I’m a huge fan of Maca root. It really is one of the most energizing foods (other than things that contain stimulants, like the caffeine in coffee or theobromine in chocolate) and it is also a powerful adaptogen (balancing substance). Some times called the “Ginseng of super foods” it helps combat fatigue, is an aphrodisiac, and is chock-full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Some years ago, our company The Food Movement started importing a couple of unique phenotypes of Maca root, specifically the Red and Black Maca, from Peru where it is exclusively grown. (Maca needs the high-altitude and rich volcanic soil in the Andes mountains to truly thrive).
People always ask me – what is the difference between these varieties? And companies who market the cheaper varieties (mostly conventional Yellow Maca or gelatinized powders) sometimes claim there is NO difference between different ecotypes of Maca. Well, I can offer my opinion all day long, but when people start making assertions that are just plain false, I find a good way to balance out these differences in information is to turn to the science.
CAN BLACK MACA IMPROVE YOUR … mood? energy levels? blood sugar levels? libido? overall health status?
In this post, I want to look specifically at Black Maca. A very interesting study compared the effects of Black and Red Maca in otherwise healthy individuals. They found some differences in chemistry, in that the levels of fatty acids and macamides (more on this in a minute) were higher in Black Maca, while the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA dominated in the Red. Both varieties resulted in improvement in mood, energy, and health status, and reduced CMS score (chronic mountain sickness which occurs at high altitudes) but only the Black Maca reduced blood glucose.
Researchers in the journal Andrologia compared extracts of Black and Yellow Maca to try and raise the sperm count in adult mice. They found that “Black maca administration resulted in higher concentration of sperm count in epididymis and vas deferens compared to yellow maca. ”
One customer writing to TFMC commented “I feel like a new man taking the Food Movement Black Maca. One tablespoon a day got me feeling good and having more energy, but when I started adding 2 or more to my smoothie — woooooo! I was hooked. I’ll be ordering at least once a month from now on.”
There is much more research on Maca root, but I’ve given you just a couple of the studies comparing the different ecotypes of Maca. So, when someone says there is “no difference” between different kinds of Maca, they are quite misinformed according to the published research.
Which type is best for you? Only you can answer that – lately I have found very good effects from mixing more than one kind. The really amazing benefits of what I like to call The Maca Trifecta (red, black and yellow combined) is something to be experienced.