benefits of maca root for pcos

Benefits Of Maca Root For PCOS: How Much Maca Root For PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects women of reproductive age. Hormonal imbalances, irregular or absent periods, and cysts in the ovaries characterize it. While there is no cure for PCOS, a combination of lifestyle changes and medication can help manage the symptoms.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in using natural remedies like maca root to alleviate PCOS symptoms. In this article, we will explore the benefits of maca root for PCOS and whether it is safe and effective.

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What Is the Origin of the Maca Root And How Does It Work?

what is the origin of maca root

Maca root (Lepidium Meyenii) is a plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is native to the high-altitude regions of the Andes Mountains in Peru. It has been used as a source of nutrition by the indigenous people of the Andes for thousands of years.

Maca is known to contain a variety of bioactive compounds, including alkaloids, glucosinolates, sterols, and nutrients such as vitamins that promote its potential health benefits such as sexual dysfunction regulation, hormone balance, memory enhancement, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and skin protection [1].

Is Maca Root Good For PCOS Women?

maca root and pcos women

Maca root contributes to help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age.

PCOS can cause a variety of symptoms, including irregular menstruation, infertility, insulin resistance, acne, weight gain, and ovarian cysts [2]. Maca demonstrates potential benefits that can improve these symptoms of PCOS.

Firstly, Maca can help regulate the menstrual cycle. The supplement may be used by women trying to conceive, particularly those with PCOS, who usually have irregular or absent periods [2].

Studies show that combining Maca with Vitex, a plant native to the Mediterranean region used for reproductive health issues in women, may help regulate the menstrual cycle, stimulate ovulation, and increase the likelihood of getting pregnant [3].

Secondly, Maca exhibits significant hormone balancing, which is one of the reasons leading to PCOS [2].

The herb has a positive influence on the stimulation of endocrine glands in regulating hormonal balances in the body, particularly in women entering a perimenopausal state of life [4].

Moreover, benefits of Maca root for PCOS also include skin health. PCOS causes some symptoms, such as skin darkening and acne, affecting women's skin health [2].

Research also shows that Maca has antioxidant and anti-radiation properties, contributing to skin-lightening. Fermenting maca root with Lactobacillus maintains Maca’s antioxidant effects and boosts its anti-inflammatory properties, improving skin barrier function [5].

With these compelling mechanisms of Maca root for PCOS women, the answer to “Is Maca root good for PCOS” has potential and it deserves to discover more about the benefits of Maca root for PCOS women in the next part.

Benefits of Maca Root for PCOS

benefits of maca root for pcos in women

Contributes To Improving Fertility

Maca root may enhance fertility in individuals with PCOS by promoting ovulation and regulating the menstrual cycle [2]. Maca has also been shown to improve fertility in men and women.

Oral administration of Maca extract to mice led to increased litter size and pregnancy rates in adult female mice. Maca effects estrogenic activity, which explains how it improves female fertility [6].

According to "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," the research showed a reduction in the number of women with PCOS at the end of the trial.

Initially, 71/189 patients were diagnosed with PCOS, and the number decreased to 26 at the end of the study [3].

Improving Insulin Sensitivity

One of the most common symptoms of PCOS in women is decreased insulin sensitivity and high blood glucose levels. PCOS cure includes medications that improve insulin sensitivity [2].

Maca extracts regulate glucose metabolism in insulin resistance, and the active ingredients in Maca might play a key role in regulating insulin resistance.

Some studies have found that feeding a certain amount of Maca to diabetic rats could decrease lipids and glucose levels in the blood [7].

Improves Mood And Energy Levels

Maca shows more benefits of Maca root for PCOS on mood and energy. Over 80% of the participants joined research about the safety and efficacy of maca extract and reported increased mood and energy following maca consumption [8].

In a study on the use of Maca in Early Postmenopausal Women on 20 subjects, most women who participated in the trial experienced positive changes, and less nervous tension after two months of using Maca [9]. Partly believed that Maca helps improve physical endurance and combat fatigue.

However, depression and anxiety are more common in PCOS women than in general people. In Chinese postmenopausal women after Maca supplementation, significant improvements in depression scores and anxiety scores were noted [10].

Which Is the Best Form of Maca Root for PCOS Females?

Different forms of maca root offer distinct advantages and may suit individuals based on personal preferences and health considerations.

Pros:

Cons:

Maca Powder

Versatility: Maca powder is versatile and can be easily added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or other foods.

Precise Dosage: You can easily control the dosage based on your preferences and needs.

Taste: Some people find the taste and texture of maca powder to be earthy or nutty, which may not be appealing to everyone.

Digestive Sensitivity: For those with sensitive stomachs, raw maca powder might cause digestive discomfort. Gelatinized maca, a form where the starch is removed, could be a better option in such cases.

Maca Capsules or Tablets:

Convenience: Capsules or tablets offer a convenient way to consume maca without dealing with the taste or texture.

Measured Dosage: Each capsule or tablet typically provides a standardized dosage, making it easier to control intake.

Slow Absorption: Capsules may take longer to be absorbed compared to maca powder, potentially delaying the start of effects.

Quantity Restrictions: Some people may need to take multiple capsules to reach their desired dosage, and this may not be suitable for everyone.

Liquid Extracts

Quick Absorption: Liquid extracts are absorbed more rapidly than capsules or powder, leading to potentially quicker effects.

Convenience: Liquid extracts are easy to add to beverages or take directly.

Taste: Like maca powder, liquid extracts may have a distinct taste that not everyone finds pleasant.

Dosage Precision: It might be more challenging to precisely control the dosage with liquid extracts.

Gelatinized Maca:

Digestive Friendliness: Gelatinization removes the starch, making it easier on the digestive system, and potentially reducing the risk of stomach upset.

Limited Nutrient Content: Some argue that the gelatinization process might reduce the nutrient content of maca compared to the raw form. However, this is a matter of debate, and gelatinized maca still contains essential nutrients.

The Pros And Cons Table Of Maca's Forms 

Maca is also available in capsule or tablet form which is convenient for those who prefer a straightforward and measured dose, this can be a simple and suitable option for some people. Capsules are more popular on the market that note only offer benefits of Maca root for PCOS but also be convenient.

Some people prefer liquid extracts because they are easily added to beverages. In contrast, others can create a maca tea by infusing maca powder in hot water or adding honey or lemon for flavor.

Gelatinized Maca, with the starch removed, is gentler on the stomach, making it a good option for those with sensitivity. Beyond its use as a dietary supplement, gelatinized Maca can also be included in skincare routines by adding it to masks or serums.

How to Use Maca Root for PCOS?

Incorporating maca root into your PCOS routine can be comforting and beneficial. Whether you choose maca powder for PCOS, capsules, or liquid extracts, there are creative ways to make it a part of your daily life.

Although research on benefits of Maca for PCOS is still limited, considering its potential benefits for hormonal balance, fertility, and energy, incorporating Maca into your diet can be an approach to PCOS management.

For women with PCOS, Maca can be a suitable choice to incorporate into their diet. Taking Maca in sufficient doses every day after meals for the optimal result.

When considering using Maca for PCOS, you can start with a small dose first, observe how your body responds, and consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it aligns with your individual health needs.

How Much Maca Root for PCOS?

maca root dosage for pcos

It was taken at the correct dosage, which differs for each woman.

A recommended starting point is 1500 mg per day. Depending on your response and tolerance, you can gradually increase the dosage within the range of 1500 mg to 3,000 mg per day [12].

For women with menopausal symptoms, most of them will need a minimum of three to four 500 mg capsules daily [11].

However, before using maca root for PCOS, you should consult with your doctor to make sure it is safe and suitable for you.

FAQs

Are There Any Adverse Effects of Maca?

Currently, there are no studies that find side effects of Maca. Subjects in a study about the Safety and effectiveness of Maca all said they noticed no adverse effects [8]. Therefore, it's better to observe your body's responses.

Is Maca Good for Hormonal Imbalance?

Maca demonstrates noteworthy effects in hormone regulation; it helps balance hormones by stimulating glands in the body. This is especially helpful for women going through perimenopause [4]. Maca also contains plant sterols, which are similar to hormones and may help balance estrogen and testosterone.

What Is The Best Maca Root for PCOS?

The various types of maca root, including yellow, red, and black, are believed to offer specific benefits for individuals dealing with PCOS. Each can have different effects on hormones, mood, and health. However, one study showed that red Maca extract had better effects on mood and energy [8].

Who Should Avoid Taking Maca?

Maca is safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, certain groups of individuals should exercise caution or avoid taking Maca.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with their healthcare provider before using Maca.

Children: The safety of Maca in children has not been well-studied, and therefore, its use in children is not recommended without guidance from a healthcare provider.

Conclusion

In conclusion, maca root can be a beneficial addition to the routine of females dealing with PCOS. Benefits of Maca root for PCOS offers potential benefits for hormonal balance, fertility, and energy levels. With its various forms and easy incorporation into daily life, it is worth considering as an approach to managing PCOS symptoms.

With proper guidance about how to use maca root for PCOS and how much maca root for pcos, maca root can be a valuable tool in managing PCOS effectively. So, it is safe to say that Maca root is indeed good for females dealing with PCOS.

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] View of “Herbal plants used in the treatment of PCOS-A Comprehensive review.” (2024). Ijppronline.com. https://www.ijppronline.com/index.php/IJPPR/article/view/367/274
[3] Edu, A., Sergiu Chirilă, & 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
[4] Meissner, H. O., Mscisz, A., Reich-Bilinska, H., Mrozikiewicz, P., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T., Kedzia, B., Lowicka, A., & Barchia, I. (2006). Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study. International Journal of Biomedical Science : IJBS, 2(4), 375–394. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614644/
[5] Li, Y., Wang, S., Xin, Y., Zheng, M., Xu, F., Xi, X., Cao, H., Cui, X., Guo, H., & Han, C. (2018). Maca Cosmetics: A Review on Constituents, Therapeutics and Advantages. Journal of Oleo Science, 67(7), 789–800. https://doi.org/10.5650/jos.ess18012
[6] 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
[7] Li, A., Liu, J., Ding, F., Wu, X., Pan, C., Wang, Q., Gao, M., Duan, S., Han, X., Xia, K., Liu, S., Wu, Y., Zhou, Z., Zhang, X., & Gao, X. (2021). Maca extracts regulate glucose and lipid metabolism in insulin‐resistant HepG2 cells via the PI3K/AKT signalling pathway. Food Science and Nutrition, 9(6), 2894–2907. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.2246
[8] Gonzales-Arimborgo, C., Yupanqui, I., Montero, E., Alarcón-Yaquetto, D. E., Alisson Zevallos-Concha, Caballero, L., Gasco, M., Zhao, J., Khan, I. A., & Gonzáles, G. F. (2016). Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Pharmaceuticals, 9(3), 49–49. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph9030049
[9] Meissner, H. O., Kapczynski, W., Mscisz, A., & Lutomski, J. (2005). Use of gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum) in early postmenopausal women. International Journal of Biomedical Science : IJBS, 1(1), 33–45. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614576/
[10] Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. (2015). Climacteric. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13697137.2014.929649
[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] 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
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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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