Will Maca Raise Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is defined as the amount of force that blood used to move through our arteries. The force is generated by the heart and pushes oxygen-rich blood out to the arteries. High blood pressure, or “hypertension,” is a common condition that can increase risks of heart disease, stroke or other medical conditions.
It’s estimated that as many as 33% of adults in the U.S. have moderate high blood pressure, many without even knowing it. Factors that contribute to it are age, genetics, diet and lifestyle.
A healthy diet, exercise, stress relief and some herbs and supplements are all positive steps to take to reduce your risk of conditions associated with high blood pressure. And taking maca products is indeed one of the herbs that are often associated with effects on blood pressure.
Does Maca Increase or Decrease Blood Pressure?
The simple answer to this is that it varies person to person. But generally speaking, adding maca root to your diet can lower blood pressure. Various independent research performed on humans since 2006 have indicated that over time maca does lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers. See our complete article on maca and blood pressure.
In addition we have had several customers over the years report that their blood pressure numbers have dropped simply by adding maca root products to their diets. Here’s an example from one of those customers:
"I'm 74 yrs old in good health, take no prescription meds. Last year my Dr told me my blood pressure was high? I exercise, eat healthy but it was still high. He wanted to put me on meds, I said I wanted to try a natural approach first. I started using ground Flaxseed in a nightly smoothie. Took 6 weeks and my blood pressure started falling more every week. Read about Maca and decided to add it to my nightly smoothie. In the first week my blood pressure dropped MORE than it had with Flaxseed alone. Besides all the benefits of both Flaxseed and Maca, together I think they compliment each other. If you have high BP give them a try, what do you have to lose?" - Neal
Does This Mean Maca Will Not Increase Your Blood Pressure?
The research as well as anecdotal evidence suggest that taking maca will not increase your blood pressure numbers alone. In fact, it is likely to have the opposite effect as we’ve seen above.
That said, more research is necessary to confirm this. One area of interest in particular is in terms of what is known as “secondary high blood pressure.” This type of high blood pressure is linked to certain health conditions such as kidney or hormonal imbalances rather than lifestyle considerations. Since maca works to support hormone balance it may affect blood pressure in a different way in people with these conditions than people who do not have them.
How To Start With Maca If You Are Concerned with Blood Pressure
If you are concerned in any way about how you will respond to adding maca root to your diet, it is a good idea to start slowly. Here’s what we would suggest:
- First, consult with a competent and knowledgeable health care provider to make sure that maca is right for you. Maca is not a medicine and has no known contraindications. However, some customers have reported that they have needed to change their blood pressure medication dosages after starting with maca. As you start taking maca, make sure to monitor your blood pressure for any differences.
- Second, make sure to pick the right maca for you. In particular, we recommend gelatinized over raw maca products for anyone who has sensitive digestion. Beyond that, you may choose maca powders, maca capsules, liquid maca extracts or even whole maca root chips, depending on your preference.
- Third, whatever you choose, start on the smaller end of our serving size suggestion. Keep track of your progress with blood pressure and increase your serving size very gradually over the course of several weeks.
Keep in mind that maca is a food and takes time to work in the body. Any results will not be automatic. Stay patient with the process by consistently taking the suggested serving amount of maca for at least a month and monitor your results carefully. In the end, you may be surprised at the gains you make.