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Abstract

Introduction: Maca (Lepidium meyenii) belongs to the Brassicaceae family and it grows in Peru´s central Andes above 4000 and 4500 meters of altitude from the sea level. The plant belongs to the brassica (mustard) family and the Lepidium genus. Its closest relatives are rapeseed, mustard, turnip, and cabbage. Maca has multiple clinical applications like proactive against cancer, libido maintenance, menopause, and fertility. There are several mechanisms the Maca could impact at fertility problems.The increase of Luteinizing hormone (LH), increase the semen quality and improve sexual development in male, and at female, increases the libido and improve menopause symptoms with a possible influence at germ cell quality. Objectives: To describe the impact of consuming Maca involve an improve at fertility. Methods: Literature search was performed in PubMed from January 2000 to May 2017 using the search terms child obesity and: infertility, Maca, ovulation, spermatogenesis. Keywords: Maca; Fertility; Germ cells Volume 6 Issue 5 - 2017 Research Article 1CSIHM Centro de Salud Integral del Hombre y la mujer, Mexico 2ART Reproduccion, México 3Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico Conclusion: Maca consumption can improve the quality of both germs cells enlightening the fertility. More clinical studies are need to know the doses and direct the effect of the microenvironment in germ cells having a positive impact on reproduction in both genders.
Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering
Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility
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Volume 6 Issue 5 - 2017
1CSIHM Centro de Salud Integral del Hombre y la mujer,
Mexico
2ART Reproduccion, México
3Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de
México, Mexico
*Corresponding author: Zoraida Axtle Serrano, Department
of Nutrition and Metabolism, CSIHM Centro de Salud Integral
del Hombre y la mujer, Tehuantepec 251 cons 506, México
City, México, Tel: (011)5541652834;
Email:
Received: June 05, 2017 | Published: June 12, 2017
Research Article
J Nutr Health Food Eng 2017, 6(5): 00217
Abstract
Introduction: Maca (Lepidium meyenii) belongs to the Brassicaceae family and
it grows in Peru´s central Andes above 4000 and 4500 meters of altitude from the
sea level. The plant belongs to the brassica (mustard) family and the Lepidium
genus. Its closest relatives are rapeseed, mustard, turnip, and cabbage. Maca has
multiple clinical applications like proactive against cancer, libido maintenance,
menopause, and fertility. There are several mechanisms the Maca could impact at
fertility problems.The increase of Luteinizing hormone (LH), increase the semen
quality and improve sexual development in male, and at female, increases the
libido and improve menopause symptoms with a possible influence at germ cell
quality.
Objectives: To describe the impact of consuming Maca involve an improve at
fertility.
Methods: Literature search was performed in PubMed from January 2000 to
May 2017 using the search terms child obesity and: infertility, Maca, ovulation,
spermatogenesis.
Conclusion: Maca consumption can improve the quality of both germs cells
enlightening the fertility. More clinical studies are need to know the doses and
direct the effect of the microenvironment in germ cells having a positive impact
on reproduction in both genders.
Keywords: Maca; Fertility; Germ cells
Introduction
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) belongs to the Brassicaceae family
and it grows in Peru´s central Andes above 4000 and 4500 meters
of altitude from the sea level. The plant belongs to the brassica
(mustard) family and the Lepidium genus. Its closest relatives are
rapeseed, mustard, turnip, and cabbage.
The underground part of the plant, the tuber, is the main
product used for human consumption. There are several varieties,
and its major phenotypes are yellow, red, and black and it seems
that depends of the type of soil where it is cultivated [1]. The
biologic activity of the plant is in the hypocotyl which grows inside
the land as a bulbous material. Its potential bioactive ingredients
in maca include macadirine, macamides, macaene, glucosinolates,
maca alkaloid and maca nutrients [2]. Glucosinolates are the most
important metabolites in maca because of their biological activity
against cancer. Alkaloids have been studied as the main stimulators
of ovarian follicles on female rats and enhancing spermatogenesis
on males, increasing spermatozoids on seminiferous tubes and
mitosis [3].
Several articles describe its wide clinical use, like improving
sexual function, treatment of neurological disorders such as
anxiety, depression, and memory loss. The most studied effect is
the enhancing of fertility and as an aphrodisiac. The focus of several
studies is to improve the symptoms of menopause, reproduction,
and hormone balance on female. In male, the improvement of
sperm function, nevertheless the level of evidence is limited.
Lepidium Meyenii on Spermatogenesis
Black maca increases spermiation stages (VII - VIII) and
germinal cells mitosis (IX - XI). Such as the daily sperm production
and epididymal count of sperm without affecting testosterone,
luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
levels. Maca may also regulate apoptosis in these stages increasing
the number of sperm released during spermiation. This may
explain why epididymal sperm count is increased as early as three
days after treatment with maca [4].
The lack of testosterone response suggests that bioavailable
testosterone or testosterone receptor binding might be
augmented. Maca may also acts without participation of androgen

by Maca, a target for androgen action [5].
Studies suggest that maca regulates sperm count by
maintaining the balance between oxidant and antioxidant status
[6]. The aphrodisiac activity has been related to its lipidic fraction,
which contains mainly fatty acids and macamides. These are used
to assess the quality of maca products [7].
Probably the most relevant studies on the effects of maca on
testicular gene expression for luteinizing hormone receptor,
steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, and steroidogenic
enzymes determines that maca increases testicular mRNA level for
3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3-HSD) an enzyme related
to androgen production. Enhanced activity of 3-HSD could
increase androstenedione, a precursor of testosterone, increasing
Citation: Sánchez JML, Serrano ZA, Durán JA, Morales HSG, Álvarez PBM (2017) Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility. J Nutr Health Food Eng
6(5): 00217. DOI: 10.15406/jnhfe.2017.06.00217
Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility 2/3
Copyright:
©2017 Sánchez et al.
production of testosterone, this also may be related to changes
in the activity of reactive oxygen species [3]. A recent study [8]
where they feed maca extracts for long period times stated the
same results of transient testosterone increase by Leydig cells,
suggesting that maca may alleviate the decline in steroidogenic
ability of Leydig cells with ageing [8]. The ecotypes have different
biological effects.

administration of Red Maca whereas the Black and Yellow Maca
did not present this effect. Suggesting that Red Maca prevented
the increase in prostate size. They also showed an increase in
daily sperm production after long and short term treatment (7
to 42 days) with Black Maca. Yellow Maca increased epididymal
sperm count. Black Maca increased daily sperm production and
        
treatment for male infertility [9]. Aqueos extract of black maca
improved memory impairment by its antioxidant and acetyl
cholinesterase inhibitory activities. The antioxidant capacity
of maca has been demonstrated. Increased cell viability and
decreased cell cytotoxicity in cells pretreated with the extract of

Lepidium Meyenii on Female Fertility
Maca promotes optimal functioning of the hypothalamus
and the pituitary, thereby improving the functioning of all the
endocrine glands. It has been recorded the balance effects on
FSH, estradiol and progesterone. Also, restricting weight increase,
lowering triglycerides in blood plasma and increasing phosphorus
and calcium deposition in bone and muscle tissues.
The alkaloids present in Maca are non-steroid compounds,
which are characterized by better tolerance by women who use
it. It´s well documented that maca stimulates or contributes
to the regulatory mechanism for secretion of the quantity of
estrogen above 30pg/ml [8], reducing menopausal discomfort.
Simultaneously had a distinctive tendency to lower FSH. Maca
appears to have positive effect on depression with a sedative effect
as well. This effect has been associated with lowering cortisol and
ACTH levels [11].
Administration of Maca has been reported to increase serum
levels of FSH, estradiol, progesterone, and ACTH on perimenopausal
women. Also, the symptoms on menopausal women seem to
be improved [12]. Other studies have demonstrated that Maca
intake enhances LH serum levels during the LH surge but not
the pulsate phase in female rats. This effect promotes ovulation
trough pituitary function of the Hypophysis Pituitary Gonad axis.
Supporting the traditional use of Maca to enhance fertility [13].
There are several studies describing fertility improvement when
Maca is administered by eliminating free radicals and generating
an anti-oxidant function, mainly because of its metabolites the
alkaloids and glycosylates. This and the enhancing of LH serum
levels may be the mechanisms that improve fertility [14].
In each study that describes the effects on menopause
symptoms, suggest that Maca is more effective than placebo.
Most of them lack rigorous trial exams and are burdened with

trials didn’t allow a clear interpretation of the results as others

Conclusion
Peruvian Maca (Lepidium meyenii) have several possible
uses, as we mention for improving sexual function, and fertility
      
(LH) concentrations. With that the Maca consumption improves
at female menopause, reproduction, and hormone balance. In
male, the improvement of sperm function, nevertheless the level
of evidence is limited. This suggests the effectiveness of Maca but
more systematic clinical studies are needed.
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Citation: Sánchez JML, Serrano ZA, Durán JA, Morales HSG, Álvarez PBM (2017) Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility. J Nutr Health Food Eng
6(5): 00217. DOI: 10.15406/jnhfe.2017.06.00217
Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility 3/3
Copyright:
©2017 Sánchez et al.
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... humans to enhance the ovarian capacity and other reproductive fertility potential status and to minimize the coast and side effects of using fertility drugs. Introduction Comparison of oocytes maturation status and total number of oocytes between female mice age (8) and (28) Changes in pups weight of treated female mice (second generation) 119 3.11 Study of pups (first generation) DNA damage by Comet Assay 120 3.11.1 DNA damage in cells of pups of 8 weeks old treated mother mice. 121 3.11.2 ...
... 80 Table 13 Comparison of maturation status of mice oocytes between mice age (8) and (28) weeks old 82 Table 14 Mean value of mature follicles, growing follicles, atretic follicles and corpus luteum in mice age 8 weeks old. ...
... 90 Table 15 Mean value of mature follicles, growing follicles, atretic follicles and corpus luteum in mice age 28 weeks old. 98 X Table 16 Embryonic development in mice age (8)weeks old 100 Table 17 Embryonic development in mice age (28)weeks old . ...
... Excess E2 levels can cause P4 levels to become too low, known as E2 dominance [88]. Administration of maca may help balance the E2/P4 ratio, leading to potential increased female fertility and achieving a healthy pregnancy in treated animals [89] by eliminating FR and generating an antioxidant function, mainly due to its metabolites (alkaloids and glycosylates) [90]. ...
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Roots of cruciferous plant Lepidium peruvianum Chacon cultivated in high plateaus of Andes and known under its common name Maca, have been traditionally-used as an energizing vegetable with therapeutic properties for both men and women. Maca has been recognized by natives of Peru as herbal remedy helping to treat conditions affecting menopausal women. The effects of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Maca-GO) on quantitative physiological responses and alleviation of symptoms contributing to menopausal discomfort in perimenopausal women was examined. IN THIS, FOUR MONTHS, DOUBLE BLIND, CROSSOVER, RANDOMIZED PILOT TRIAL, MONTHLY MEASUREMENTS OF THE FOLLOWING BLOOD SERUM CONSTITUENTS WERE TAKEN: Estrogen (E2), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Progesterone (PGS), Cortisol (CT), Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), Thyroid Hormones (TSH, T3, T4), minerals (Ca, K, Fe) and lipid profile (Triglicerides, Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL). In monthly interviews conducted by gynecologist, body weight and blood pressure were registered and Menopausal Index according to Kupperman's was determined. Toxicity of Maca -GO determined on rats showed its safe use at the level of 7.5mg/kg body weight. A group of 20 women (aged 41-50 years), who fulfilled criteria of being in perimenopausal stage (E2 above 40pg/ml and FSH below 30IU/ml), were randomly allocated to two even groups, one receiving for two months Maca-GO and the other Placebo capsules followed by a crossover with treatment change for another two months period. All participants signed informed consent to participate. Two 500mg hard capsules with Maca-GO or Placebo were self-administered by participants twice daily with meals (total 2g/day). Two months administration of Maca-GO significantly alleviated symptoms of discomfort observed in majority of women involved in the study (74%-87%) as assessed by Kupperman's Menopausal index. This was associated with significant increase in E2 and FSH, Progesterone and ACTH levels, and reduction in blood pressure, body weight, Triglycerides and Cholesterol levels. There was a distinctive placebo effect observed at the beginning of the study. The results showed that in addition to reduction in body weight, blood pressure and increasing serum HDL and Iron, pre-gelatinized Maca-GO may be a valuable non-hormonal plant preparation for balancing levels of hormones (FSH, E2, PG and ACTH) and alleviating negative physiological and psychological symptoms (frequency of hot flushes, incidence in night sweating, interrupted sleep pattern, nervousness, depression and heart palpitations) experienced by women in perimenopausal stage. It appears that Maca-GO may act as a toner of hormonal processes, leading to alleviation of discomfort felt by perimenopausal women, hence, its potential use as non-hormonal alternative to HRT program.
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Although feeding diets containing the extract powder of Lepidium meyenii (maca), a plant growing in Peru's Central Andes, increases serum testosterone concentration associated with enhanced ability of testosterone production by Leydig cells in male rats, changes in testicular steroidogenesis-related factors by the maca treatment are not known. This study examined the effects of maca on testicular gene expressions for luteinizing hormone receptor, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein and steroidogenic enzymes. Eight-week-old male rats were given the diets with or without (control) the maca extract powder (2%) for 6 weeks, and mRNA levels were determined by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR. The results showed that the testicular mRNA level of HSD3B1 (3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; 3β-HSD) increased by the treatment, whereas the levels of the other factors examined did not change. These results suggest that increased expression of 3β-HSD gene may be involved in the enhanced steroidogenic ability by the maca treatment in rat testes.
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The aim of this review was to assess the evidence for the effectiveness of maca (Lepidium meyenii) in improving semen quality. We searched 11 databases from their inception to March 2016 and included all clinical trials on the improvement of semen quality parameters in infertile and healthy men, regardless of the study design or the type of maca. The risk of bias for each study was assessed using the Cochrane criteria. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by the first two authors. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion by the same two authors. Five studies − 3 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 2 uncontrolled observational studies (UOSs) − met all of the inclusion criteria. One RCT found favorable effects of maca on sperm mobility in infertile men. The two other RCTs showed positive effects of maca on several semen quality parameters in healthy men. The two UOSs also suggested favorable effects of maca on semen quality. The results of our systematic review provide suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of maca in improving semen quality. However, the total number of trials, the total sample size, and the risk of bias of the included studies prevent the drawing firm conclusions. More rigorous studies are warranted.
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