Maca For Diabetes

If you're here to discover if maca can help in the management of diabetes, you're in the right place.  In this article we'll have a deeper look at what research and experience say about using maca root for this purpose.Maca for diabetics


Diabetes is a group of diseases that affects the body’s ability to use sugars (glucose).   It is divided into two general groups.  Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas makes little to no insulin.  It usually begins during childhood.   To date, in spite of decades of research, there is no cure  for type 1 diabetes and treatment is focused on managing sugar levels using an external source of insulin.  In type 2 diabetes the pancreas produces too little insulin which allows  too much glucose to circulate in the blood.   It occurs mainly in adults and is more manageable than type 1 diabetes.  Losing weight, diet and exercise can all help manage type 2 diabetes.   

Over the past several years research has been done on the potential of maca root to help regulate sugars in the blood and therefore support the management of diabetes.   In this article, we’ll have a closer look at what this research says, what diabetics can expect when taking maca and which maca is the most recommended for this purpose.

Is Maca Safe For Diabetics?

Before we get into the research it’s important to answer the question: “Is maca safe for people with diabetes?”  Maca root is generally regarded as safe for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.   It has a low glycemic index (below 55) and as we’ll see below does not seem to raise blood sugar, but rather lowers it.  If you have diabetes we highly recommend to consult with a competent and knowledgeable health care professional before adding maca root to your diet.  

6 Ways Maca Root Can Help Diabetes

Over the past decade research has been ongoing into how maca can help the body regulate various vital systems that can contribute to overall health and well-being.    This research has suggested 6 distinct ways in which maca can support the management of diabetes.   We’ll take them one by one here.

  1. Aiding insulin distribution – A study in 2007 indicated that maca root can positively affect insulin distribution.    This in turn makes the body’s cells more receptive to the effects of insulin.   This is good news for people whose body’s make too little insulin.  In that case maca indeed may help maximize the efficacy of the insulin the body does create.   maca and diabetes
  2. Reduction of glucose (blood sugar) levels – Another study found that maca root “significantly improved glucose tolerance… and lowered levels of glucose in blood.”   This means that maca may indeed have the ability to regulate/lower blood sugar levels.   This would reduce the risk of complications that are associated with high glucose levels and therefore positively impact anyone with diabetes.
  3. Improvement of lipid profiles – Studies have shown that adding maca to your diet can help reduce triglyceride levels and increase good (HD) cholesterol levels.    Lipids help regulate hormones, transmit nerve signals and store energy in the form of fat.  When they are balanced, the body simply functions better on all levels.
  4. Reduction of inflammation – chronic inflammation in the tissues and organs is a common complication of diabetes and can lead to heart disease as well as nerve damage.   Maca root has long been seen to have anti-inflammatory properties.  A recent study from 2021 found that adding maca to the diet of mice “reversed HFHS-induced memory impairment, anxiety, hyperglycaemia, lipid derangement, oxidative stress, and derangement of inflammatory markers.”  More studies and studies on humans are advisable, but this gives some hope that maca can help reduce the risk of complications from inflammation caused by diabetes.  
  5. Increasing energy and reduction fatigue – one thing that diabetics commonly experience is fatigue that can lower energy levels than normal.   This makes it harder from them to exercise and get the benefits that come from moving the body.   Maca is a known energy booster and can certainly help diabetics (and non-diabetics) overcome low energy levels. This is, in fact, one of the original reasons people started taking maca in the first place 1000s of years ago.   
  6. Providing balanced nutrition and reducing appetite – maca root is a nutritionally dense food with a complement of nutrients that help support feelings of satiety.   This can help diabetics manage caloric intake and avoid sweet foods that are too high on the glycemic index.  

What Diabetics Have Reported When Using MacaIs maca safe for diabetics

Over the years we’ve collected some interesting feedback from people who have used maca when managing their diabetes.  Here are a few that also speak to the potentially positive effects maca has on the disease. 

"I had a friend suggest this for me since I'm diabetic. He did a lot of research & found it had a lot of great benefits for diabetics. I mix it into my smoothies in the morning & love the energy & benefits it gives me. Thank you."  Heather

“I was told to try Maca for its hormone balancing effects. I am perimenopausal. Shortly thereafter, I noticed a drop in my blood glucose numbers. I have decreased my basal insulin units from 25 to 22 units and I need to decrease it again.” – Anonymous

“I've been taking maca powder for the past six months and there is a huge improvement in the way I feel and my blood sugar. Maca really does balance out blood sugar. My blood sugar has been constantly low since I've been taking it. My medication was already lowering my blood sugar but sometimes it would lower it too much making me feel really hungry and weak.” - S.S.

Which Is The Best Maca For Diabetes?

Both raw and gelatinized (pre-cooked) maca root products have the same amount of carbohydrates (5g) per serving and therefore share the same glycemic load number.   That means taking either of them is fine for diabetics.   If you do have a sensitive digestive system we recommend taking gelatinized maca over raw maca as the starch content has been removed in gelatinized maca and it is much less likely to upset your stomach.   

In terms of which color of maca to take for diabetes, we recommed either a tri-color maca blend or red maca product.  The tri-color blend will give you some of the benefits of each color and red maca root has been seen to be the highest in antioxidant capacity.   

As far as presentation, each of those products come in powder, capsules, chips and liquid extracts.  Powder is the most common and most economical of all 4.   It’s easy to mix maca root powder into a drink or smoothie or to combine it with other ingredients.  We have an extensive maca recipe section to help you with that.  Maca capsules make taking maca root easy and convenient.  Ours are vegan and contain 100% pure maca powder with no fillers or other ingredients.  Maca chips are the closest thing to whole maca roots available outside of the Andes and can be blended into smoothies or made into a porridge.   Finally, liquid maca extracts offer the most readily available way to get maca root’s nutrients in your blood stream and are easy to take with you on the go.  

Whatever type of maca root you decide to take it’s important to make sure that the product you are taking is organically grown in the high Peruvian Andes, has been harvested correctly,  has been properly dried and packaged, and is fresh as possible.  These are vital in ensuring that you get a product with maximum potency that can truly help.    At The Maca Team we take great pride in making sure our farmers and production facility exceed expectations at all levels.  tri-color-maca-products-for-diabetes.jpg

Final Words

As we’ve seen in this article, maca root does show promise as a natural way to help regulate diabetes.  In particular it can decrease blood sugar levels, support the flow of insulin, help reduce inflamed tissues in the body, boost energy and suppress appetite.  All of these, added to a healthy lifestyle and diet, can contribute to successfully managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.   While more research and experience is needed to make any conclusive statements, it is certainly worth trying maca root for diabetes in our opinion.   If you do add maca to your diet as a diabetic, it is advisable to monitor your blood sugar closely and to work with your trusted health care provider as you start taking maca.    

We hope this article has helped you understand the role maca can play in managing diabetes.  If you have any questions please let us know.  We’re always happy to help.

Enjoy the day!


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