We sought to determine whether maca, a Peruvian plant, is effective for selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-induced sexual dysfunction. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, parallel group dose-finding pilot study comparing a low-dose (1.5 g/day) to a high-dose (3.0 g/day) maca regimen in 20 remitted depressed outpatients (mean age 36+/-13 years; 17 women) with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. The Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) and the Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Function Questionnaire (MGH-SFQ) were used to measure sexual dysfunction. Ten subjects completed the study, and 16 subjects (9 on 3.0 g/day; 7 on 1.5 g/day) were eligible for intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses on the basis of having had at least one postbaseline visit. ITT subjects on 3.0 g/day maca had a significant improvement in ASEX (from 22.8+/-3.8 to 16.9+/-6.2; z=-2.20, P=0.028) and in MGH-SFQ scores (from 24.1+/-1.9 to 17.0+/-5.7; z=-2.39, P=0.017), but subjects on 1.5 g/day maca did not. Libido improved significantly (P<0.05) for the ITT and completer groups based on ASEX item #1, but not by dosing groups. Maca was well tolerated. Maca root may alleviate SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction, and there may be a dose-related effect. Maca may also have a beneficial effect on libido.
"Future management options may be extended through the development of new antidepressant treatments with a lower risk of causing sexual problems. These could include compounds with effects on the 5-HT1A receptor, or with noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor properties or even complementary approaches, such as the use of S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) , Maca root (Peruvian Ginseng) , or saffron . At present, the evidence relating to the effects of drugs acting on the 5-HT1A receptor is intriguing: the partial agonist buspirone has been used to reduce sexual dysfunction associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [64, 65], and the partial agonist gepirone improves sexual functioning in depressed men, independent of antidepressant or anxiolytic effects . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pleasurable sexual activity is an essential component of many human relationships, providing a sense of physical, psychological, and social well-being. Epidemiological and clinical studies show that depressive symptoms and depressive illness are associated with impairments in sexual function and satisfaction, both in untreated and treated patients. The findings of randomized placebo-controlled trials demonstrate that most of the currently available antidepressant drugs are associated with the development or worsening of sexual dysfunction, in a substantial proportion of patients. Sexual difficulties during antidepressant treatment often resolve as depression lifts but can endure over long periods and may reduce self-esteem and affect mood and relationships adversely. Sexual dysfunction during antidepressant treatment is typically associated with many possible causes, but the risk and type of dysfunction vary with differing compounds and should be considered when making decisions about the relative merits and drawbacks of differing antidepressants. A range of interventions can be considered when managing patients with sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressants, including the prescription of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, but none of these approaches can be considered "ideal." As treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction is less frequent with certain drugs, presumably related to differences in their pharmacological properties, and because current management approaches are less than ideal, a reduced burden of treatment-emergent sexual dysfunction represents a tolerability target in the development of novel antidepressants.
Depression research and treatment 02/2013; 2013(2):256841. DOI:10.1155/2013/256841
"A study was not included in the systematic review because no placebo effect was assessed . In such study, maca was administered in two doses (1.5 g/day and 3–0 g/day) to patients with selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor-(SSRI-)induced sexual dysfunction. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lepidium meyenii
(maca) is a Peruvian plant of the Brassicaceae family cultivated for more than 2000 years, which grows exclusively in the central Andes between 4000 and 4500 m altitude. Maca is used as a food supplement and also for its medicinal properties described traditionally. Since the 90s of the XX century, an increasing interest in products from maca has been observed in many parts of the world. In the last decade, exportation of maca from Peru has increased from 1,415,000 USD in 2001 to USD 6,170,000 USD in 2010. Experimental scientific evidence showed that maca has nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties, and it acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, memory and learning, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation. Clinical trials showed efficacy of maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2012; 2012(1741-427X):193496. DOI:10.1155/2012/193496 · 1.88 Impact Factor
"The literature searches revealed 88 articles, of which 84 had to be excluded (Figure 1). Among these, one RCT was excluded because it compared two different dosages  and another because it reported different outcome measures from one trial . One trial was excluded because of the absence of a control group . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an Andean plant of the brassica (mustard) family. Preparations from maca root have been reported to improve sexual function. The aim of this review was to assess the clinical evidence for or against the effectiveness of the maca plant as a treatment for sexual dysfunction.
We searched 17 databases from their inception to April 2010 and included all randomised clinical trials (RCTs) of any type of maca compared to a placebo for the treatment of healthy people or human patients with sexual dysfunction. The risk of bias for each study was assessed using Cochrane criteria, and statistical pooling of data was performed where possible. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validations were performed independently by two authors. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion by the two authors.
Four RCTs met all the inclusion criteria. Two RCTs suggested a significant positive effect of maca on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women or healthy adult men, respectively, while the other RCT failed to show any effects in healthy cyclists. The further RCT assessed the effects of maca in patients with erectile dysfunction using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction-5 and showed significant effects.
The results of our systematic review provide limited evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving sexual function. However, the total number of trials, the total sample size, and the average methodological quality of the primary studies were too limited to draw firm conclusions. More rigorous studies are warranted.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 08/2010; 10(1):44. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-10-44 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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