Is Maca Safe?

Before taking maca supplements, it is important to be aware that these products may not be suitable for everyone. For example, if you have liver or kidney disease, you may not be able to take maca safely. Also, because supplements are not closely regulated and can be marketed with any proof that they are safe or effective, it is important to use a maca supplement that is made by a reputable manufacturer.

Maca Safety: An Overview

Maca is a popular dietary supplement, used for stimulating sexual desire and treating a variety of different conditions. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking maca if you have:
 
  • Any chronic medical condition
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Maca Safety Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of maca include the following:
 
  • As dietary supplements, maca supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription (or non-prescription) drugs. They can be marketed without any proof that they are either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is safe or effective. Make sure to look for maca supplements from a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.
     
  • Maca products (especially those used for sexual enhancement) often contain a combination of different active ingredients. Make sure to check the label of your particular product to make sure you know exactly what you are taking.
     
  • The liver and kidneys help to metabolize many substances (including dietary supplements and medications) and remove them from the body. Make sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking maca if you have liver or kidney disease, as it is possible that your body may not handle the supplement as well as it should.
     
  • A normal intake of maca through food is probably safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, although larger amounts or maca supplements may not be safe (see Maca and Pregnancy and Maca and Breastfeeding).
     
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