Benefits of Maca
Maca may help to treat several conditions, such as depression, leukemia, and osteoporosis. Other maca benefits may include enhancing fertility, increasing sexual desire, and improving stamina, athletic performance, and memory. However, there is little scientific evidence that maca is effective for most of these uses. Although normal amounts of maca through dietary means are probably safe for children, you should not give your child maca supplements without your healthcare provider's approval.
Maca is a root vegetable that is also used as a dietary supplement. As with many dietary supplements, maca is claimed to be beneficial for a wide variety of uses. Some of the claimed benefits of maca include treating the following conditions:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Menstrual irregularity
- Menopause symptoms
- Stomach cancer
- HIV and AIDS
- Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED).
Maca is also used to enhance fertility, increase sexual desire, and improve stamina, athletic performance, and memory. Maca is also claimed to help stimulate the immune system.
There is little evidence to suggest that maca really works for most of these uses (see Does Maca Work?).
As a plant, maca contains many different compounds and nutrients. It contains carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, and fatty acids. It contains a few different plant sterols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may be responsible for many of the medicinal properties. It also contains a significant amount of minerals, such as calcium, iron, and copper. Maca also contains compounds known as glucosinolates, which may have anti-cancer properties.
It is not clear how exactly maca works for any use, although it has been shown that maca does not seem to affect testosterone, estrogen, or other similar hormones, at least in healthy men.