The maca plant has exploded in popularity in recent years.
It's actually a plant native to Peru, and is commonly available in powder form or as a supplement.
Maca root has traditionally been used to enhance fertility and sex drive.
It's also claimed to improve energy and stamina.
Maca is a medicinal plant that mainly grows high up in the mountains of Peru in harsh conditions.
Maca root powder is very nutritious, and is a great source of several important vitamins and minerals (2).
One ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder contains:
Carbs: 20 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
Copper: 85% of the RDI
Iron: 23% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
Manganese: 10% of the RDI
Reduced sexual desire is a common problem among adults.
Consequently, interest in herbs and plants that naturally boost libido is great.
Maca has been heavily marketed as being effective at improving sexual desire, and this claim is backed by research (
A review from 2010 that included four randomized clinical studies with a total of 131 participants found evidence that maca improves sexual desire after at least six weeks of ingestion (
When it comes to male fertility, sperm quality and quantity is very important.
There is some evidence that maca root increases men's fertility (
A recent review summarized the findings of five small studies. It showed that maca improved semen quality in both infertile and healthy men (
One of the studies reviewed included nine healthy men. After consuming maca for four months, researchers detected an increase in the volume, count and motility of sperm (
Maca root powder is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes.
It has been claimed to help you gain muscle, increase strength, boost energy and improve exercise performance.
Also, some animal studies indicate that it enhances endurance performance (17, 18, 19).
Moreover, one small study in eight male cyclists found that they improved the time it took them to complete a nearly 25-mile (40-km) bike ride after 14 days of supplementing with maca extract (
The prostate is a gland only found in men.
Enlargement of the prostate gland, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is common in aging men (
A larger prostate can cause various problems with passing urine, as it surrounds the tube through which urine is removed from the body.
Interestingly, a few studies in rodents suggest that red maca reduces prostate size (
It has been proposed that the effect of red maca on the prostate is linked to its high amount of glucosinolates. These substances are also associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer (
A large prostate is common among older men and can cause issues with urination. Animal studies suggest that red maca can reduce prostate size.