Asian J Androl.2003 Dec;5(4):349-52.
Gonzales GF, Rubio J, Chung A, Gasco M, Villegas L.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Postal Office 1843, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
AIM: To evaluate the effect of the alcoholic extract of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on the spermatogenesis in male rats. METHODS: In Holtzman rats, Maca alcoholic extract (5 %) was given by oral route at doses of 48 mg/day or 96 mg/day for 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. Testicular function was assessed by measurements of lengths of different stages of seminiferous epithelia and by epididymal sperm count. RESULTS: Ethanolic extract of Maca increased the length of stages IX-XI of seminiferous epithelium at treatment day 7, day 14 and day 21. Progression of spermatogenesis was evident only after day 21 when lengths of stages XII-XIV of seminiferous epithelium were increased; at day 7 and day 14, no important change in spermatogenesis was observed. Epididymal sperm count was increased with 48 mg/day at all times. With 96 mg/day an increase in sperm count was observed at day 7, but it was reduced at day 14 and day 21 of treatment. Serum testosterone levels were not affected. CONCLUSION: The alcoholic extract of Maca activates onset ant progression of spermatogenesis at 48 mg/day or 96 mg/day in rats
Food Chem Toxicol.2007 Oct;45(10):1882-90. Epub 2007 Apr 20.
Rubio J, Dang H, Gong M,Liu X, Chen SL, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy and Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, P.O. Box 1843, Lima, Peru. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lepidium meyenii Walp. (Brassicaceae), known as Maca, is a Peruvian hypocotyl growing exclusively between 4,000 and 4,500 m altitude in the central Peruvian Andes, particularly in Junin plateau. Previously, Black variety of Maca showed to be more beneficial than other varieties of Maca on learning and memory in ovariectomized mice on the water finding test. The present study aimed to test two different doses of aqueous (0.50 and 2.00 g/kg) and hydroalcoholic (0.25 and 1.00 g/kg) extracts of Black Maca administered for 35 days on memory impairment induced by scopolamine (1mg/kg body weight i.p.) in male mice. Memory and learning were evaluated using the water Morris maze and the step-down avoidance test. Brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) activities in brain were also determined. Both extracts of Black Maca significantly ameliorated the scopolamine-induced memory impairment as measured in both the water Morris maze and the step-down avoidance tests. Black Maca extracts inhibited AChE activity, whereas MAO activity was not affected. These results indicate that Black Maca improves scopolamine-induced memory deficits.
Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L.
School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Victoria University, St. Albans, Victoria, Australia.
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.
Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed.2008 Feb;24(1):24-31.
Gonzales-Castañeda C, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
BACKGROUND: Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a plant that grows exclusively in the Peruvian Central Andes, where ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is predominant. Objective: Determine if two extracts of maca can provide dermal protection against UVR. METHODS: We have administered two maca extracts (0.13 mg/ml), one obtained after boiling and the other without boiling, on the dorsal surface of male Holtzman rats exposed to UVC radiation once a week during 3 consecutive weeks. A dose-response effect of an aqueous extract of maca after a boiling process under exposure of rats to UVA, UVB, or UVC was also studied. A commercial sunscreen was used as a positive control. RESULTS: UVR caused significant increase in skin epidermal thickness. The epidermal height in animals treated with maca was similar to those who did not receive UVR. The aqueous extract of maca after a boiling process had better effect than maca extract without a boiling process. A dose-response effect was observed with increasing doses of aqueous extract of maca after a boiling process. Maca extract had benzyl glucosinolates and polyphenols. CONCLUSIONS: Maca extracts protect the skin of rats against UV irradiations and can be suggested as an alternative means of solar protection.”
Asian J Androl.2001 Sep;3(3):231-3.
Gonzales GF, Ruiz A, Gonzales C, Villegas L, Cordova A.
Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
AIM: To determine the effect of oral administration of an aqueous extract from the roots of Lepidium meyenii (maca) on spermatogenesis in adult male rats. METHODS: Male rats received an aqueous extract of the root (66.7 mg in one mL) twice a day for 14 consecutive days. RESULTS: Treatment with Lepidium meyenii resulted in an increase in the weights of testis and epididymis but not the seminal vesicle weight. The length and frequency of stages IX-XIV seminiferous tubules, where mitosis occurred, were increased and stages I-VI were reduced in rats treated with Lepidium meyenii. CONCLUSION: The Lepidium meyenii root invigorates spermatogenesis in male rats by acting on its initial stages (IX-XIV).”
J Ethnopharmacol.2005 Apr 8;98(1-2):143-7.
Chung F, Rubio J, Gonzales C, Gasco M, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences and Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Postal Office 1843, Lima, Peru.
Lepidium meyenii (Brassicaceae) known as Maca grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m over the sea level in the Peruvian central Andes. The dried hypocotyls of Maca are traditionally used as food and for its supposed fertility-enhancing properties. A dose-response study was performed to determine the effect of 7 days oral administration of an aqueous lyophilized extract of Maca at 0.01-5 g/kg (corresponding to 0.022-11 g dry hypocotyls of Maca/kg) on body and different organ weights, stages of the seminiferous tubules, epididymal sperm count and motility, and serum testosterone and estradiol levels in rats. In doses up to 5 g extract/kg, no toxicity was observed. Almost all organ weights were similar in controls and in the Maca extract-treated groups. Seminal vesicles weight was significantly reduced at 0.01 and 0.10 g extract/kg. Maca increased in length of stages VII-VIII of the seminiferous tubules in a dose-response fashion, with highest response at 1.0 g/kg, while caput/corpus epididymal sperm count increased at the 1.0 g dose. Cauda epididymal sperm count, sperm motility, and serum estradiol level were not affected at any of the doses studied. Serum testosterone was lower at 0.10 g extract/kg. Low-seminal vesicle weights correlated with low-serum testosterone levels (R2=0.33; P<0.0001) and low-testosterone/estradiol ratio (R2=0.35; P<0.0001). Increase in epididymal sperm count was related to lengths of stages VII-VIII. Highest effect on stages VII-VIII of the seminiferous tubules was observed at 1.0 g Maca aqueous extract/kg. The present study demonstrated that Maca extract in doses up to 5 g/kg (equivalent to the intake of 770 g hypocotyls in a man of 70 kg) was safe and that higher effect on reproductive parameters was elicited with a dose of 1 g extract/kg corresponding to 2.2 g dry Maca hypocotyls/kg.”
J Endocrinol.2004 Jan;180(1):87-95.
Gonzales GF, Gasco M, Córdova A, Chung A, Rubio J, Villegas L.
Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, and Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas y Fisiológicas, Facultad de Ciencas y Filosofia, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, PO Box 1843, Lima, Peru. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a Peruvian hypocotyl that grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m in the central Andes. Maca is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed fertility-enhancing properties.The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that Maca can prevent high altitude-induced testicular disturbances. Adult male rats were exposed for 21 days to an altitude of 4340 m and treated with vehicle or aqueous extract of Maca (666.6 mg/day). The lengths of the stages of the seminiferous epithelium and epididymal sperm counts were obtained at 0, 7, 14 and 21 days of exposure. The stages of the seminiferous tubules were assessed by transillumination. A dose-response study was also performed at sea level to determine the effect of Maca given to male rats at doses of 0, 6.6, 66.6 and 666.6 mg/day for 7 days on body weight, seminiferous tubule stages and epididymal sperm count. The length of stage VIII and the epididymal sperm count were increased in a dose-dependent manner in Maca-treated rats but treatment reduced the length of stage I. At the highest dose, sperm count increased 1.58 times, the length of stage VIII increased 2.4 times and the length of stage I was reduced 0.48 times compared with the value at dose 0. Exposure to high altitude resulted in a reduction in epididymal sperm count after 7 days and lower values were maintained up to 21 days. Altitude reduced spermiation (stage VIII) to half and the onset of spermatogenesis (stages IX-XI) to a quarter on days 7 and 14 but treatment with Maca (666.6 mg/day) prevented these changes. Data on transillumination and epididymal sperm count in the Maca-treated group exposed to high altitude were similar to those obtained at sea level. Maca increased the sperm count on day 21 of exposure to high altitude to values similar (1095.25 +/- 20.41×10(6) sperm, means +/- S.E.M.) to those obtained in the Maca-treated group at sea level (1132.30 +/- 172.95×10(6) sperm). Furthermore, in the Maca-treated group exposed for 21 days to high altitude, epididymal sperm count was higher than in the non-treated group at sea level (690.49 +/- 43.67×10(6) sperm). In conclusion, treatment of rats with Maca at high altitude prevented high altitude-induced spermatogenic disruption.
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2006 Sep;6(5):429-44.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy and Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
Natural products have played a significant role in drug discovery and development especially for agents against cancer and infectious disease. An analysis of new and approved drugs for cancer by the United States Food and Drug Administration over the period of 1981-2002 showed that 62% of these cancer drugs were of natural origin. Natural compounds possess highly diverse and complex molecular structures compared to small molecule synthetic drugs and often provide highly specific biological activities likely derived from the rigidity and high number of chiral centers. Ethnotraditional use of plant-derived natural products has been a major source for discovery of potential medicinal agents. A number of native Andean and Amazonian medicines of plant origin are used as traditional medicine in Peru to treat different diseases. Of particular interest in this mini-review are three plant materials endemic to Peru with the common names of Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa), Maca (Lepidium meyenii), and Dragon’s blood (Croton lechleri) each having been scientifically investigated for a wide range of therapeutic uses including as specific anti-cancer agents as originally discovered from the long history of traditional usage and anecdotal information by local population groups in South America. Against this background, we present an evidence-based analysis of the chemistry, biological properties, and anti-tumor activities for these three plant materials. In addition, this review will discuss areas requiring future study and the inherent limitations in their experimental use as anti-cancer agents.
Asian J Androl. 2007 Mar;9(2):245-51.
Gonzales GF, Vasquez V, Rodriguez D, Maldonado C, Mormontoy J, Portella J, Pajuelo M, Villegas L, Gasco M.
Biological and Physiological Sciences, Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, Peru. firstname.lastname@example.org
AIM: To determine the effect of two different extracts of red maca in male rats.
METHODS: Prostatic hyperplasia was induced in male rats with testosterone enanthate (TE). The study comprised six groups: one control group (group 1), one group treated with TE (group 2), two groups treated with TE and aqueous extract of red maca (groups 3 and 4), one group treated with hydroalcoholic extract of red maca (group 5) and one group treated with finasteride (0.1 mg, group 6). Differences in the aqueous extract dependent on the length of time of boiling, whether for 2 or 3 hours, for groups 3 and 4 was assessed. Extracts of red maca contained 0.1 mg of benzylglucosinolate. Thereafter, a dose-response effect of different doses of benzylglucosinolates (0.02-0.08 mg) in red maca extracts was assessed.
RESULTS: Prostate weight was similar in rats treated with freeze-dried aqueous extract of red maca prepared after 2 and 3 hours of boiling. Freeze-dried aqueous extract of red maca, hydroalcoholic extract of red maca and finasteride reduced prostate weight in rats with prostatic hyperplasia. No difference was observed between the data obtained from aqueous extract or hydroalcoholic extract of red maca. A dose dependent reduction of prostate weight was observed with the increase of the dose of benzylglucosinolates in red maca extracts. CONCLUSION: The present study showed that hydroalcoholic or aqueous extract of red maca containing 0.1 mg of benzylglucosinolate can reduce prostate size in male rats in which prostatic hyperplasia had been induced by TE.
Andrologia. 2007 Aug;39(4):151-8.
Gasco M, Aguilar J, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
The aim of this study was to evaluate the chronic effect of different varieties of Lepidium meyenii (Red Maca, Yellow Maca and Black Maca). Male rats were treated by gavage with aqueous extract of each variety of maca equivalent to 1 g hypocotyl kg(-1) body weight (BW) for 84 days. At the end of the treatment, daily sperm production (DSP), epididymal sperm count (ESC) and sperm count in vas deferens (SCVD) were assessed. In addition, testis DNA quantification was also determined. Any toxic effect was assessed in liver and spleen by histological studies. The results indicate that Yellow Maca and Black Maca improved ESC and that three varieties of maca increased the SCVD without affecting DSP. Moreover, testis DNA levels were not affected by treatment with any of the three varieties of maca. Histological picture of the liver in animals treated with the three varieties of maca was similar to that observed in controls. In conclusion, Yellow and Black Maca increased epididymal sperm count after 84 days of treatment without affecting DSP. Maca seems to act as a modulator of sperm count at the reproductive tract level.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Jul;44(7):1114-22. Epub 2006 Feb 28.
Rubio J, Riqueros MI, Gasco M, Yucra S, Miranda S, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Toxicol Rev. 2005;24(1):11-35.
Division of Biotechnology and GRAS Notice Review, Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland 20740, USA. Luis.Valerio@cfsan.fda.gov
Recent exceptional growth in human exposure to natural products known to originate from traditional medicine has lead to a resurgence of scientific interest in their biological effects. As a strategy for improvement of the assessment of their pharmacological and toxicological profile, scientific evidence-based approaches are being employed to appropriately evaluate composition, quality, potential medicinal activity and safety of these natural products. Using this approach, we comprehensively reviewed existing scientific evidence for known composition, medicinal uses (past and present), and documented biological effects with emphasis on clinical pharmacology and toxicology of two commonly used medicinal plants from South America with substantial human exposure from historical and current global use: Uncaria tomentosa (common name: cat’s claw, and Spanish: uña de gato), and Lepidium meyenii (common name: maca). Despite the geographic sourcing from remote regions of the tropical Amazon and high altitude Andean mountains, cat’s claw and maca are widely available commercially in industrialised countries. Analytical characterisations of their active constituents have identified a variety of classes of compounds of toxicological, pharmacological and even nutritional interest including oxindole and indole alkaloids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, sterols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbolines and other compounds.The oxindole alkaloids from the root bark of cat’s claw are thought to invoke its most widely sought-after medicinal effects as a herbal remedy against inflammation. We find the scientific evidence supporting this claim is not conclusive and although there exists a base of information addressing this medicinal use, it is limited in scope with some evidence accumulated from in vitro studies towards understanding possible mechanisms of action by specific oxindole alkaloids through inhibition of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation. Although controlled clinical studies have demonstrated reduction in pain associated with cat’s claw intake in patients with various chronic inflammatory disorders, there is insufficient clinical data overall to draw a firm conclusion for its anti-inflammatory effects. An important observation was that experimental results were often dependent upon the nature of the preparation used. It appears that the presence of unknown substances has an important role in the overall effects of cat’s claw extracts is an important factor for consideration. The available animal toxicological studies did not indicate severe toxicity from oral intake of cat’s claw preparations but rather were suggestive of a low potential for acute and subacute oral toxicity, and a lack of evidence to demonstrate genotoxic potential and mutagenic activity.Maca is a clear example of a herb with substantial medicinal use in traditional herbal medicine by indigenous cultures in South America since the first recorded knowledge of it in the seventeenth century. The hypocotyls of maca are the edible part of the plant used for nutritional and proposed fertility-enhancing properties. Maca has been described to possess many other medicinal properties in traditional herbal medicine but only a few of them have been well studied scientifically. Published clinical studies of maca seem to be related to its property as a nutrient, for male fertility and for energy. There are inadequate data regarding the precise mechanism of action of maca. Some studies suggest that secondary metabolites found in maca extracts are important constituents responsible for its physiological effects. Maca has been reported in the scientific literature to have a low degree of acute oral toxicity in animals and low cellular toxicity in vitro.An important finding unveiled by this review is the importance of standardisation in quality and additional basic and clinical research to scientifically validate and understand composition, biological activity, safety and risk. Development of a comprehensive pharmacological and toxicological profile through critical evaluation of existing and future experimental data, especially carefully conducted clinical studies would facilitate the scientific evidence-based approach to understanding potential biological effects of these major traditionally based herbals in current global use.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Feb 20;103(3):448-54. Epub 2005 Sep 19.
Gonzales C, Rubio J, Gasco M, Nieto J, Yucra S, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, P.O. Box 1843, Lima, Peru.
Lepidium meyenii (Brassicaceae), known as Maca, is a Peruvian hypocotyl that grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m above sea level in the central Andes. Maca is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed fertility-enhancing properties. The study aimed to test the hypothesis that different ecotypes of Maca (Red, Yellow and Black) after short-term (7 days) and long-term (42 days) treatment affects differentially spermatogenesis adult rats. After 7 days of treatment with Yellow and Red Maca, the length of stage VIII was increased (P<0.05), whereas with Black Maca stages II-VI and VIII were increased (P<0.05). Daily sperm production (DSP) was increased in the group treated with Black Maca compared with control values (P<0.05). Red or Yellow Maca did not alter DSP and epididymal sperm motility was not affected by treatment with any ecotype of Maca. After 42 days of treatment, Black Maca was the only ecotype that enhanced DSP (P<0.05). Moreover, Black Maca was the only that increased epididymal sperm motility (P<0.05). In relation to the control group, Red Maca did not affect testicular and epididymal weight nor epididymal sperm motility and sperm count; however, prostate weight was reduced (P<0.05). Black or Yellow Maca did not affect prostate weight. In conclusion, there were differences in the biological response of the three ecotypes of Maca (Yellow, Red and Black). Black Maca appeared to have more beneficial effect on sperm counts and epididymal sperm motility
J Endocrinol.2003 Jan;176(1):163-8.
Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Góñez C.
Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, and Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences (Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy), Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, PO 1843, Lima, Peru.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a Peruvian hypocotyl that grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m in the central Andes. Maca is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed aphrodisiac and/or fertility-enhancing properties. 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 a placebo. The study aimed to test the hypothesis that Maca has no effect on serum reproductive hormone levels in apparently healthy men when administered in doses used for aphrodisiac and/or fertility-enhancing properties. Men aged between 21 and 56 Years received 1500 mg or 3000 mg Maca. Serum levels of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone, testosterone and 17-beta estradiol were measured before and at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment with placebo or Maca (1.5 g or 3.0 g per day). Data showed that compared with placebo Maca had no effect on any of the hormones studied nor did the hormones show any changes over time. Multiple regression analysis showed that serum testosterone levels were not affected by treatment with Maca at any of the times studied (P, not significant). In conclusion, treatment with Maca does not affect serum reproductive hormone levels.
D: Salasar/Vol.-15/chtr-08/Proof-2/Date : December’ 2005
GUSTAVO F. GONZALES
Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a Peruvian plant of the Brassicaceae family, that is cultivated and grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m altitude in the central Andes. Maca is used as a food supplement in the central Andes, and also by its supposed medicinal properties. In the last 20 years a big interest on maca has been raised in many parts of the word. The product is exported from Peru in many forms as powder, capsules, pills, flour, liquor, tonic and mayonnaise. Actually, the natives from Carhuamayo, Junin refer that they use maca for nutritional purposes, as an energizer and for fertilityenhancing
The experimental scientific evidences showed that maca could be useful for their nutritional, fertility-enhancer properties, and antioxidants effects. It has been also observed an effect for prostate hyperplasia. In men maca has favorable effects on energy. Mood, decreasing anxiety, and improving sexual desire. Maca improves sperm production, sperm motility and semen volume. It was not affected serum levels of testosterone, estradiol, LH, FSH and prolactin. However, more research will be needed, particularly as clinical trials.
Reprod Biol Endocrinol.2005 Jan 20;3:5.
Gonzales GF, Miranda S, Nieto J, Fernández G, Yucra S, Rubio J, Yi P,Gasco M.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have found that consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. This effect seems to be due to aromatic glucosinolate content. Glucosinolates are known for have both antiproliferative and proapoptotic actions.Maca is a cruciferous cultivated in the highlands of Peru. The absolute content of glucosinolates in Maca hypocotyls is relatively higher than that reported in other cruciferous crops. Therefore, Maca may have proapoptotic and anti-proliferative effects in the prostate.
METHODS: Male rats treated with or without aqueous extracts of three ecotypes of Maca (Yellow, Black and Red) were analyzed to determine the effect on ventral prostate weight, epithelial height and duct luminal area. Effects on serum testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) levels were also assessed. Besides, the effect of Red Maca on prostate was analyzed in rats treated with testosterone enanthate (TE).
RESULTS: Red Maca but neither Yellow nor Black Maca reduced significantly ventral prostate size in rats. Serum T or E2 levels were not affected by any of the ecotypes of Maca assessed. Red Maca also prevented the prostate weight increase induced by TE treatment. Red Maca administered for 42 days reduced ventral prostatic epithelial height. TE increased ventral prostatic epithelial height and duct luminal area. These increases by TE were reduced after treatment with Red Maca for 42 days. Histology pictures in rats treated with Red Maca plus TE were similar to controls. Phytochemical screening showed that aqueous extract of Red Maca has alkaloids, steroids, tannins, saponins, and cardiotonic glycosides. The IR spectra of the three ecotypes of Maca in 3800-650 cm (-1) region had 7 peaks representing 7 functional chemical groups. Highest peak values were observed for Red Maca, intermediate values for Yellow Maca and low values for Black Maca. These functional groups correspond among others to benzyl glucosinolate.
CONCLUSIONS: Red Maca, a cruciferous plant from the highland of Peru, reduced ventral prostate size in normal and TE treated rats
Fertil Steril.2008 May;89(5 Suppl):1461-7. Epub 2007 Jul 31.
Yucra S, Gasco M, Rubio J, Nieto J, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Lima, Peru. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of different fractions of Black Maca (Lepidium meyenii), obtained from the hydroalcoholic extract, on spermatogenesis.
DESIGN: Animal study.
SETTING: Animal and laboratory facilities at a university.
ANIMAL(S): Forty two adult male rats from the Holtzman strain (3 months old).
INTERVENTION(S): Hydroalcoholic extract of Black Maca was partitioned with the following solvents: petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and water to obtain each fraction. Forty-two rats were divided in different groups according the fraction administered and vehicle. The hydroalcoholic extract of Black Maca and its fractions and vehicle were given orally by gavage for 7 days.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Daily sperm production, epididymal sperm count, and sperm count in the vas deferens.
RESULT(S): Daily sperm production was higher in the ethyl acetate group compared with all other groups. The epididymal sperm count was higher in rats treated with ethyl acetate fraction compared with rats treated with vehicle (control), petroleum ether, n-butanol, or water fractions. The sperm count in vas deferens was lower in rats treated with ethyl acetate, petroleum ether, or water fractions compared with the control group; thus, the sperm count in vas deferens in rats treated with chloroform and n-butanol fractions was higher than in the petroleum ether group.
CONCLUSION(S): The greatest effect on spermatogenesis was observed in the ethyl acetate fraction from the hydroalcoholic extract of Black Maca, suggesting that the compounds related to the beneficial effect on sperm production of Black Maca are presented in this fraction. Antioxidant components could play a role in the effect of increased epididymal sperm concentration observed in the model.
1:Asian J Androl.2001 Dec;3(4):301-3.
Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Gonzales C, Chung A, Vega K, Villena A.
Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy and Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
AIM: The present study was designed to determine the effect of a 4-month oral treatment with tablets of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on seminal analysis in nine adult normal men aged 24-44 years old.
METHODS: Nine men received tablets of Maca (1500 or 3000 mg/day) for 4 months. Seminal analysis was performed according to guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). Serum luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin (PRL), testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) were measured before and after treatment.
RESULTS: Treatment with Maca resulted in increased seminal volume, sperm count per ejaculum, motile sperm count, and sperm motility. Serum hormone levels were not modified with Maca treatment. Increase of sperm count was not related to dose of Maca.
CONCLUSION: Maca improved sperm production and sperm motility by mechanisms not related to LH, FSH, PRL, T and E2.
Reprod Biol Endocrinol.2005 May 3;3:16.
Ruiz-Luna AC, Salazar S, Aspajo NJ, Rubio J, Gasco M, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Lepidium meyenii, known as Maca, grows exclusively in the Peruvian Andes over 4000 m altitude. It has been used traditionally to increase fertility. Previous scientific studies have demonstrated that Maca increases spermatogenesis and epididymal sperm count. The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of Maca on several fertility parameters of female mice at reproductive age.
METHODS: Adult female Balb/C mice were divided at random into three main groups: i) Reproductive indexes group, ii) Implantation sites group and iii) Assessment of uterine weight in ovariectomized mice. Animals received an aqueous extract of lyophilized Yellow Maca (1 g/Kg BW) or vehicle orally as treatment. In the fertility indexes study, animals received the treatment before, during and after gestation. The fertility index, gestation index, post-natal viability index, weaning viability index and sex ratio were calculated. Sexual maturation was evaluated in the female pups by the vaginal opening (VO) day. In the implantation study, females were checked for implantation sites at gestation day 7 and the embryos were counted. In ovariectomized mice, the uterine weight was recorded at the end of treatment.
RESULTS: Implantation sites were similar in mice treated with Maca and in controls. All reproductive indexes were similar in both groups of treatment. The number of pups per dam at birth and at postnatal day 4 was significantly higher in the group treated with Maca. VO day occurred earlier as litter size was smaller. Maca did not affect VO day. In ovariectomized mice, the treatment with Maca increased significantly the uterine weights in comparison to their respective control group.
CONCLUSION: Administration of aqueous extract of Yellow Maca to adult female mice increases the litter size. Moreover, this treatment increases the uterine weight in ovariectomized animals. Our study confirms for the first time some of the traditional uses of Maca to enhance female fertility
BMC Complement Altern Med.2006 Jun 23;6:23.
Rubio J, Caldas M, Dávila S, Gasco M, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy and Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Lepidium meyenii Walp. (Brassicaceae), known as Maca, is a Peruvian hypocotyl growing exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m altitude in the central Peruvian Andes, particularly in Junin plateau and is used traditionally to enhance fertility. Maca is a cultivated plant and different cultivars are described according to the color of the hypocotyls.
METHODS: The study aimed to elucidate the effect of Yellow, Red and Black Maca on cognitive function and depression in ovariectomized (OVX) mice. In all experiments OVX mice were treated during 21 days and divided in four groups: control group, Yellow Maca, Red Maca and Black Maca. Latent learning was assessed using the water finding task and the antidepressant activity of the three varieties of Maca was evaluated using the forced swimming test. Animals were sacrificed at the end of each treatment and the uterus were excised and weighed.
RESULTS: Black Maca was the variety that showed the best response in the water finding task, particularly in the trained mice. The three varieties were effective to reduce finding latency in non trained and trained mice (P < 0.05). In the force swimming test, all varieties assessed reduced the time of immobility and increased uterine weight in OVX mice.
CONCLUSION: Black Maca appeared to have more beneficial effects on latent learning in OVX mice; meanwhile, all varieties of Maca showed antidepressant activity.
Asian J Androl.2005 Mar;7(1):71-6.
Bustos-Obregon E, Yucra S, Gonzales GF.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Independencia 1027 P.O. Box 70061, Santiago 7, Chile. firstname.lastname@example.org
AIM: To observe the effect of the aqueous extract of hypocotyls of the plant Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on spermatogenic damage induced by the organophosphate insecticide malathion in mice.
METHODS: Mice were treated with 80 mg/kg of malathion in the presence or absence of an aqueous extract of Maca, which was orally administered 7, 14 or 21 days after injection of the malathion. Stages of the seminiferous epithelium were assessed by transillumination on days 0, 7, 14 and 21.
RESULTS: The administration of Maca increased significantly the length of stage VIII on days 7, 14 and 21 of treatment compared with the controls. An increase in the length of stage IX occurred on day 14 of treatment. Malathion affected spermatogenesis by reducing the lengths of stage IX on day 7, stages VII and IX-XI on day 14 and a recovery of stages IX-XII on day 21. The magnitude of alteration in the length of stage IX produced by malathion was significantly reduced by Maca on days 7 and 14. The length of stage VIII was increased when Maca was administered to mice treated with malathion. Assessment of the relative length of stages of the seminiferous epithelium showed that Maca treatment resulted in rapid recovery of the effect of malathion.
CONCLUSION: Maca enhances spermatogenesis following spermatogenic damage caused by the organophosphorous pesticide.
Phytomedicine.2007 Aug;14(7-8):460-4. Epub 2007 Feb 7.
Gasco M,Villegas L, Yucra S, Rubio J, Gonzales GF.
Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. email@example.com
The main goal of this study was to determine the effect of a freeze-dried aqueous extract of the red variety of Lepidium meyenii (Red Maca) on testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in adult rats of the Holtzman strain. Rats were treated with freeze-dried aqueous extract of Red Maca at doses of 0, 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 g/kg body wt. A positive control group received Finasteride (0.6 mg/kg body wt.). After treatment, the animals were sacrificed, and the ventral prostate was extracted, and weighed. HPLC was used to determine the presence of glucosinolates in Red Maca. The prostate weight diminished in a dose-dependent fashion in rats treated with Red Maca. The effect of Red Maca was better than that observed with Finasteride. Finasteride, but not Red Maca, reduced seminal vesicles weight. Analysis of the HPLC indicated the presence of benzyl glucosinolate (Glucotropaeolin) with a content of 0.639%. Serum testosterone levels were not affected by Red Maca. Moreover, serum testosterone levels were not related to prostate or seminal vesicles weight in rats treated with vehicle and Red Maca. In conclusion, Red Maca administered orally in rats seems to exert an inhibitory effect at a level post DHT conversion, on the BPH-induced experimentally, although a direct measure of reductase action would still be required.
CNS Neurosci Ther.2008 Fall;14(3):182-91.
Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M,Mischoulon D.
Depression Clinical and Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
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<0.05) for the ITT and completer groups based on ASEX item #1, but not by dosing groups. Maca was well tolerated. Maca root may alleviate SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction, and there may be a dose-related effect. Maca may also have a beneficial effect on libido
Zenico T, Cicero AF, Valmorri L, Mercuriali M, Bercovich E.
Department of Urology, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy. email@example.com
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.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Oct 9.
Rubio J, Qiong W, Liu X, Jiang Z, Dang H, Chen SL, Gonzales GF.
Research Center for Pharmacology & Toxicology, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, P.R. China. firstname.lastname@example.org.
The present study aims to test two different doses of aqueous extract of black maca on learning and memory in ovariectomized (OVX) mice and their relation with malonalehyde (MDA), acetylcholinesterase (Ache) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) brain levels. Female mice were divided into five groups: (i) naive (control), (ii) sham, (iii) OVX mice and OVX mice treated with (iv) 0.50 g kg(-1) and (v) 2.00 g kg(-1) black maca. Mice were orally treated with distilled water or black maca during 35 days starting 7 days after surgery. Memory and learning were assessed using the water Morris maze (from day 23-27) and the step-down avoidance test (days 34 and 35). At the end of each treatment, mice were sacrificed by decapitation and brains were dissected out for MDA, Ache and MAO determinations. Black maca (0.5 and 2.0 g/kg) increased step-down latency when compared to OVX control mice. Black maca decreased MDA and Ache levels in OVX mice; whereas, no differences were observed in MAO levels. Finally, black maca improved experimental memory impairment induced by ovariectomy, due in part, by its antioxidant and Ache inhibitory activities.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Sep 22]
Stone M, Ibarra A, Roller M, Zangara A, Stevenson E.
School of Psychology and Sports Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK.
Aim: Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp) is consumed both as a sports supplement by strength and endurance athletes, and as a natural stimulant to enhance sexual drive. However, whether or not the postulated benefits of maca consumption are of scientific merit is not yet known. The aim of the study was therefore to investigate the effect of 14 days maca supplementation on endurance performance and sexual desire in trained male cyclists.
Methods: Eight participants each completed a 40km cycling time trial before and after 14 days supplementation with both maca extract (ME) and placebo, in a randomised crossover design. Subjects also completed a sexual desire inventory during each visit.
Results: ME administration significantly improved 40km cycling time performance compared to the baseline test (P=0.01), but not compared to the placebo trial after supplementation (P>0.05). ME administration significantly improved the self rated sexual desire score compared to the baseline test (P=0.01), and compared to the placebo trial after supplementation (P=0.03).
Conclusion: 14 days ME supplementation improved 40km cycling time trial performance and sexual desire in trained male cyclists. These promising results encourage long-term clinical studies involving more volunteers, to further evaluate the efficacy of ME in athletes and normal individuals and also to explore its possible mechanisms of action.
Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2009 Jul;38(4):420-2, 425
[Article in Chinese]
Wang Z, Yang J, Wang G, Bian L.
Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100050, China.
OBJECTIVE: To observe the potential effects of Lepidium meyemii Waip (MACA) on body fat, sexual hormone, bone metabolism in post-ovariectomized rats.
METHOD: Healthy Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 6 groups: sham operated group, ovariectomized model group (OVX), OVX + estrogen treated group (0.3 g/kg), OVX + Maca low dose treated group (0.3 g/kg), OVX + Maca middle dose treated group (0.6 g/kg) and OVX + Maca high dose treated group (1.8 g/kg). After 7 weeks treated the rats were sacrificed, the body weight, uterus and adrenal gland weight were measured, the blood lipids, sexual hormone, bone metabolism were analyzed.
RESULTS: In ovariectomized model group (GYX) the level of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and the weigh of uterine and adrenal were decreased, the body weight gain, serum lipid and the activities of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were increased (compared with sham operated group, P < 0.01), though the change of femoral bone density and mineral content was not observed. The blood estrogen and BPG level were increased in OVX + MACA high dose treated group, and had less uterine weight loss and body weight gain, while, the triglyceride, LDL-C and ALP level were similar to sham operated group.
CONCLUSION: Dietary supplementation with Maca may have potential effects on prevention from postmenopausal lipid abnormality and bone metabolism via a different mechanism from estrogen.
Theriogenology. 2010 Jul;74(2):173-83
Clement C, Kneubuhler J, Urwyler A, Kreuzer M.
ETH Zurich, Institute of Plants, Animal And Agroecosystem Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland
Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walpers), is an Andean crop that grows between 3,800 and 4,500 m a.s.l. The persistent interest in this plant is based on its assumed effects on fertility of male mammals due to the prevalence of certain, partially specific, secondary compounds. The present study aimed at evaluating the effect of maca supplementation on quality and quantity of semen, mating behavior, and clinical status of peripubertal breeding bulls. The experiment followed a cross-over design lasting for 23 wk with 3 wk of adaptation and baseline measurements, and 2 x 10 wk of treatment feeding thus covering two times the complete 8-wk spermatogenic cycle. Seventy-eight 55 wk to 84 wk old breeding bulls received either no maca (control) or maca (233 mg dried hypocotyls/kg body weight/day) for 10 wk followed by 10 wk without maca (maca early) or maca only in the last 10 wk (maca late). Measurements were always made in the last 2 wk of each period. Apart from standard analyses, ejaculates were analyzed by flow cytometry. Data was evaluated by analysis of variance considering the repeated measurement structure of the data. Significant treatment by measurement period indicated direct or carry-over effects of maca. Maca supplementation had no direct effect on body weight, testes circumference, rectal temperature, mating behavior, and ejaculate volume. However, supplementing maca in the first 10 wk period increased the number of sperms in the second 10 wk period, i.e., when the animals no longer received maca. The DNA fragmentation index and the visually assessed motility of the sperms of bulls, that initially showed a borderline sperm quality, were significantly improved with early maca supplementation, while no such effect was observed in the two other groups. No effects occurred in the proportion of intact sperm plasma membranes or acrosomes or both. In conclusion, maca supplementation seems to improve sperm quantity and quality of bulls to a certain degree, while mating behavior appears unaffected.
Lalahan Hay. Araşt. Enst. Derg. 2014, 54 (1) 39-45
Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) bitkisinin yem katkı maddesi olarak kullanım alanlarına yaklaşım
Serol KORKMAZ1, Tanay BİLAL
Approaches to using of maca (lepidium meyenii) plant as a feed additive Summary: Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a tuber root plant of the Brassicaceae family that grows on Andes mountain’s high altitude steps. Its tuber roots have rich nutrition contents and bioactive compounds as sterols, glucosinolates, alkaloids, alkamides (macaene, macamides), saponin and tanin. Beside of its traditional usage, the studies in recent years presented its capabilities that are energizer, aphrodisiac, improving reproduction, hormonal balancing, improving homeostasis, antioksidant, anticarcinogen and antistress. When Maca was used as a dietary additive at the many researches in humans and animals, no toxic effect was determined. Further studies are required to identify the compounds of Maca, their chemical structures, the mechanism of action and to use of Maca as a safe and natural feed additive in animal nutrition.