Can Maca Make You Happier?
Maca was an important nutrition source for the Inca, who believed it enhanced fertility, energy, and vitality. But modern scientific studies are now uncovering the mental health benefits of this ancient, natural remedy.
Maca could lead to healthier levels of dopamine. Dopamine, nicknamed the “happy hormone,” is a neurotransmitter made by your brain and released when you expect a reward or something good to happen. Cells in your nervous system use dopamine to send messages to each other, which means dopamine is critical for feeling pleasure and motivation.
Maca contains tyrosine (among other amino acids), which is an essential building block of dopamine. (1) In animal studies, researchers found that as little as 250 mg of maca daily for 6 weeks decreased cortisone (the stress hormone) and increased dopamine. (2) That’s big news for your mental health.
Boost dopamine’s boosters
What’s more, research has shown that supplementing with maca can increase libido for women and men. In one study, men who consumed maca reported increased sexual desire by 8 weeks. (3) Looks like there might be a dopamine spike in your future.
Exercise has a positive effect on dopamine. Because maca is noted for its ability to boost energy, it might help you get up and get moving. Researchers studied cyclists who supplemented with maca. After only 2 weeks, the cyclists reported that they could bike 40 kilometers in significantly less time. (4)
This chain reaction from increased energy to elevated mood is a worthwhile reason to see what maca can do for your mental health, especially during the winter.
Give yourself the chance to charge your batteries and surge your satisfaction and wellbeing.
Let’s get healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
1. Bloemendaal, M., Froböse, M. I., Wegman, J., Zandbelt, B. B., van de Rest, O., Cools, R., & Aarts, E. (2018). Neuro-Cognitive Effects of Acute Tyrosine Administration on Reactive and Proactive Response Inhibition in Healthy Older Adults. eNeuro, 5(2), ENEURO.0035-17.2018.
2. Ai, Z., Cheng, A. F., Yu, Y. T., Yu, L. J., & Jin, W. (2014). 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, 17(5), 535–542.
3. Gonzales, G. F., Córdova, A., Vega, K., Chung, A., Villena, A., Góñez, C., & Castillo, S. (2002). Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia, 34(6), 367–372.
4. Stone, M., Ibarra, A., Roller, M., Zangara, A., & Stevenson, E. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 126(3), 574–576.
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