Taking Maca Root in PCOS: Is it SAFE or Not?

Short Answer: Maca root is good for PCOS. Because it has fiber, iron, zinc, iodine, glucosinolates, macamides and macaridine.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects your ovaries and your hormones.

In PCOS, your body produces too much androgen, a male sex hormone that is normally present in women in small amounts.

This can interfere with your ovulation, the process of releasing an egg from your ovaries each month.

This can lead to various health problems, such as irregular periods, infertility, acne, excess hair growth, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

One of the key factors in managing PCOS is diet.

What you consume can affect your insulin levels, which can impact your PCOS symptoms and overall health.

Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells use glucose, the main source of energy for your body.

If you have insulin resistance, a common feature of PCOS, your cells do not respond well to insulin and your blood glucose levels rise.

This can cause your body to produce more insulin and more androgen.

To effectively manage PCOS, you should consume low-glycemic index (GI) foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes and avoid high-GI foods like white bread, rice, pasta, and sugary drinks.

Low-GI foods are digested more slowly and cause less spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels.

High-GI foods are digested quickly and cause rapid increases in blood glucose and insulin levels.

Now, maca root is a plant that grows in the Andes mountains of Peru.

It is also known as Peruvian ginseng, although it is not related to ginseng.

Maca root is consumed as a food or as a supplement.

People usually add maca root powder to smoothies, juices, shakes, coffee, chocolate, or oils.

Maca root is also available in capsules or tablets.

Maca root is good for PCOS because it contains beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals that may help balance hormones, improve fertility, enhance mood, and reduce stress.

Maca root is rich in fiber, which can help lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, improve digestion, and promote satiety. One tablespoon (7 grams) of maca root powder provides about 2 grams of fiber (8% of your daily needs).

Maca root is a good source of iron, which is essential for the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin that carry oxygen throughout your body. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, which can worsen PCOS symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and hair loss. One tablespoon (7 grams) of maca root powder provides about 1.4 milligrams of iron (8% of your daily needs for women).

Maca root also contains zinc, which is involved in many enzymatic reactions in your body, including those related to hormone synthesis and metabolism. Zinc deficiency can impair ovarian function and fertility. One tablespoon (7 grams) of maca root powder provides about 0.4 milligrams of zinc (4% of your daily needs for women).

Maca root also contains iodine, which is needed for the production of thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy levels. Thyroid disorders are common in women with PCOS and can affect ovulation and menstrual cycles. One tablespoon (7 grams) of maca root powder provides about 52 micrograms of iodine (35% of your daily needs).

Maca root also contains glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Glucosinolates may also modulate the activity of estrogen receptors in your body and help regulate estrogen levels. Estrogen dominance is a condition where you have too much estrogen relative to progesterone, which can cause irregular periods, weight gain, mood swings, and fibroids.

Maca root contains unique fatty acids called macamides and macaridine that have been shown to improve sexual function and libido in both men and women. They may also enhance sperm quality and motility in men with infertility.

Furthermore, maca root is an adaptogen and a tonic that can help your body cope with stress and restore balance.

Stress can worsen PCOS symptoms by increasing cortisol levels, which can disrupt hormone production and ovulation.

You can eat one to two tablespoons (7 to 14 grams) of maca root powder per day safely.

More than that can cause side effects such as insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations, and digestive issues.

Also, you shouldn’t eat maca root if you have thyroid problems or are taking thyroid medication to prevent interactions or adverse effects. Because maca root contains iodine, which can affect thyroid function.

You can buy maca root supplements online or offline from various brands and marketplaces.

To buy it online, there are many options to choose from.

But as a nutritionist I recommend Organic Maca Root Powder Capsules from Viva Naturals on Amazon.

Because they are certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and contain 500 milligrams of pure gelatinized maca root per capsule.

Gelatinized maca root is easier to digest and absorb than raw maca root.

Buy Organic Maca Root Powder Capsules

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing PCOS effectively.

I always recommend my PCOS patients to follow a PCOS-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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