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Maca (Lepidium meyenii), a plant native to Peru, is a cruciferous, mineral-rich plant whose roots are eaten as a vegetable by the indigenous peoples. Maca balances the effects of major steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and seems to create effects that are specific to the condition of the individual, elevating low levels of some hormones while lowering levels of hormones present in excess. Health professionals who use Maca in their practices thus report that Maca assists in the maintenance of sexual function in aging men and women, and can be helpful in normalizing menopausal and premenstrual symptoms in women.
As an adaptogen (a substance that helps the body adapt to stress), Maca has been shown to support bone structure, fight stress, increase energy, and promote balanced blood glucose levels and cardiovascular health.
AOR’s Maca is sustainably harvested, with profits going directly into the local economy where it is grown.
Maca supports multiple aspects of sexual health, and mood balance during menopause.
|Serving Size: 2 Capsules||Amount||% Daily|
|Maca root extract (4:1 Lepidium meyenii)||750 mg|
microcrystalline cellulose, maltodextrin, sodium stearyl fumarate. Capsule: hypromellose.
AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, nuts, peanuts, sulphites, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish or any animal byproduct.
Take 2 capsules daily with/without food or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner.
Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have high blood pressure, are taking blood thinners or anti-depressants, suffer from any psychological disorder or condition such as frequent anxiety or depression, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 3 months, or beyond 6 weeks for menopausal & post-menopausal women.
Lepidum meyenii Walp
The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.
Maca (Lepidium peruvium Chacon, aka Lepidium myenii Walp), a plant native to Peru, is a cruciferous plant whose roots are eaten as a vegetable by the native peoples. Along with a rich mineral content, Maca contains four alkaloids — the so-called macainas — which clinical and anecdotal experience suggests may nourish the endocrine glands in an adaptogenic fashion. That is, by balancing the effects of major steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Maca may create effects that are specific to the age and neuroendocrine condition of the individual, elevating low levels of some hormones while lowering levels of hormones present in excess.
Recent research has shown that that Maca improves psychological aspects of sexual dysfunction in women and of erectile dysfunction in men, and can increase libido in both genders. Post-menopausal have also shown tremendous benefit from taking Maca, including reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, improving important hormone levels, and reducing the cardiovascular indicators that normally worsen with age, such as cholesterol, weight and blood pressure.
Sexual Function and Psychology
It is reported by some clinicians – including such MDs as cardiologist Dr. Hugo Malaspina, internist Dr. Aguila Calderon, complementary medical practitioner Dr. Henry Campanile, and chelation therapist Dr. Harold Clark — that Maca assists in the maintenance of male sexual function, can be helpful in normalizing menopausal and premenstrual symptoms, including helping to maintain bone structure, fight stress and increase energy, and help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
One study found a mild improvement in subjective sexual well-being in men with erectile dysfunction after 12 weeks of taking 2400 mg of Maca, although the placebo also produced somewhat of an effect.
Another crossover study administered 3.5 g/day of Maca or placebo to post-menopausal women for 6 weeks each, and found that Maca significantly reduced anxiety, depression and sexual dysfunction scores without modifying any sex hormone measures, indicating that some of Maca’s effects may be due to other factors than modulating hormone levels. Sexual dysfunction can also be caused by anti-depressive treatment with SSRI’s (selective- serotonin reuptake inhibitors). A small study found that 3 g/day of Maca reduced sexual dysfunction scores, but 1.5 g/day did not, while both doses improved libido.
Potential Alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
While some studies have not measured changes in hormone levels, others have. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study on perimenopausal women 40-50 years of age, the women consumed 2 g/day of maca in two separate doses for 2 months. Up to 87% of the women reported alleviation in uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweating, sleep, nervousness, depression and heart palpitations, and experienced significant increases in estrogen, FSH, progesterone and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels. Blood pressure, body weight, triglycerides and cholesterol also significantly decreased. The authors concluded that maca could be an excellent non-hormonal alternative to typical HRT for post-menopausal women.
Case study: One patient of Dr. Carlos Roe had serum estradiol levels varying from 145 to 109pg/mL while on conventional HRT. When taken off of premarin, her levels plunged down to 23. Yet when supplemented with Maca, her levels climbed to 148 — again, via endogenous production only. If anything, one would probably wish to lower Dr. Roe’s patient’s dose, if levels remained this high consistently.
Case study: Also of interest is the case history of a patient of Dr. Anthony Pueck. Dr. Pueck’s patient saw her follicle-stimulating hormone levels plunge from 76.3 to 28.2ng/dL, while her serum estradiol levels were brought to 13ng/dL — levels more typical of young women. Another patient had her hormone levels tested by saliva assay at Body Balance Laboratory. Over the course of three weeks of supplementation, her estradiol levels climbed from 7.44picmol/L to 14.2picmol/L by this assay method — again, levels typical of a healthy woman of young middle age.
Balancing Natural Production
Animal experiments performed by Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popvici for her PhD thesis give some insight into these remarkable reports. Dr. Chacon found that, compared to control animals, rodents fed either maca root powder or isolated macainas showed greater follicle maturation (females) and higher sperm production (males) within three days of testing. Her belief is that macainas mechanism of action involves the hypothalamo-pituitary axis, resulting in gender-specific increases in sex hormone secretion and also adrenal stimulation, because of the normal actions of stimulating and releasing hormones from these glands. If correct, this hypothesis would mean that persons taking Maca are actually increasing endogenous production of their natural sex hormones — a significant improvement over supplying such hormones externally through HRT or even phytoestrogens. Indeed, this might conceivably result from increased hypothalamic sensitivity, the loss of which is believed by some to be a major proximate cause of aging.
Maca is a common food supplement for general health and mineral maintenance among younger people. It is also often taken by menopausal women to buffer the effects of menopause as well as by men hoping to regain youthful sexual function.
AOR’s Maca is the only maca supplement available which is grown in an environment free of pesticides and fertilizers. The harvesting process is socially as well as ecologically responsible: the root is purchased directly from traditional cattle herders in the Andes. The decision-making process on land use is communitarian/consensus-based, with the communal council having final say on crop planting and harvesting. This allows these peoples to retain aspects of their traditional culture while integrating to a necessary degree into the prevailing cash economy.
Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62.
Chacon de Popvici (1961), “Estudio fitoquimico de Lepidium meyenii Walp.” Thesis, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos: 43.
Cicero AF, Bandieri E, Arletti R. “Lepidium meyenii Walp. improves sexual behaviour in male rats independently from its action on spontaneous locomotor activity.” J Ethnopharmacol 2001 May; 75(2-3): 225-9.
Cicero AF, Piacente S, Plaza A, Sala E, Arletti R, Pizza C. “Hexanic Maca extract improves rat sexual performance more effectively than methanolic and chloroformic Maca extracts.” Andrologia 2002 Jun; 34(3): 177-9.
Dilman VM. (1971), “Age-associated elevation of hypothalamic, threshold to feedback control, and its role in development, ageing, and disease.” Lancet. 1971 Jun 12; 1(7711): 1211-9.
Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91.
Gonzales GF, Valerio LG. Medicinal plants from Peru: a review of plants as potential agents against cancer. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2006 Sep;6(5):429-44.
Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Gonez C, Castillo S. “Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.” Andrologia 2002 Dec; 34(6): 367-72.
Meissner, Reich-Bilinska, Kedzia. Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon) used as a non-hormonal alternative to HRT in perimenopausal women – Clinical Pilot study. International Journal of Biomedical Sciences 2006;2(2):143-159
Rubio J, Riqueros MI, Gasco M, Yucra S, Miranda S, Gonzales GF. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) reversed the lead acetate induced — damage on reproductive function in male rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Jul;44(7):1114-22.
Rubio J, Caldas M, Dávila S, Gasco M, Gonzales GF. Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Jun 23;6:23.
Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Aug 6;10:44.
Zenico T, Cicero AF, Valmorri L, Mercuriali M, Bercovich E. Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Andrologia. 2009 Apr;41(2):95-9.
Zheng BL, He K, Kim CH, Rogers L, Shao Y, Huang ZY, Lu Y, Yan SJ, Qien LC, Zheng QY. “Effect of a lipidic extract from lepidium meyenii on sexual behavior in mice and rats.” Urology 2000 Apr; 55(4): 598-602.
Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Aug 6;10:44.
Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E.
BACKGROUND: Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an Andean plant of the brassica (mustard) family. Preparations from maca root have been reported to improve sexual function. The aim of this review was to assess the clinical evidence for or against the effectiveness of the maca plant as a treatment for sexual dysfunction.
METHODS: We searched 17 databases from their inception to April 2010 and included all randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of any type of maca compared to a placebo for the treatment of healthy people or human patients with sexual dysfunction. The risk of bias for each study was assessed using Cochrane criteria, and statistical pooling of data was performed where possible. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validations were performed independently by two authors. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion by the two authors.
RESULTS: Four RCTs met all the inclusion criteria. Two RCTs suggested a significant positive effect of maca on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women or healthy adult men, respectively, while the other RCT failed to show any effects in healthy cyclists. The further RCT assessed the effects of maca in patients with erectile dysfunction using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction-5 and showed significant effects.
CONCLUSION: The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving sexual function. However, the total number of trials, the total sample size, and the average methodological quality of the primary studies were too limited to draw firm conclusions. More rigorous studies are warranted.
Subjective effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial.
Andrologia. 2009 Apr;41(2):95-9.
Zenico T, Cicero AF, Valmorri L, Mercuriali M, Bercovich E.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a cultivated root belonging to the brassica family used in the Andean region for its supposed aphrodisiac properties. We carried out a double-blind clinical trial on 50 Caucasian men affected by mild erectile dysfunction (ED), randomised to treatment with Maca dry extract, 2400 mg, or placebo. The treatment effect on ED and subjective well-being was tested administrating before and after 12 weeks the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) and the Satisfaction Profile (SAT-P). After 12 weeks of treatment, both Maca- and placebo-treated patients experienced a significant increase in IIEF-5 score (P < 0.05 for both). However, patients taking Maca experienced a more significant increase than those taking placebo (1.6 /- 1.1 versus 0.5 /- 0.6, P < 0.001). Both Maca- and placebo-treated subjects experienced a significant improvement in psychological performance-related SAT-P score, but the Maca group higher than that of placebo group ( 9 /- 6 versus 6 /- 5, P < 0.05). However, only Maca-treated patients experienced a significant improvement in physical and social performance-related SAT-P score compared with the baseline ( 7 /- 6 and 7 /- 6, both P < 0.05). In conclusion, our data support a small but significant effect of Maca supplementation on subjective perception of general and sexual well-being in adult patients with mild ED.
Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content.
Menopause. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62.
Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the estrogenic and androgenic activity of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) and its effect on the hormonal profile and symptoms in postmenopausal women.
DESIGN: Fourteen postmenopausal women completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. They received 3.5 g/day of powered Maca for 6 weeks and matching placebo for 6 weeks, in either order, over a total of 12 weeks. At baseline and weeks 6 and 12 blood samples were collected for the measurement of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin, and the women completed the Greene Climacteric Scale to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms. In addition, aqueous and methanolic Maca extracts were tested for androgenic and estrogenic activity using a yeast-based hormone-dependent reporter assay.
RESULTS: No differences were seen in serum concentrations of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin between baseline, Maca treatment, and placebo (P > 0.05). The Greene Climacteric Scale revealed a significant reduction in scores in the areas of psychological symptoms, including the subscales for anxiety and depression and sexual dysfunction after Maca consumption compared with both baseline and placebo (P < 0.05). These findings did not correlate with androgenic or alpha-estrogenic activity present in the Maca as no physiologically significant activity was observed in yeast-based assays employing up to 4 mg/mL Maca extract (equivalent to 200 mg/mL Maca).
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings show that Lepidium meyenii (Maca) (3.5 g/d) reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.
A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.
CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91.
Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D.
We sought to determine whether maca, a Peruvian plant, is effective for selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-induced sexual dysfunction. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, parallel group dose-finding pilot study comparing a low-dose (1.5 g/day) to a high-dose (3.0 g/day) maca regimen in 20 remitted depressed outpatients (mean age 36 /-13 years; 17 women) with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. The Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) and the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Function Questionnaire (MGH-SFQ) were used to measure sexual dysfunction. Ten subjects completed the study, and 16 subjects (9 on 3.0 g/day; 7 on 1.5 g/day) were eligible for intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses on the basis of having had at least one postbaseline visit. ITT subjects on 3.0 g/day maca had a significant improvement in ASEX (from 22.8 /-3.8 to 16.9 /-6.2; z=-2.20, P=0.028) and in MGH-SFQ scores (from 24.1 /-1.9 to 17.0 /-5.7; z=-2.39, P=0.017), but subjects on 1.5 g/day maca did not. Libido improved significantly (P
Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon) used as a non-hormonal alternative to HRT in perimenopausal women – Clinical Pilot study.
International Journal of Biomedical Sciences 2006;2(2):143-159
Meissner, Reich-Bilinska, Kedzia.
Background: Roots of cruciferous plant Lepidium peruvianum Chacon cultivated in high plateaus of Andes and known under its common name Maca, have been traditionally-used as an energizing vegetable with therapeutic properties for both men and women. Maca has been recognized by natives of Peru as herbal remedy helping to treat conditions affecting menopausal women.
Objective: The effects of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Maca-GO) on quantitative physiological responses and alleviation of symptoms contributing to menopausal discomfort in perimenopausal women was examined.
Methods: In this, four months, double blind, crossover, randomized pilot trial, monthly measurements of the following blood serum constituents were taken: Estrogen (E2), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Progesterone (PGS), Cortisol (CT), Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), Thyroid Hormones (TSH, T3, T4), minerals (Ca, K, Fe) and lipid profile (Triglicerides, Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL). In monthly interviews conducted by gynecologist, body weight and blood pressure were registered and Menopausal Index according to Kupperman’s was determined. Toxicity of Maca -GO determined on rats showed its safe use at the level of 7.5mg/kg body weight. A group of 20 women (aged 41-50 years), who fulfilled criteria of being in perimenopausal stage (E2 above 40pg/ml and FSH below 30IU/ml), were randomly allocated to two even groups, one receiving for two months Maca-GO and the other Placebo capsules followed by a crossover with treatment change for another two months period. All participants signed informed consent to participate. Two 500mg hard capsules with Maca-GO or Placebo were self-administered by participants twice daily with meals (total 2g/day).
Results: Two months administration of Maca-GO significantly alleviated symptoms of discomfort observed in majority of women involved in the study (74%-87%) as assessed by Kupperman’s Menopausal index. This was associated with significant increase in E2 and FSH, Progesterone and ACTH levels, and reduction in blood pressure, body weight, Triglycerides and Cholesterol levels. There was a distinctive placebo effect observed at the beginning of the study.
Conclusions: The results showed that in addition to reduction in body weight, blood pressure and increasing serum HDL and Iron, pre-gelatinized Maca-GO may be a valuable non-hormonal plant preparation for balancing levels of hormones (FSH, E2, PG and ACTH) and alleviating negative physiological and psychological symptoms (frequency of hot flushes, incidence in night sweating, interrupted sleep pattern, nervousness, depression and heart palpitations) experienced by women in perimenopausal stage. It appears that Maca-GO may act as a toner of hormonal processes, leading to alleviation of discomfort felt by perimenopausal women, hence, its potential use as non-hormonal alternative to HRT program.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) reversed the lead acetate induced — damage on reproductive function in male rats.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Jul;44(7):1114-22.
Rubio J, Riqueros MI, Gasco M, Yucra S, Miranda S, Gonzales GF.
Rats were treated with 0, 8, 16 and 24 mg/kg of lead acetate (LA) (i.p.) for 35 days with or without Maca. Maca was co-administrated orally from day 18 to day 35. The lengths of stages of the seminiferous epithelium were assessed by transillumination. Also, sex organ weights, testicular and epididymal sperm count, sperm motility, daily sperm production, sperm transit rate and serum testosterone levels were measured. Lead acetate treatment resulted in a dose-response reduction of lengths of stages VIII and IX-XI, and serum testosterone levels. However, rats treated with 8 and 16 mg/kg but not 24 mg/kg of lead acetate showed a low number of testicular spermatids, low daily sperm production (DSP) and low epididymal sperm count. Administration of Maca to rats treated with lead acetate resulted in higher lengths of stages VIII and IX-XI with respect to lead acetate-treated rats. Moreover, treatment with Maca to lead acetate-treated rats resulted in lengths of stages VIII and IX-XI similar to the control group. Maca administration also reduced the deleterious effect on DSP caused by lead acetate treatment. Maca prevented LA-induced spermatogenic disruption in rats and it may become in a potential treatment of male infertility associated with lead exposure.
Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.
Andrologia 2002 Dec; 34(6): 367-72.
Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Gonez C, Castillo S.
This study was a 12-week double blind placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel trial in which active treatment with different doses of Maca Gelatinizada was compared with placebo. The study aimed to demonstrate if effect of Maca on subjective report of sexual desire was because of effect on mood or serum testosterone levels. Men aged 21-56 years received Maca in one of two doses: 1500 mg or 3000 mg or placebo. Self-perception on sexual desire, score for Hamilton test for depression, and Hamilton test for anxiety were measured at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. An improvement in sexual desire was observed with Maca since 8 weeks of treatment. Serum testosterone and oestradiol levels were not different in men treated with Maca and in those treated with placebo (P:NS). Logistic regression analysis showed that Maca has an independent effect on sexual desire at 8 and 12 weeks of treatment, and this effect is not because of changes in either Hamilton scores for depression or anxiety or serum testosterone and oestradiol levels. In conclusion, treatment with Maca improved sexual desire.
Hexanic Maca extract improves rat sexual performance more effectively than methanolic and chloroformic Maca extracts.
Andrologia 2002 Jun; 34(3): 177-9.
Cicero AF, Piacente S, Plaza A, Sala E, Arletti R, Pizza C.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed properties in improving fertility. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of subacute oral administration of hexanic, methanolic and chloroformic extracts of Maca root on sexual performance in inexperienced male rats. The following sexual performance parameters were evaluated: 1st mount, 1st intromission, ejaculation and post-ejaculatory latencies, intercopulatory interval and copulatory efficacy. All the tested fractions significantly decreased intromission latency and intercopulatory interval and increased intromission frequency and copulatory efficacy (P < 0.05) as compared to controls. Hexanic and methanolic extracts were able to increase mount frequency (MF), while only hexanic fraction significantly improved mount latency (ML) (P=0.038). Globally, only the hexanic fraction significantly improved the majority of the sexual parameters measured. Sub-acute oral administration of hexanic Maca extract improved sexual performance parameters in sexually inexperienced male rats most effectively.
Lepidium meyenii Walp. improves sexual behaviour in male rats independently from its action on spontaneous locomotor activity.
J Ethnopharmacol 2001 May; 75(2-3): 225-9.
Cicero AF, Bandieri E, Arletti R.
Lepidium meyenii Walpers (Maca) is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed properties to improve energy and fertility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acute and chronic Maca pulverised root oral administration on rat sexual behaviour. Sixty male sexually experienced rats (20 group) were daily treated for 15 days with Maca 15 mg kg(-1), Maca 75 mg kg(-1) or saline 0.5 ml kg(-1). The following sexual performance parameters were evaluated at first and last day of treatment: 1st mount (ML), 1st intromission (IL), ejaculation (EL) and postejaculatory (PEL) latencies, intercopulatory interval (ICI) and copulatory efficacy (CE). An activity cage test was carried out to evaluate if Maca-induced locomotion changes could indirectly improve rat sexual performances. It was observed that both lower and higher Maca doses acutely decreased ML, IL and ICI in a significant way (P < 0.05), while only the 75 mg kg(-1) dose decreased the PEL (T = 29, P < 0.05). This effect seems to be the only one dose-dependent. After 15 days of treatment, both doses are able tosignificantly decrease ML, IL, EL and PEL, while the 75 mg kg(-1) dose decreased the ICI (T = 40, P < 0.05) too. IL, EL and PEL variations seem to be dose-related after chronic treatment. Moreover, chronic Maca treatment induced an apparently not dose-related increase in rat locomotion, during the second 10-min period of observation in the activity cage. The late in Maca-induced locomotion modification excludes that improvement of tested sexual performance parameters is related to an increase in rat aspecific activity. Thus, it was concluded that both acute and chronic Maca oral administration significantly improve sexual performance parameters in male rats.
Effect of a lipidic extract from lepidium meyenii on sexual behavior in mice and rats.
Urology 2000 Apr; 55(4): 598-602.
Zheng BL, He K, Kim CH, Rogers L, Shao Y, Huang ZY, Lu Y, Yan SJ, Qien LC, Zheng QY.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of oral administration of a purified lipidic extract from Lepidium meyenii (MacaPure M-01 and M-02) on the number of complete intromissions and mating in normal mice, and on the latent period of erection (LPE) in rats with erectile dysfunction.
METHODS: Mice and rats were randomly divided into several experimental and control groups. A 10% ethanol suspension of M-01 and M-02 was orally administered for 22 days to the experimental groups according to the dosage specified by the experimental design. On day 22, 30 minutes after the dose was administered to the male mice, 2 virgin female mice were placed with 1 male mouse. The number of complete intromissions of each male mouse in 3 hours was recorded. In an assessment of 1 day of mating, each male mouse was cohabited with 5 estrous female mice overnight. The number of sperm-positive females was recorded. The LPE was measured to assess the sexual function in rats with erectile dysfunction. By using a YSD-4G multifunction instrument, an electric pulse at 20 V was applied to stimulate the rat’s penis, and the duration from the start of the stimulus to full erection was measured in seconds as the LPE.
RESULTS: In the normal male mice, the number of complete intromissions during the 3-hour period was 16.33 /- 1.78, 46.67 /- 2.39, and 67.01 /- 2.55 for the control group, M-01 group, and M-02 group, respectively. In the assessment of mating, the number of sperm-positive females increased from 0.6 /- 0.7 in the control group to 1.5 /- 0.5 in the M-01 experimental group. The LPE of male rats with erectile dysfunction was 112 /- 13 seconds with a regular diet (control group). The oral administration of M-01 at a dose of 180 or 1800 mg/kg body weight and M-02 at a dose of 45, 180, or 1800 mg/kg body weight reduced the LPE to 54 /- 12 seconds, 54 /- 13 seconds, 71 /- 12 seconds, 73 /- 12 seconds, and 41 /- 13 seconds, respectively. The LPE of the surgical rats treated with M-01 at the lowest dose (45 mg/kg) was 121 /- 12 seconds; thus, the change was not significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Oral administration of M-01 and M-02 enhanced the sexual function of the mice and rats, as evidenced by an increase in the number of complete intromissions and the number of sperm positive females in normal mice, and a decrease in the LPE in male rats with erectile dysfunction. The present study reveals for the first time an aphrodisiac activity of L. meyenii, an Andean Mountain herb.
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