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Maca Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Functions

Discover the Function, Sources and Benefits of the Health Supplement Ingredient Maca, or Lepidium Meyenii

Maca – also known as Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum – is a plant that is native to Peru and found in the high Andes. While it is sometimes called “Peruvian ginseng,” maca is not related to the ginseng plant; rather, it is a cruciferous root vegetable in the same family as mustard, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Maca extract or powder is often used as an ingredient in select health and bodybuilding supplements, such as Somatropinne HGH, Ana-GH and Testosterone Plus.

Functions of Maca

The nutritional value of maca has long been recognized in both traditional and modern cultures, and these nutritional properties underlie maca’s reputation for enhancing energy, strength and endurance. Powdered maca is estimated to contain 59% carbohydrates, 8.5% fiber and more than 10% protein. It is also a good source of vitamins and essential amino acids, and is particularly high in iron and Vitamin C. Maca has been shown to improve sexual performance and fertility in both animals and humans. Its fertility-enhancing effects are believed to result from aromatic isothiocyanates hydrolyzed from glucosinolates, while its libido-boosting properties are attributed to the prostaglandins, sterols and amides of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Maca also supports the immune system and overall health through its antiviral and antioxidant properties.

Sources of Maca

Maca is grown and harvested in the Peruvian Andes, which is generally the only place where fresh maca is consumed. In Peru, the root may be roasted or boiled; it is often made into a porridge (mazamorra) and its flour is used for bread, cakes and pancakes. Maca root is also used in a fermented beverage known as macha chicha, and its leaves may be eaten either raw or cooked. Outside of its immediate growing region, maca root is typically sold dried, in powder/flour form or as gelatinized maca. Supplements may contain extracts made from dried roots, maca flour or gelatinized maca.

Maca Benefits and Uses

As a food source or dietary supplement, maca has excellent nutritional value that may help increase energy, strength and endurance. It also promotes overall health and wellbeing through its antiviral and antioxidant activity. One of the most common uses of maca is to support sexual health; it has been documented to have aphrodisiacal and fertility-enhancing properties, including increased sperm count and motility in males. Some studies have indicated maca can improve menopausal symptoms, and reduce blood pressure and depression in postmenopausal women.

Side Effects of Maca and Potential Interactions

Maca supplements are generally considered safe for healthy adults; no side effects or interactions have been reported at dosages of up to 3 grams per day. However, some medical professionals advise women with hormone-sensitive conditions to avoid using maca, since it can potentially worsen breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

More detailed safety information on maca side effects and interactions can be found on WebMD. As with any medication or health supplement, it is best to consult your physician before taking dietary supplements containing maca.

Maca Research and Studies

Numerous studies have examined maca’s effects on various medical conditions as well as its impact on overall health and athletic performance. While further clinical research is needed to evaluate its effectiveness for many of these uses, animal and human studies have strongly supported maca’s aphrodisiacal and fertility-enhancing effects.

Two separate animal studies published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology explored maca’s impact on the sexual health of rats; their findings revealed that maca improved several measures of sexual behavior while black maca increased daily sperm counts and sperm motility. Other research has shown that maca has similar effects on humans. An article in the Asian Journal of Andrology reported that maca increased seminal volume, sperm count per ejaculum, motile sperm count and sperm motility in adult men. BioMed Central (BMC) Complementary & Alternative Medicine published a systematic review of random clinical trials; the authors found that maca improved sexual performance in patients with erectile dysfunction and had a significant positive effect on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women or healthy adult men.

Beyond its abilities to increase sexual desire and performance, maca has been shown to benefit women in several ways. A systematic review published in Maturitas reported that maca demonstrated favorable effects on menopausal symptoms, while a study featured in Climacteric noted significant decreases in blood pressure and depression in postmenopausal women. Furthermore, maca was also found to have an antidepressant effect on mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress, according to research featured in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Many believe that maca has positive effects on athletic performance, metabolism and post-workout recovery, though further clinical trials are needed to conclusively support these benefits. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated maca’s effect on the sexual desire and athletic performance of trained male cyclists, and determined that maca supplementation improved both sexual desire and cycling time trial performance. An animal study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition stated that maca polysaccharides had a positive effect on lipid and glucose metabolism in rats – significantly decreasing the levels of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol; lowering the level of triacylglycerols in the plasma, VLDL and liver; and reducing glucose levels in blood.

Finally, several studies have shown that maca supports the immune system and overall health through its antiviral and antioxidant properties. The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine reported that maca exhibits antiviral activity against human influenza type A and B viruses (Flu-A and Flu-B), “providing remarkable therapeutic benefits.” Maca’s antioxidant activity has been recorded in numerous publications, including Carbohydrate Polymers and Food Chemistry.

For additional Maca research, refer to the PubMed site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

HGH.com Supplements With Maca

Athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts can take advantage of maca’s nutritional and health benefits through natural fitness and bodybuilding supplements from HGH.com:

Somatropinne HGH – Purity Select’s natural Somatropinne HGH capsules contain a proprietary blend of plant extracts. As an over-the-counter HGH releaser, this supplement is formulated to help athletes build lean muscle and gain increased energy. It is also designed to provide weight-loss and anti-aging benefits.

Ana-GH – Each serving of Ana-GH contains L-group amino acids and other natural ingredients, including maca and horny goat weed. This supplement is intended to jumpstart bulking cycles by promoting muscle mass and weight gains while improving protein synthesis and contributing to joint and muscle repair.

Testosterone Plus – Purity Select’s HGH Testosterone Plus features a proprietary blend of maca, long jack, ginkgo biloba and other natural ingredients. These capsules are formulated to help build muscle, aid in muscle recovery and boost energy while delivering sexual health benefits such as improved libido and stamina.

References (Function, Sources, Benefits/Uses and Side Effects/Interactions):

Balick, Michael J. and Roberta Lee. “Maca: From Traditional Food Crop to Energy and Libido Stimulant”; Alternative Therapies; March/April 2002. <http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/pdfs/mb/Maca_Mar_Apr_2002.pdf>

Bruno, Gene. “Maca”; Smart Supplementation, published by Huntington College of Health Sciences; 2000. <http://www.hchs.edu/literature/Maca.pdf>

Examine.com. “Maca”; published under “Supplements”; accessed May 26, 2015. <http://examine.com/supplements/Maca>

Johannes, Laura. “Maca: Can a Root Boost Energy and Sex Drive?”; The Wall Street Journal; December 22, 2014. <http://www.wsj.com/articles/maca-can-a-root-boost-energy-and-sex-drive-1419275240>

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Maca”; published under “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products” within Integrative Medicine area of website; last updated April 20, 2013; accessed May 26, 2015. <https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/maca>

WebMD and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Maca”; published under “Vitamins & Supplements”; accessed May 26, 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-555-maca.aspx?activeIngredientId=555&activeIngredientName=maca&source=1>

Research Sources:

Ai, Zhong; Ai-Fang Cheng; et al. “Antidepressant-Like Behavioral, Anatomical, and Biochemical Effects of Petroleum Ether Extract from Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) in Mice Exposed to Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress”; Journal of Medicinal Food; May 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24730393>

Cicero, A.F.G.; E. Bandieri; and R. Arletti. “Lepidium Meyenii Walp. Improves Sexual Behaviour in Male Rats Independently From Its Action on Spontaneous Locomotor Activity”; Journal of Ethnopharmacology; May 2001. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11297856>

del Valle Mendoza, Juana; Tomàs Pumarolab; et al. “Antiviral Activity of Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) Against Human Influenza Virus”; Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine; September 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25312160>

Gonzales, Carla; Julio Rubio; et al. “Effect of Short-Term and Long-Term Treatments With Three Ecotypes of Lepidium Meyenii (MACA) on Spermatogenesis in Rats”; Journal of Ethnopharmacology; February 20, 2006. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16174556>

Gonzales, Gustavo F.; Amanda Cordova; et al. “Lepidium Meyenii (Maca) Improved Semen Parameters in Adult Men”; Asian Journal of Andrology; December 2001. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11753476>

Lee, Myeong Soo; Byung-Cheul Shin; et al. “Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) for Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic review”; Maturitas; November 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21840656>

Sandoval, Manuel; Nataly N. Okuhama; et al. “Antioxidant Activity of the Cruciferous Vegetable Maca (Lepidium Meyenii)”; Food Chemistry; November 2002. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814602001334>

Shin, Byung-Cheul; Myeong Soo Lee; et al. “Maca (L. Meyenii) for Improving Sexual Function: A Systematic Review”; BioMed Central (BMC) Complementary & Alternative Medicine; August 6, 2010. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20691074>

Stojanovska, Lily; C. Law; et al. “Maca Reduces Blood Pressure and Depression, in a Pilot Study in Postmenopausal Women”; Climacteric; February 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24931003>

Stone, Mark; Alvin Ibarra; et al. “A Pilot Investigation Into the Effect of Maca Supplementation on Physical Activity and Sexual Desire in Sportsmen”; Journal of Ethnopharmacology; December 10, 2009. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19781622>

Večeřa, Rostislav; Jan Orolin; et al. “The Influence of Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) on Antioxidant Status, Lipid and Glucose Metabolism in Rat”; Plant Foods for Human Nutrition; June 2007. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17333395>

Zha, Shenghua; Qingsheng Zhao; et al. “Extraction, Purification and Antioxidant Activities of the Polysaccharides From Maca (Lepidium Meyenii)”; Carbohydrate Polymers; October 13, 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25037390>






Sensoril® Ashwagandha Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Functions

Function, Sources and Benefits of the Health Supplement Ingredient Sensoril® Optimized Ashwagandha Extract

Sensoril® is a standardized extract of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as winter cherry or Indian ginseng. According to its manufacturer, NutraGenesis, multi-patented Sensoril ashwagandha extract is clinically proven and contains the highest, most potent levels of ashwagandha bioactive constituents in the industry. Ashwagandha is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine and is believed to possess a wide range of health benefits, from stress-relief to cancer-fighting properties. Sensoril ashwagandha extract is used in health, beauty and skin care supplements, such as Female Hormone Balancer and Skin Perfect Hair, Skin and Nails.

Functions of Ashwagandha

The chemical constituents of ashwagandha include steroidal lactones called withanolides (12-deoxywithastramonolide, withanolide-A and withaferin-A), along with alkanoids (anaferine and isopelletierine), saponins (sitoindoside VII and VIII) and iron. These active constituents appear to have beneficial effects in relation to physical, mental and emotional health, including adaptogenic properties that aid the body in handling daily stress.

Sources of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha extract is derived from the Withania somnifera plant, which is more commonly known as ashwagandha. It is sometimes called winter cherry (one of several plants known by that name) or Indian ginseng, although it is not related to the ginseng plant. The roots and leaves of Withania somnifera are most commonly used in ashwagandha extract, though the plant’s berries, seeds and shoots may also be used for medicinal purposes.

Ashwagandha Benefits and Uses

As a dietary supplement ingredient, ashwagandha is usually taken orally to help reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy, enhance concentration and mental acuity, promote restful sleep, reduce swelling and inflammation, support the immune system and cardiovascular health, assist in weight management and protect against the visible signs of aging. Ashwagandha is sometimes applied to the skin as an analgesic (pain reliever) and to treat wounds.

Research also suggests that ashwagandha may be useful in treating a variety of medical conditions. There is some evidence that it may reduce blood-sugar levels in diabetics, lower cholesterol in patients with high cholesterol, and improve attention and impulse control in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It has been credited with treating the symptoms of arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, and it may be useful in treating infertility. Notably, ashwagandha shows promise as a cancer treatment. Studies have indicated that it contributes to reduced growth of cancer cells in the breast, central nervous system, colon and lungs while enhancing radiosensitivity during radiation therapy and increasing white blood cell counts during radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Side Effects of Ashwagandha and Potential Interactions

Supplements containing ashwagandha are generally considered safe for most adults, though women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid ashwagandha as it may induce a miscarriage. Users with sensitivity to ashwagandha might experience an upset stomach or nausea. Since ashwagandha can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, individuals with stomach ulcers should avoid it.

Ashwagandha’s beneficial effects may be amplified when taken in combination with certain medications, which can have adverse results for some patients. For example, because ashwagandha can lower blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, it may interfere with blood-pressure and diabetes medications, causing blood pressure or blood-sugar levels to drop too low. Since it has been shown to trigger increased activity in the immune system, ashwagandha may exacerbate symptoms in people with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) or lupus, and it may decrease the effectiveness of immunosuppressant medications. Ashwagandha can increase thyroid hormone levels and interact with thyroid medication, so individuals with thyroid disorders should exercise caution when taking supplements with ashwagandha extract. And while ashwagandha promotes restful sleep, it can cause heavy drowsiness when taken in combination with sedative medications such as benzodiazepines and central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

More detailed safety information on ashwagandha side effects and interactions can be found on WebMD. As with any medication or health supplement, it is best to consult your physician before taking supplements containing Sensoril or ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha Research and Studies

A number of studies have been conducted concerning ashwagandha and its impact on emotional well-being and cognitive function. A group of researchers tested the impact of naturopathic care – including ashwagandha extract – on individuals with moderate to severe anxiety. The results of the study, which appeared in PLOS ONE, indicated that the subjects who took ashwagandha had significantly lower levels of anxiety and demonstrated improvements in mental health, concentration, fatigue, social functioning, vitality and overall quality of life. An article published in Pharmacognosy Research examined the effects of Withania somnifera extract on cognitive and psychomotor performance in humans, and determined that study participants taking Sensoril capsules exhibited significant improvements in both cognitive and psychomotor performance.

Another major area of study has been the use of ashwagandha in cancer research. Studies published in Life Sciences and Clinical Cancer Research found that ashwagandha leaf extract may prevent or decrease the growth of several types of tumors – including cancer cells in the breast, central nervous system, colon and lungs – without impacting normal cells. A 2011 article in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines summarized a number of medical studies featuring ashwagandha, from its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties to its neuroregenerative and anxiolytic potential. For additional research related to ashwagandha, refer to the PubMed site sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

HGH.com and Skin Perfect Supplements With Sensoril Ashwagandha

Individuals seeking to leverage the beneficial effects of Sensoril optimized ashwagandha extract can find this natural ingredient in health, beauty and skin care supplements from HGH.com and Skin Perfect:

Purity Select Female Hormone Balancer – Sensoril ashwagandha extract is one of the 25 active ingredients in Female Hormone Balancer. Ashwagandha supports emotional well-being, stress-relief and mood-enhancement, while other ingredients in the supplement help to balance estrogen levels, reduce hot flashes and PMS symptoms, and stimulate metabolism and weight loss.

Skin Perfect Hair, Skin and Nails – With 30 active ingredients, this Skin Perfect supplement is designed to improve the condition and appearance of hair, skin and nails. The inclusion of Sensoril ashwagandha extract means that beyond these beauty and skin care benefits, the supplement also promotes mental clarity, concentration and alertness as well as emotional well-being.

References (Function, Sources, Benefits/Uses and Side Effects/Interactions):

Bruno, Gene. “Ashwaganha”; Smart Supplementation, published by Huntington College of Health Sciences; 2009. <http://www.hchs.edu/literature/Ashwaganda.pdf>

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Ashwagandha”; published under “About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products” within Integrative Medicine area of website; last updated December 21, 2011. <http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/ashwagandha>

WebMD and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. “Ashwagandha”; published under “Vitamins & Supplements”; accessed July 28, 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-953-ASHWAGANDHA.aspx?activeIngredientId=953&activeIngredientName=ASHWAGANDHA>

Research Sources:

Cooley, Kieran; Szczurko, Orest; et al. “Naturopathic Care for Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial”; PLOS ONE: A Peer-Reviewed, Open Access Journal; August 31, 2009. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729375/>

Jayaprakasam, Bolleddula; Zhang, Yanjun; et al. “Growth Inhibition of Human Tumor Cell Lines by Withanolides From Withania Somnifera Leaves”; Life Sciences; November 21, 2003. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14575818>

Pingali, Usharani; Pilli, Raveendranadh; and Fatima, Nishat. “Effect of Standardized Aqueous Extract of Withania Somnifera on Tests of Cognitive and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Participants”; Pharmacognosy Research; January–March 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897003/>

Singh, Narendra; Bhalla, Mohit; et al. “An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda”; African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines; July 3, 2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/>

Widodo, Nashi; Kaur, Kamaljit; et al. “Selective Killing of Cancer Cells by Leaf Extract of Ashwagandha: Identification of a Tumor-Inhibitory Factor and the First Molecular Insights to Its Effect”; Clinical Cancer Research; April 1, 2007. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17404115>




New Female Hormone Balancer | The Benefits to HGH.com's Female Hormone Balancer and How It Will Help You

Female Hormone Balancer | The Benefits to HGH.com's Female Hormone Balancer with Sensoril® and How It Will Help You

 

New from HGH.com

"Female Hormone Balancer"

It's time for the females to get very excited! Our first new supplement of 2014 is our Female Hormone support and balancer!

Hormone support and supplements play a very big role today due to a lot of advances in science, and how these significant discoveries allow us to benefit from them. We at HGH.com have been a leader in various supplements for a long time, and based on clinically proven ingredients and other research, we have created our new Female Hormone Balancer, which will benefit women of all ages (over 18). We're very excited for this seemingly all-encompassing vitamin supplement, and so should you!

Benefits to our Female Hormone Balancer

There's a handful of benefits to our newest female supplement. Here's a short list:

  • Includes Sensoril®, a clinically proven ingredient to relieve negative effects of stress. Stress is a part of our everyday life. It stinks, and can cause physical harm to the body. Sensoril (r) is a multi-patented all natural extract that neutralizes stress, giving you the peace of mind and clarity that you deserve!;
  • Stimulates the body's metabolism, aiding in weight loss. We've taken aspects of our most successful weight loss supplements and put them into our Female Hormone Balancer as an added benefit. While its primary purpose is not for weight loss, increased metabolism is a benefit and can help you lose unwanted weight;
  • Breaks down harmful estrogen and balance the normal levels of estrogen;
  • Reduces PMS symptoms and hot flashes;
  • Active anti-oxidant, which helps support your body's natural defense system.

 

Use Female Hormone Balancer For The Following:

  1. Balance and Stabilize Hormone Levels;
  2. Stress Relief;
  3. PMS Symptom Relief;
  4. Break Down Harmful Estrogen / Balance Estrogen;
  5. Reduce Hot Flashes from PMS;
  6. Antioxidant;
  7. Increased Metabolism and Weight Loss;
  8. Mood Support.

Our new Female Hormone Balancer is available now to order now at http://www.hgh.com/female-hormone-balancer.aspx and will start shipping by mid to late February.

 

 

 

 

 







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