Effect of chronic treatment with three varieties of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on reproductive parameters and DNA quantification in adult male rats

Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
Andrologia (Impact Factor: 1.63). 09/2007; 39(4):151-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2007.00783.x
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to evaluate the chronic effect of different varieties of Lepidium meyenii (Red Maca, Yellow Maca and Black Maca). Male rats were treated by gavage with aqueous extract of each variety of maca equivalent to 1 g hypocotyl kg(-1) body weight (BW) for 84 days. At the end of the treatment, daily sperm production (DSP), epididymal sperm count (ESC) and sperm count in vas deferens (SCVD) were assessed. In addition, testis DNA quantification was also determined. Any toxic effect was assessed in liver and spleen by histological studies. The results indicate that Yellow Maca and Black Maca improved ESC and that three varieties of maca increased the SCVD without affecting DSP. Moreover, testis DNA levels were not affected by treatment with any of the three varieties of maca. Histological picture of the liver in animals treated with the three varieties of maca was similar to that observed in controls. In conclusion, Yellow and Black Maca increased epididymal sperm count after 84 days of treatment without affecting DSP. Maca seems to act as a modulator of sperm count at the reproductive tract level.

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    • "Different varieties of maca have been characterized according to the color of its hypocotyls (Valerio & Gonzales, 2005). Among them, black variety of maca has the greatest beneficial effect on sperm production (Gasco et al., 2007; Gonzales GF et al., 2006; Yucra et al., 2008). Treatment of male rats with black maca (BM) for 7 d increased sperm count in testis, epididymis and vas deferens (Gonzales C et al., 2006; Gonzales GF et al., 2006; Yucra et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract We investigated the effect of a mixture of two extracts from both Peruvian plants given alone or in a mixture on reproductive function sperm count and glycemia in streptozotocin-diabetic mice. Normal or diabetic mice were divided in groups receiving vehicle, black maca (Lepidium meyenii), yacon (Smallanthus Sonchifolius), or three mixtures of extracts black maca/yacon (90/10, 50/50, 10/90). Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin. Normal or diabetic mice were treated for 7 days with each extract, mixture or vehicle. Glycemia, daily sperm production (DSP), epididymal and vas deferens sperm counts in mice and polyphenol content, and anti-oxidant activity in each extract were assessed. Black maca (BM), yacon and the mixture of extracts reduced glucose levels in diabetic mice. Non-diabetic treated with BM and yacon showed higher DSP than those treated with vehicle (P<0.05). Diabetic mice treated with BM, yacon, and the mixture maca/yacon increased DSP, and sperm count in vas deferens and epididymis with respect to non-diabetic and diabetic mice treated with vehicle (P<0.05). Yacon has 3.05 times higher polyphenol content than in maca and this was associated with higher anti-oxidant activity. The combination of two extracts improved glycemic level and male reproductive function in diabetic mice. Streptozotocin increased 1.43 times the liver weight that was reversed with the assessed plants extracts. In summary, streptozotocin-induced diabetes resulted in reduction in sperm counts and liver damage. These effects could be reduced with black maca, yacon and the mixture black maca+yacon.
    Toxicology mechanisms and methods 03/2013; 23(7). DOI:10.3109/15376516.2013.785656 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    • "Results in rats show that different types of maca (black, red, and yellow) have no acute toxicity at ≤17 g of dried hypocotyls/kg BW. Rats treated chronically for 84 days with 1 g/Kg BW showed no side effects and a histological picture of liver similar to that observed in controls [74]. As usual doses in rats are 1-2 g/Kg BW, it is suggested that maca is safe. "
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    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
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    ABSTRACT: There is a large variety of food products intended for athletes and sportsmen on the market. These products are often advertised with claims such as enhancement of performance, ability for regeneration, or even with an influence on hormonal balance. In recent years, the number of such products marketed on the internet has been considerably increased. In this study, we have examined the marketing of `sports food' offered on the internet with special focus on products that are advertised as hormone-modulating or pharmaceutically active. Of the 79 controlled products, 44 (56 %) contained herbal ingredients such as Lepidium meyenii, Avena sativa, Tribulus terrestris or Trigonella foenum-graecum. The advertised effects of these herbs are in most cases scientifically unproven. An additional 17 products (22 %) contained pharmaceutically active substances in an inadmissible manner, including dehydroepiandrosterone, its 7-keto derivative, and somatotropine as well as some traditional herbal medicines such as extracts of Serenoa repens or of Mucuna pruriens, which contains L-dopa. To protect athletes from health risks as well as from financial fraud, procedures should be developed to place a high priority on controlling the grey market for such products on the internet.
    Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau: Zeitschrift für Lebensmittelkunde und Lebensmittelrecht 09/2008; 104:415-422. · 0.03 Impact Factor
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