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[Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp), a review of its biological properties].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Facultad de Ciencias y Filosofía, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú
2
Universidad Nacional Daniel Alcides Carrión, Cerro de Pasco, Perú

Abstract

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a plant that grows above 4000 altitude meters in Peru's Central Andes; it has different varieties according to the color of the hypocotyl. This review summarizes the results of studies about the effects of maca on sexual function, spermatogenesis, female reproductive function, memory, depression and anxiety, and energy as well as effects on benign prostatic hyperplasia, osteoporosis and metabolic syndrome. Its anti-aging effect is also discussed as well as safety in consumption. Differences have been shown between the effects of the black, yellow and red maca varieties. Black maca shows the best results on spermatogenesis, memory and fatigue, while red maca is the variety that reverses the benign prostatic hyperplasia and experimentally induced osteoporosis. In addition, maca reduces the glucose levels, and its consumption is related to the lowering of blood pressure and an improved health score. Experimental studies have proven that short and long term consumption don't show in vivo and in vitro toxicity. Although experimental studies have shown that maca has diverse beneficial effects, more clinical studies are needed to confirm these results.

PMID:
24718534
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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