What Are Negative Side Effects of Maca?


Quick Answer

Maca is most likely safe, since no reports exist that show adverse effects from ingesting the root, according to WebMD. However, potential side effects may occur due to the processing of supplements.

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Studies suggest maca may be useful in treating symptoms of menopause, improving semen quality and reducing enlarged prostates, states WebMD. Studies in animals show that maca is an aphrodisiac, but studies on libido and sexual dysfunction in humans are lacking. When tested with a placebo, maca’s ability to enhance sexual desire was only slightly more effective. However, it may improve fertility by increasing sperm count in some men. While clinical evidence may be lacking, maca has a long anecdotal history of use for menopausal discomfort, hormonal imbalance and sexual desire enhancement.

Maca is a starchy tuber grown in Peru that looks like a radish or a turnip but tastes like a potato, explains WebMD. The root is rich in plant sterols and contains significant amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium and selenium. Maca, a longtime staple of the Peruvian diet, contains carbohydrates, protein, fats and dietary fiber. Potatoes and maca are the only two crops able to thrive in the high elevations of Peru. People living in the Andes typically consume about half a pound of maca daily.

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