Maca root powder has been gaining popularity as a natural remedy for various health issues, including infertility and low sex drive.
However, some people have raised concerns about its potential impact on blood pressure. While some studies suggest that maca root powder may actually lower blood pressure, others have found the opposite effect.
So, what’s the truth?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the evidence and explore whether maca root powder raises blood pressure.
Does Maca Root Powder Raise Blood Pressure?
There have been conflicting findings regarding the effects of maca root powder on blood pressure. Some studies have suggested that maca root powder may actually lower blood pressure, while others have found the opposite effect.
One study published in the “Food and Chemical Toxicology” journal found that individuals taking 0.6 grams of maca powder each day experienced a moderate increase in diastolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure indicates the force of blood on the arteries between heartbeats. This could be especially problematic for someone already dealing with hypertension.
However, another study conducted in Chinese postmenopausal women found that maca root powder actually lowered diastolic blood pressure. The study involved 29 postmenopausal Hong Kong Chinese women who received 3.3 g/day of Maca or placebo for 6 weeks each, in either order, over 12 weeks. At baseline, week 6 and week 12, estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), full lipid profiles, glucose and serum cytokines were measured. The Greene Climacteric, SF-36 Version 2, Women’s Health Questionnaire and Utian Quality of Life Scales were used to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms and health-related quality of life. Results showed that there were no differences in estradiol, FSH, TSH, SHBG, glucose, lipid profiles and serum cytokines amongst those who received Maca as compared to the placebo group; however, significant decreases in diastolic blood pressure and depression were apparent after Maca treatment.
It’s important to note that these studies were conducted on small groups of people and more research is needed to fully understand the effects of maca root powder on blood pressure.
What Is Maca Root Powder?
Maca root powder is derived from the root of a cruciferous vegetable native to Peru. It is related to broccoli, cauliflower, and kale and has a nutty, malty taste. Maca root powder is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, copper, iron, and potassium. It also contains over 20 amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids. Additionally, it contains many beneficial plant compounds, including glucosinolates and polyphenols.
Maca root powder is commonly consumed as a food and is often added to smoothies, coffee, juice, shakes, hot or cold cereal, and other recipes. It can also be used as an ingredient in coffee, chocolate, or oils. In Peru, whole maca root is often added to soup and oatmeal, roasted and consumed as a vegetable, or made into a fermented beverage called “chicha de maca.”
While maca root powder is generally considered safe as a food or supplement if taken in moderation (less than 3 grams per day for up to 4 months), more tests are needed to determine if and at what doses it can cause harm in certain populations such as pregnant or nursing women, children, or people with liver or kidney diseases. It’s important to choose a supplement tested by a trusted third party and to speak with your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and potential interactions with other supplements or medications.
The Health Benefits Of Maca Root Powder
Maca root powder has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of health conditions. This superfood is rich in nutrients, including iron, iodine, potassium, calcium, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Maca root powder is also an adaptogenic herb that can help the body manage environmental stress by balancing the body’s hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. This can help stimulate the body’s stress protection system and prevent cortisol levels from rising, which is linked to chronic stress.
Multiple studies have confirmed that maca root powder benefits sexual health in both men and women. It may improve sexual dysfunction and boost sex drive in women, as well as alleviate symptoms of menopause. Maca root powder can also enhance fertility in both males and females. It has been shown to balance female sex hormones, which is crucial to many aspects of reproductive health.
As for blood pressure, there have been conflicting findings regarding the effects of maca root powder. Some studies have suggested that it may lower blood pressure, while others have found a moderate increase in diastolic blood pressure. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of maca root powder on blood pressure.
Blood Pressure And Its Importance
Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps it through the body. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Therefore, it’s important to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Maca root powder has been suggested to have potential benefits for blood pressure regulation. While some studies have found that maca root powder may increase diastolic blood pressure, others have found that it could lower it. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before supplementing with maca root powder, especially if you have high or low blood pressure concerns. Additionally, it’s important to monitor your blood pressure regularly and make lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine to support healthy blood pressure levels.
Studies On The Effects Of Maca Root Powder On Blood Pressure
Several studies have investigated the effects of maca root powder on blood pressure. One observational study of 50 people found that maca consumption was associated with low blood pressure. However, another study published in the “Food and Chemical Toxicology” journal found that individuals taking 0.6 grams of maca powder each day experienced a moderate increase in diastolic blood pressure, which could be problematic for someone already dealing with hypertension.
On the other hand, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study conducted in 29 postmenopausal Hong Kong Chinese women found that maca root powder actually lowered diastolic blood pressure. The women received 3.3 g/day of Maca or placebo for 6 weeks each, in either order, over 12 weeks. Results showed significant decreases in diastolic blood pressure and depression after Maca treatment.
It’s important to note that these studies were conducted on small groups of people and more research is needed to fully understand the effects of maca root powder on blood pressure. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements, especially if you are already taking medication for high blood pressure.
Potential Risks And Side Effects Of Maca Root Powder
While maca root powder is generally considered safe for most people, there are potential risks and side effects to be aware of. One of the main concerns is its effect on hormones, which can be especially problematic for individuals with thyroid problems or those undergoing treatments that modify hormonal levels, such as treatments for breast cancer. Maca root powder has been found to act like estrogen, which can worsen hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids.
In addition, consuming high doses of maca root powder as medicine may cause mild to severe side effects such as gastrointestinal symptoms or headaches. Some people have also reported altered menstrual cycles, moodiness, cramps, gastritis, and insomnia after taking maca root powder. However, these side effects are generally uncommon and mild.
It’s important to note that the safety and risks of short-term or long-term use of maca root powder are not yet fully understood. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should speak with their healthcare team before taking maca root powder as there isn’t enough reliable information to know if it is safe in these situations.
If you have a health condition or are taking any medications, it’s important to speak with a trusted healthcare professional before taking maca root powder. It may not be appropriate or safe for everyone. As with any supplement or medication, it’s important to follow recommended dosages and monitor your body’s response to ensure safety and effectiveness.
Conclusion: Should You Take Maca Root Powder If You Have High Blood Pressure?
Based on the limited research available, it’s difficult to make a definitive conclusion on whether or not maca root powder is safe for those with high blood pressure. While some studies suggest that maca root powder may lower blood pressure, others indicate that it could potentially raise diastolic blood pressure in some individuals.
If you are considering taking maca root powder and have high blood pressure, it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional first. They can help you determine whether maca root powder is safe for you and monitor your blood pressure before and during supplementation.
It’s also important to remember that maca root powder should not be used as a replacement for prescribed blood pressure medication without consulting a healthcare professional. If you have concerns about your blood pressure, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.