Benefits of Maca Root for Fertility

Benefits of Maca Root for Fertility: Dosage and How to Use It?

Maca root is a plant that grows in the high Andes mountains of Peru, where it has been used for centuries as food and supplement. One of the most popular uses of Maca root is to enhance fertility and sexual function in both men and women.

But What are the benefits of Maca root for fertility? How much and when should you take Maca root for fertility? In this article, we will answer these questions based on current scientific evidence and traditional wisdom.

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Is Maca Root Good for Fertility?

maca root may help with fertility in both male and female

Maca root is a natural adaptogen, which means it helps the body cope with stress and balance its hormones. Stress and hormonal imbalance are two common factors affecting fertility in men and women [1].

By taking Maca root, people can improve their chances of conceiving by reducing stress, regulating women's menstrual cycle, boosting libido, and increasing men's sperm quality and quantity [2] [3]. The supplement is suitable for individuals attempting to conceive.

How Does Maca Root Help with Fertility?

Maca root helps with fertility in several ways:

Firstly, Maca root contains various compounds that may benefit fertility, such as alkaloids and glucose.

Alkaloids in Maca regulate the endocrine and balancing hormones [4]. Glucosinolates contain substances that may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which help delay the onset of fatigue symptoms and contribute to reducing stress [1].

Additionally, Maca has also been shown to potentially improve fertility in females. Oral administration of Maca extracts to mice led to increased litter size and pregnancy rates in adult female mice [8].

Maca enhances blood circulation to reproductive organs, blending Vitex (also known as chaste tree or chaste berry, often used to remedy women's health problems) with Maca regulates the menstrual cycle, stimulates ovulation, and increases the likelihood of getting pregnant [2].

Finally, Maca supports overall reproductive function and enhances libido.

Studies have found that Maca may benefit males with low libido or low sexual desire. Especially in men, a trial 14-day Maca supplement increased the self-reported sexual desire in trained male cyclists [5]

What Are Benefits of Maca Root for Fertility?

There are several benefits of taking Maca root for fertility, depending on your gender and specific needs. Here are some of the most common benefits:

Raising Sperm Count for Male

maca may raise sperm count for male

One of the main causes of male infertility is low sperm count or oligospermia. This means having less than 15 million sperm per milliliter (mL) of semen.

Maca root may help increase sperm count by stimulating the production of testosterone, the primary hormone that regulates sperm formation.

A study found that men taking 1.5 or 3 grams (g) of Maca daily for four months had increased sperm count and motility compared to a placebo group.

Another study also found that 10/18 men who took 1.75 g of Maca per day for 12 weeks had improved semen quality compared to a placebo group [6].

Preventing Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another common problem that affects male fertility. ED is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

Maca was also reported to have potential use in treating erectile dysfunction related to hypogonadism and microvascular damage in diabetes.

It reported a reduction of menopausal symptoms and erectile dysfunction, and it was used to minister benign prostatic hyperplasia [6].

A 2009 study found that men who took 2.4 g of Maca per day for 12 weeks had improved sexual desire and erectile function compared to a placebo group [7].

Enhancing Sex Drive

maca may help to enhance sex driver

Sex drive or libido is another important factor that influences fertility. Various factors, such as stress, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, or psychological issues, can cause low sex drive.

A study found that men with different doses of gelatinized Maca for 12 weeks had increased sexual desire [3].

According to "Effects of Eurycoma Longifolia and Maca Root on Libido and Mood in Premenopausal Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: A Case Study Design", women took 3 g of Maca per day for six weeks had increased sexual desire compared to a placebo group [9].

Improving Sexual Function

Sexual function is the ability to perform sexually and enjoy sexual intercourse. Sexual function can be affected by various factors, such as pain, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, or partner compatibility.

Maca root may help improve sexual function by reducing pain, increasing lubrication, enhancing orgasm, and improving satisfaction.

The study "Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review", found that women who took 3.5 g of Maca per day for six weeks had improved sexual function and reduced psychological symptoms compared to a placebo group.

What Maca Root is Good for Fertility?

choosing types of maca for fertility

Maca root comes in different colors and varieties, such as yellow, red, black, purple, cream, or green. Each color and variety may have different properties and effects on fertility. Here are some of the differences between the main types of Maca root:

Type of Maca

Pros

Cons

Yellow Maca

  • Most common and cheapest type of Maca
  • May improve general health and well-being
  • Has a bright, tangy taste.
  • Effects may not be equal to other types

Red Maca

  • May have stronger antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects;
  • May reduce prostate size and improve bone health 
  • Less common, and has a slightly sweeter, more intense flavor.
  • Tends to be pricier compared to other varieties of Maca.

Black Maca

  • May have stronger neuroprotective and antidepressant effects; 
  • May increase sperm count and motility; 
  • May improve memory and learning;
  • Has a slightly bitter, earthy flavor.
  • Rarest and most expensive type of Maca

Pros and Cons of maca's types

Based on these differences:

  • Yellow Maca may be the general choice for human fertility because of its overall well-being.
  • Red Maca is often recommended for women’s fertility. It is known to support hormonal balance, improve mood, and potentially increase uterine weight, which some experts suggest contributes to better fertility.
  • Black Maca: It is often called “men’s Maca” due to its positive effects on male fertility. Black Maca has been shown to increase sperm count and sperm motility, which can enhance male fertility.

However, there is not enough evidence to support this claim. Therefore, try different types of Maca root and see which one works best for you.

 

FAQs

Can Maca Help You Get Pregnant?

Maca may help you get pregnant by enhancing your fertility, such as increasing libido and sexual function, regulating menstrual cycles, and ovulation. Additionally, Maca reduces stress and inflammation and improves sperm quality and motility in men.

When to Take Maca Root for Fertility?

Take Maca root in the morning or afternoon: Maca root may stimulate the nervous system and energy levels [1]. Therefore, it may be better to take it earlier to help all-day energy.

How Much Maca Per Day for Fertility?

There is no official recommended dosage for Maca, but the standard dose used in human studies ranges from 1500 mg to 3000 mg daily over 6 to 16 weeks. Based on previous studies on both men and women [10] [11]. However, the dosage may vary depending on the form of Maca you take (capsules, powder, or tincture) and your individual needs. It is best to consult your healthcare provider before taking Maca for fertility.

How Long Does Maca Root Take To Work For Fertility?

Some studies have shown that Maca may benefit fertility after 8 to 12 weeks of supplementation [6]. However, there is no definitive answer to how long Maca root takes to work for fertility, as it may depend on various factors such as your age, health status, diet, lifestyle, and hormonal balance.

Conclusion

Maca root offers promising potential as a natural supplement to support fertility and enhance reproductive health in both men and women. Its ability to regulate hormone levels, improve libido, and boost sperm quality makes it a popular choice for individuals seeking to conceive.

While more research is needed to understand the mechanism and benefits of Maca Root for fertility, many have reported positive outcomes from incorporating Maca root into their fertility journey. Ultimately, Maca root is a valuable option for those looking to optimize their fertility and increase their chances of conception.

References:

[1] Leitão, S., Cabrera, L., Larisa, L., Maysa Formigoni, Hernandez, R., Adriana Aparecida Droval, & Reitz, A. (2020). Medicinal effects of Peruvian Maca (Lepidium meyenii): a review. Food & Function, 11(1), 83–92. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9fo02732g
[2] Antoine, E., Sergiu Chirila, & Teodorescu, C. (2019). A Patented Blend Consisting of a Combination of Vitex agnus-castus Extract, Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Extract and Active Folate, a Nutritional Supplement for Improving Fertility in Women. PubMed, 14(3), 274–279. https://doi.org/10.26574/maedica.2019.14.3.274
[3] Lepidium meyenii (Maca) in male reproduction. (2021). Natural Product Research. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14786419.2019.1698572
[4] Chen, R., Wei, J., & Gao, Y. (2021). A review of the study of active components and their pharmacology value in Lepidium meyenii (Maca). Phytotherapy Research, 35(12), 6706–6719. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7257
[5] Lee, E., Park, M., Kim, B., & Kang, S. (2023). Effect of Black Maca Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers and Physical Fitness in Male Elite Athletes. Nutrients, 15(7), 1618–1618. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15071618
[6] Melnikovova, I., Russo, D., Fait, T., Kolarova, M., Tauchen, J., Nataliya Kushniruk, Falabella, R., Milella, L., & Eloy Fernández Cusimamani. (2021). Evaluation of the effect of Lepidium meyenii Walpers in infertile patients: A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research, 35(11), 6359–6368. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7287
[7] Maca (L. meyenii) for erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. (2023). Journal of Men’s Health. https://doi.org/10.22514/jomh.2023.003
[8] Wang, Y., Wang, Y., McNeil, B., & Harvey, L. M. (2007). Maca: An Andean crop with multi-pharmacological functions. Food Research International, 40(7), 783–792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2007.02.005
[9] Ryan Gerald Moran. (2016). Effects of Eurycoma Longifolia and Maca Root on Libido and Mood in Premenopausal Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: A Case Study Design. University of Memphis Digital Commons. https://digitalcommons.memphis.edu/etd/1501/
[10] Shin, B.-C., Myeong Soo Lee, Eun Jin Yang, Lim, H.-S., & Ernst, E. (2010). Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-10-44
[11] Meissner, H. O., Reich-Bilinska, H., Mscisz, A., & Kedzia, B. (2006). 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 Science : IJBS, 2(2), 143–159. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614596/
[12] Corazza, O., Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., Chillemi, E., Massimo Di Giannantonio, Schifano, F., & Selim Cellek. (2014). Sexual Enhancement Products for Sale Online: Raising Awareness of the Psychoactive Effects of Yohimbine, Maca, Horny Goat Weed, andGinkgo biloba. BioMed Research International, 2014, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/841798
[13] Dording, C. M., Fisher, L., Papakostas, G., Farabaugh, A., Shamsah Sonawalla, Fava, M., & Mischoulon, D. (2008). A Double‐Blind, Randomized, Pilot Dose‐Finding Study of Maca Root (L. Meyenii) for the Management of SSRI‐Induced Sexual Dysfunction. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 14(3), 182–191. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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