Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for MACA are as follows:
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…
- Sexual problems caused by antidepressants (antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction). Early research suggests that taking maca twice daily for 12 weeks slightly improves sexual dysfunction in women taking antidepressants.
- Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Early research shows that taking a specific maca product daily for 4 months increases semen and sperm count in healthy men. But it’s not clear if this results in improved fertility.
- Health problems after menopause. Early research shows that taking maca powder daily for 6 weeks slightly improves depression and anxiety in postmenopausal women. It might also improve sexual problems. But these benefits are very small.
- Increasing sexual desire in healthy people. Early research shows that taking a specific maca product daily for 12 weeks can increase sexual desire in healthy men.
- “Tired blood” (anemia).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Improving energy and athletic performance.
- Improving memory.
- Female hormone imbalance.
- Menstrual problems.
- Symptoms of menopause.
- Stomach cancer.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of maca for these uses.
Side Effects Of Maca
- When taken by mouth: Maca is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in amounts found in foods. Maca is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in larger amounts as medicine, short-term. Doses up to 3 grams daily seem to be safe when taken for up to 4 months.
Warnings & Precautions
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking maca if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Extracts from maca might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use these extracts.
Dosage Of Maca
The appropriate dose of maca depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for maca (in children/in adults). Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.