Maca (generic name)
treats Aphrodisiac, Hormone regulation, and Spermatogenesis
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Interactions with Drugs
Plants in the Brassicaceae family, such as maca, are often rich in vitamin K. Thus, maca may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
Maca may act as a stimulant and cause hypertension (high blood pressure). Patients taking medication for high blood pressure, or those taking other stimulant medications, should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combining therapies.
Maca may alter the levels of sex hormones, and may interfere with the effects of hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills. Caution is advised.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Plants in the Brassicaceae family, such as maca, are often rich in vitamin K. Maca may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases
Maca may act as a stimulant and cause hypertension (high blood pressure). Patients taking herbs or supplements for high blood pressure, or those taking other stimulants, should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combining therapies.
Maca may alter the levels of sex hormones, and may interfere with the effects of herbs or supplements with hormone effects, such as St. John's wort or chasteberry.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Molly Davis, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Michael Rotblatt, MD, PharmD (UCLA); Toni Schaeffer, PhD, PharmD (Albany College of Pharmacy); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Ruslan Voloshin, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
BibliographyDISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Bogani P, Simonini F, Iriti M, et al. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) does not exert direct androgenic activities. J Ethnopharmacol 4-6-2006;104(3):415-417.
Bustos-Obregon E, Yucra S, Gonzales GF. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) reduces spermatogenic damage induced by a single dose of malathion in mice. Asian J Androl 2005;7(1):71-76.
Chung F, Rubio J, Gonzales C, et al. Dose-response effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) aqueous extract on testicular function and weight of different organs in adult rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 4-8-2005;98(1-2):143-147.
Gonzales C, Rubio J, Gasco M, et al. Effect of short-term and long-term treatments with three ecotypes of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on spermatogenesis in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2-20-2006;103(3):448-454.
Gonzales GF, Miranda S, Nieto J, et al. Red maca (Lepidium meyenii) reduced prostate size in rats. Reprod.Biol Endocrinol 1-20-2005;3(1):5.
McCollom MM, Villinski JR, McPhail KL, et al. Analysis of macamides in samples of Maca (Lepidium meyenii) by HPLC-UV-MS/MS. Phytochem.Anal. 2005;16(6):463-469.
McKay D. Nutrients and botanicals for erectile dysfunction: examining the evidence. Altern Med Rev 2004;9(1):4-16.
Miller MJ, Ahmed S, Bobrowski P, et al. The chrondoprotective actions of a natural product are associated with the activation of IGF-1 production by human chondrocytes despite the presence of IL-1beta. BMC.Complement Altern Med 2006;6:13.
Rubio J, Caldas M, Davila S, et al. Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice. BMC.Complement Altern Med 6-23-2006;6(1):23.
Rubio J, Riqueros, MI, Gasco M, et al. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) reversed the lead acetate induced-Damage on reproductive function in male rats. Food Chem Toxicol 2006;44(7):1114-1122.
Ruiz-Luna AC, Salazar S, Aspajo NJ, et al. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) increases litter size in normal adult female mice. Reprod.Biol Endocrinol 5-3-2005;3(1):16.
Valentova K, Buckiova D, Kren V, et al. The in vitro biological activity of Lepidium meyenii extracts. Cell Biol Toxicol 2006;22(2):91-99.
Valerio LG Jr, Gonzales GF. Toxicological aspects of the South American herbs cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii) : a critical synopsis. Toxicol.Rev 2005;24(1):11-35.
Zhang Y, Yu L, Ao M, et al. Effect of ethanol extract of Lepidium meyenii Walp. on osteoporosis in ovariectomized rat. J Ethnopharmacol 4-21-2006;105(1-2):274-279.
Zhao J, Muhammad I, Dunbar DC, et al. New alkamides from maca (Lepidium meyenii). J Agric.Food Chem. 2-9-2005;53(3):690-693.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.