Does Maca Root Increase Testosterone Levels
Over the past couple of decades maca root, a traditional plant from the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia, has gained a good amount of attention for its unique health benefits. Maca is thought to work on the endocrine system to support optimal hormonal health. And since hormones are related to a wide variety of physiological functions, maca root’s benefits are wide ranging.
One of the benefits often associated with maca root is its ability to increase testosterone levels. Testosterone plays key roles in various aspects of health such as muscle mass, vitality and mood regulation. And there are now all sorts of testosterone “therapies” for men who find their levels to be low. But does maca root truly have an impact on testosterone levels? Some say “yes” and others say “no.” In this article we’ll have a full look at this question and hopefully separate the hyperbole from fact regarding this important topic.
A Brief Overview Of Testosterone
Before exploring the potential effects of maca root on testosterone, it's essential to understand the role testosterone plays in the body. Testosterone is a hormone primarily associated with male characteristics, but it is present in both males and females. It contributes to muscle growth, bone density, sexual function, mood regulation, and overall well-being. It is produced mainly in the testes but also about 5% in the adrenal glands.
Claims About Maca Root’s Effect On Testosterone
Various sources on the internet have claimed that maca root increases testosterone and therefore leads to various associated health benefits. These types of claims became particularly common in the early 2000s. In fact, as a company, The Maca Team fielded thousands of calls regarding this aspect of maca root during that time period. People simply wondered if there was any truth to this claim. Let’s have a look at what science says.
Research On Maca And Testosterone
Over the past 20 years there have been various studies on maca’s ability to increase testosterone. While some studies suggested a positive association between maca root consumption and increased testosterone levels, others failed to establish a direct correlation. In fact, a majority of studies conclude that “serum testosterone levels are not affected by treatment with Maca.” But there are others, such as a study published in Andrologia in 2016 that reach the opposite conclusion: “feeding hydroalcoholic extract powder of Lepidium meyenii (maca) increases serum testosterone concentration…” Obviously, more research, and especially on humans is called for in order to make any definitive statements.
Serum vs. Free Testosterone From Maca
It’s important to understand that maca does not contain testosterone or any other hormone. Instead it stimulates the body to produce and regulate hormones in order to achieve a healthy hormone balance. In much of the research as cited above, maca has NOT been shown to boost overall serum testosterone levels. However, the energizing effects noted by males taking maca suggest that it is otherwise having a positive effect on the endocrine system. Researchers speculate that maca affects the levels of free testosterone, rather than serum levels
Free testosterone accounts for less than 5% of an individuals t-levels. But it is an important percentage. Free testosterone is unbound to other proteins and can connect with any cell in the body. That means it is free to combine with any molecule and help regulate important cellular functions. In particular it helps in cell replication and bone and muscle strength.
The best ways to improve free testosterone levels are to:
- Lift weights to increase muscle mass and speed metabolism
- Eat a healthy diet free of trans and saturated fats
- Make sure to get enough vitamin D
- Try superfoods such as maca root that have a positive effect on the endocrine system.
Feedback Regarding Testosterone Levels and Maca
We regularly receive messages from customers regarding their experiences with maca. When it comes to T-levels here are a few of the most encouraging ones:
I have a pituitary issue where my LSH/FSH are low which causes lower T than I would like. My Endo suggested Maca Root. I have been taking it for a couple months now and my total T went from low 300s to mid 600s. I have tests done every 3 months so I'm able to monitor the change. It really works for me and is much safer than T replacement. Jeremy
"This product helped the health of my husband greatly by naturally increasing his T levels & therefore helping the sperm numbers & quality. Of course, I combined this with other plant powders including the same company red maca but this item was the biggest ingredient & it’s really really pure & was very effective on my husband. This is truly a great product. I know this bc I have been researching & using different products but this one feels really really pure. The way they process it doesn’t kill the plants wonderful health effects. Thank you for providing this for those who need it. & also thank you for doing it the right way." - Rebecca
What Kind And How Much Maca To Take For Increased Testosterone
While there is no guarantee that maca root will serve to increase your testosterone levels, based on the research we’ve seen and the feedback we’ve gotten, it seems worthwhile to give it a try. Maca root comes in a variety of colors and we’ve found that black maca is typically the best overall maca for men. We recommend going for maca powder over capsules and taking between 1 and 3 tsp per day. It’s very important to note that maca is a food and takes time to work. In order to see results it’s best to stay consistent with maca for at least six weeks. For some people results come sooner than that.
Maca root has been used for 1000s of years as a food and natural medicine. It has no known contraindications and is generally considered safe. If you have any concerns about taking it, please consult with a competent health care professional for specific advice. This is particularly important for individuals who have hormone-sensitive conditions and/or who take blood pressure or blood thinning medications.
Conclusion: Is It Worth Trying Maca To Boost T-Levels?
The question of whether maca root truly increases testosterone levels is one that remains open. While some studies suggest a potential positive association, more research is needed to establish definitive conclusions. Maca root offers other health benefits, such as improved energy levels, muscle building and enhanced sexual function, but its direct impact on testosterone levels remains uncertain. For these reasons alone, it seems worth a try for most people.
We hope this article sheds some light on a confusing topic. We will certainly adjust it as more research is published. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any further questions. We’re always happy to help.
Enjoy the day!