Is Maca Nature's Viagra?
Maca has been used by the Peruvian Indians for centuries as a rich source of vitamins and amino acids. They also used it to boost energy and endurance and found it enhanced sexual desire and fertility. It is now widely available as a natural aid to boost libido, but is it an effective sexual aid or a misleading unproven myth?
Maca as an Aphrodisiac
The Peruvians found that maca could be used as an aphrodisiac to enhance fertility and treat various sexual disorders including impotence. It was used to enhance performance and libido and its efficacy was confirmed by several clinical studies.
Men reaching the midlife andropause may notice a decline in their hormones which can cause a loss of sex drive and possibly lead to erectile dysfunction. Maca has been called a "natural Viagra", kickstarting declining libido, building stamina and boosting endurance. If you're wondering how to increase male stamina, certain supplements for men can help.
Women reaching menopause have also found maca increases sexual desire and helps overcome vaginal dryness naturally.
Clinical Studies on Maca
Various studies have been performed on animals and humans to discover the effectiveness of maca. The results of one test on the use of maca to improve sexual desire were published in Andrologia Journal. Over a 12-week period, test groups of men were given1,500mg or 3,000mg of maca each day while a control group was given a placebo. The men receiving maca in either quantity reported a notable increase in sexual libido within eight weeks, compared to those who were given a placebo. This was still evident after 12 weeks.
Another test studied the seminal analysis of men treated with maca over a four-month period. The 12 men aged between 24 and 44 received 1,500mg or 3,000mg of maca per day in 500mg tablet form. Analysis was then performed before and after treatment to find the effect maca had on the serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, testosterone and estradiol.
Results showed that serum hormone levels remained unaffected by maca, but there was an increase in seminal volume, sperm count and sperm motility. The different dose of maca did not significantly affect the increase in sperm count. Overall it was found that maca was effective in improving sperm production and motility unrelated to hormones. Maca improved fertility by increasing sperm production and motility but did not change hormone levels.
Another 12-week randomized, double blind placebo controlled test by the University of Peru in Lima studied whether the effect of maca on sexual desire was due to its effect on mood or on serum testosterone levels. The men were aged 21-56 and received 1,500mg or 3,000mg maca or a placebo. An increase in sexual desire was found in those taking maca after eight weeks but serum testosterone and estradiol levels remained the same as those in the placebo group. The conclusion was that maca increased sexual desire without changing hormone levels.
Similar test on rats also concluded that oral administration of maca significantly improved sexual performance in male rats.