Wednesday Bubble: improve your sex life… the maca way

Posted by on Apr 20, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Is Maca (Lepidium meyenil) the Peruvian Viagra?

If you read what’s on the interwebz, you might believe that this Andean plant that is part of the mustard family will improve sexual function and desire. Some clinical studies even suggest that maca can boost sperm count and mobility. Wow. A wonder plant. Makes me all va va va vooommmm; you too?

Um. Not. So. Fast.

I wrote about Maca two years ago and shared some information about studies examining its potential for alleviating symptoms in peri- and postmenopausal women. At the time, I also alluded to its so-called aphrodisiac and energizing properties. Heck, not only is it widely used in Peru but it’s even licensed in Norway for medicinal purposes. So perhaps the claims are true?

Again, not so fast.

I ran across an interesting review of randomized studies on maca that examined its effects on sexual desire and function. Interestingly, of the 88 studies that the researchers identified, only 4 met scientific standards for analysis. All study participants — both men and women — ingested 1.5 g to 3.5 g of Maca daily for up to 12 weeks. Only one of these studies tested dried, natural maca and the rest were commercial grade. Here’s what they learned:

  • Despite claims, few scientific trials have evaluated maca’s effect on sexual function.
  • Of the few trials that met the researchers’ review criteria, there was only limited evidence to suggest that maca improved desire after at least six weeks.
  • None of the studies looked at side effects.

In other words, maca may be useful but it’s still unclear what it’s useful for. Meanwhile, if you want to improve your sexual desire or functioning, you may want to look elsewhere.

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