It's touted for increasing stamina and sexual performance and sales have steadily increased for more than decade, but do maca supplements really contain this root indigenous to Peru? To answer this question, ConsumerLab.com recently purchased maca supplements, checked them for DNA specific to maca, evaluated them microscopically, and analyzed them for heavy metal contamination.
All 10 of the products selected by CL passed DNA and microscopic analysis, however, one product failed to be "Approved for Quality" due to lead contamination and another possibly contained more rice filler—and less maca—than expected. Maca root is a traditional food in Peru and neighboring countries and is believed to increase stamina and sexual performance and improve mood. Preliminary clinical studies in men and women have shown increases in reported sexual desire and improvements in sexual dysfunction, without influencing levels of sexual hormones. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Sales of maca supplements in the U.S. have steadily risen to $106 million in 2014 from just $6 million in 2000, according to Nutrition Business Journal. The test results and quality ratings appear online in ConsumerLab.com's new Maca Supplements Review. The report covers 10 products selected by ConsumerLab.com and one other which passed the same tests in ConsumerLab.com's voluntary Quality Certification Program. The report discusses the clinical evidence for/against maca root and the pros and cons of different forms of maca (powder, gelatinized powder, extracts).
Information about dosage and potential side effects and drug interactions is also presented. The following products are included in the report: Botanic Choice Maca, Gaia Herbs Gelatinized Maca Powder, GNC Herbal Plus Maca Root, Maca Magic, Nature's Way Maca Root, Navitas Naturals Maca, NutriGold Maca Gold, Plnt by V (Vitamin Shoppe) Maca, Solaray Maca, Swanson Maca Powder, and Vega Maca.