Top positive review
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Libido, muscles, memory, energy, and reduces post-menopausal symptoms
on December 21, 2012
[ I noticed that several people are reporting bad stomach upset and other problems. Please read the negative reviews to see warnings. ]
I only saw one other review mention the effects it is supposed to have on "fertility" and he was just reporting what the supposed benefits are. So here's my personal experience. I am a 46 year old male who has had a 20 year history of suspiciously low libido. Early 20's were even "worse" than normal due to a very strong libido and then a "fuse" seemed to blow in my hormone system. 10 days after starting 2 heaping teaspoons, we, a married couple, noticed 2 or 3 times more "events" per week. I also seem to have a little more aggression and more productive workouts, so it seems to do something to testosterone even though I saw a report that says it didn't increase it. My testosterone etc hormone tests were normal, but I think the tests have to be fairly advanced to be meaningful. Two heaping teaspoons (1 per cup of coffee in the morning) is about 15 grams, so 1 pound will last 30 days. I'm in Peru right now and can get it at half this price, but this is probably about the best price available in the U.S. 15 grams might be about the max my wife and I will be able to tolerate. I might cut back to 2 level teaspoons per day (8 grams). The main thing is that I don't want to see an increase in anger. I have not noticed an increase in "energy" like most people say, but I do not know how to measure that.
== update ==
After 6 months of these large daily doses of maca at 1 heaping TABLEspoon in morning (10 grams) all I can say is WOW. I mix it in my coffee with milk or chocolate whey protein. My ability to build muscle appears to be greatly enhanced, maybe even like I'm 30 instead of 46. My face has taken on a more manly look but that may be from better muscle/body fat ratio. My memory tests (which are actually more of a speed test than memory test, flipping pairs of blocks over) have improved to scores that I have not seen in 10 years, but I have also been taking 3 grams of fish oil and a tablespoon of lecithin everyday, all of which are supposedly the best things for the brain. The memory test is an old "blocks.exe" program with 60 yellow tiles. 10 years ago I could do it in 93 seconds. Last year, before the maca it took 113 seconds, taking about 2 seconds more per year. Now it's down to 87 seconds [2014 update: 84 seconds]. I changed techniques and tried more, but it's still impressive. Our daily "encounters" seem to still be enhanced, maybe double compared to the past. No increased aggression but feeling more capable of handling life's chores. Sleeping is not as deep, so it might be a little like being on a stimulant. But otherwise....awesome.
There's black, red, and yellow maca and each appear to have different effects but retailers do not seem to usually identify which they have. I bought mine in Peru from a small manufacturer just as it came down the mountain, and I didn't think to ask which it was and she didn't mention it. When people in Peru talk about maca, they never mention the type of maca. The color appears to always be the same, like this one. The color of the 3 types is probably not different after processing. From a review of the research maca "affects nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood." I noticed my memory and mood effects before I had ever heard it might affect those. I had just heard "energy and libido". In Peru, locals just smile when you talk about maca as if the assumption is that it is for libido.
2009 Swiss Journal "Research in complementary medicine" authors from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
"Randomized clinical trials have shown that maca has favorable effects on energy and mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire. Maca has also been shown to improve sperm production, sperm motility, and semen volume. Serum levels of testosterone, estradiol, LH, FSH, and prolactin were not affected. The exact mechanisms of action are still unclear, but so far research clearly indicates that various bioactive constituents contribute to the clinical effects reported."
It is also supposed to help postmenopausal symptoms: anxiety, depression, and "sexual dysfunction" "independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity". It always seems to do things related to hormones, but they never can find where it affects the hormones. It appears to either increases the body's ability to utilize the existing hormones, or it has plant compounds that safely mimic hormones (my belief). "Safely" compared to any pharmaceutical attempts to affect hormones. I see a lot of benefits which usually means it is good for other things I don't realize (like reducing risk of cancer) without causing any harm (like increasing risk of cancer). Pharmaceuticals are so dangerous that any even nutritional pills were always assumed to be toxic until proven otherwise, but they are really just concentrated FOOD. For the past 30 years nutritional supplements have been getting a bad rap because of 1) researchers seeking an interesting result, 2) a medical community all too anxious to bash the competition, and especially 3) newspapers seeking headlines by blowing a complicated study into something it is not. Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, and selenium were always getting accused of toxicities literally 10 times higher than the truth, and many people have died because we have not been getting the amount that they used to call "potentially toxic". supposedly increase the risk of cancer.
I reduced my intake to 1 heaping teaspoon per day because I stopped working out because I tried to do a back flip July 4, 2013 and hurt a small bone in my lower spine(spondylolysis, very common). I reinjured it doing bad things, and only now am I running again and doing more weights. Libido is satisfactory, about like 10 years ago, and memory tests are remaining good. Memory game results are even better now. I've still going strong on the lecithin this year 1 or 2 tablespoons a day and I am using the best techniques in taking the test, so it's not proof improved memory is from the maca. My belly fat has increased as it normally does if I do not generate ketones everyday along with workouts. I'm not so enthusiastic now and the libido is not as aggressive as it was, but neither am I taking as much. I think I'll go back to 1 heaping tablespoon to see what happens.