after three days of treatment. Although testicular testosterone is unaffected, researchers have observed an increase in sperm production after a week’s treatment. (October 2006, Andrologia)
Treatment with maca not only increases and improves sperm production it also improves sperm mobility. In a study published in 2001, the researcher noted that treatment results to increased seminal volume, motility, count/ejaculum and motile sperm count. It does not affect the serum hormone levels and the number of consumed maca tablets does not affect the sperm count. (December 2001, Andrology)
Should you take Maca as Supplement?
If you are thinking of taking maca as a supplement, it is best to opt for powdered type gelatinized form as the starch is removed resulting in improved potency and bioavailability of the product making it easier to be absorbed by the body.