Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2005 Jan 20;3:5.
doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-3-5.

Red Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) Reduced Prostate Size in Rats

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Red Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) Reduced Prostate Size in Rats

Gustavo F Gonzales et al. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Epidemiological studies have found that consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. This effect seems to be due to aromatic glucosinolate content. Glucosinolates are known for have both antiproliferative and proapoptotic actions. Maca is a cruciferous cultivated in the highlands of Peru. The absolute content of glucosinolates in Maca hypocotyls is relatively higher than that reported in other cruciferous crops. Therefore, Maca may have proapoptotic and anti-proliferative effects in the prostate.

Methods: Male rats treated with or without aqueous extracts of three ecotypes of Maca (Yellow, Black and Red) were analyzed to determine the effect on ventral prostate weight, epithelial height and duct luminal area. Effects on serum testosterone (T) and estradiol (E2) levels were also assessed. Besides, the effect of Red Maca on prostate was analyzed in rats treated with testosterone enanthate (TE).

Results: Red Maca but neither Yellow nor Black Maca reduced significantly ventral prostate size in rats. Serum T or E2 levels were not affected by any of the ecotypes of Maca assessed. Red Maca also prevented the prostate weight increase induced by TE treatment. Red Maca administered for 42 days reduced ventral prostatic epithelial height. TE increased ventral prostatic epithelial height and duct luminal area. These increases by TE were reduced after treatment with Red Maca for 42 days. Histology pictures in rats treated with Red Maca plus TE were similar to controls. Phytochemical screening showed that aqueous extract of Red Maca has alkaloids, steroids, tannins, saponins, and cardiotonic glycosides. The IR spectra of the three ecotypes of Maca in 3800-650 cm (-1) region had 7 peaks representing 7 functional chemical groups. Highest peak values were observed for Red Maca, intermediate values for Yellow Maca and low values for Black Maca. These functional groups correspond among others to benzyl glucosinolate.

Conclusions: Red Maca, a cruciferous plant from the highland of Peru, reduced ventral prostate size in normal and TE treated rats.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Ventral prostate (A) and seminal vesicles (B) weights in adult rats treated for 7 days with different ecotypes of Maca (2 g/kg BW). Data are Mean ± SEM *P < 0.05 with respect to control value. Number of animals was 35 for controls, 12 for Yellow Maca, 12 for Red Maca and 12 for Black Maca. None: control group receiving vehicle.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Effects of different Maca ecotypes administered for 7 days on serum testosterone (A) or estradiol (B) levels in rats. Data are mean ± SEM. Maca (2 gr/Kg BW) was administered for 7 days. Number of rats was 10 in the control group, 6 in the Red Maca treated group, 6 in the Yellow Maca, and 6 in the Black Maca treated group. P:NS between groups treated with Maca and control rats. aP < 0.05 with respect to the Yellow Maca treated group.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Ventral prostate (A) and seminal vesicles (B) weights in adult rats treated for 14 days with Red Maca. Data are mean ± SEM.TE: rats treated on day 1 and 7 with testosterone enanthate (25 mg each) i.m, Red Maca (2 g/Kg BW) was given orally during 14 days. Rats were sacrificed on day 15. * P < 0.05 with respect to vehicle group; aP < 0.05 with respect to TE group. bP < 0.05 with respect to the group treated with TE+Red Maca. Number of rats was 13 for the control group, 6 for the Red Maca, 6 for TE, and 6 for the TE plus Red Maca groups.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Ventral prostate (A) and seminal vesicles (B) weights in adult rats treated for 42 days with Red Maca. Data are mean ± SEM.TE: rats treated on day 1 and 7 with testosterone enanthate (25 mg each) i.m. Red Maca (2 g/Kg BW) was given orally during 42 days. Rats were sacrificed on day 43. *P < 0.05 with respect to vehicle group; aP < 0.05 with respect to TE group. bP < 0.05 with respect to the group treated with TE+Red Maca. Number of animals was 12 in the control group, 7 in the Red Maca group, 5 in the TE group and 5 in the TE plus Red Maca group.
Figure 5
Figure 5
The effects of Red Maca administered to rats for 14 days on ventral prostatic epithelial height and duct luminal area. A,B: Control group; C,D: Red Maca treated; E,F: TE treated; G,H: TE+Red Maca treated. HE stain. Left: ×50 magnification; Right: ×400 magnification.
Figure 6
Figure 6
The effects of Red Maca administered to rats for 42 days on ventral prostatic epithelial height and duct luminal area. A,B: Control group; C,D: Red Maca treated; E,F: TE treated; G,H: TE+Red Maca treated. HE stain. Left: ×50 magnification; Right: ×400 magnification.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Ventral prostatic epithelial height (A) and luminal area (B) in control rats, rats treated with Red Maca (RM) alone, testosterone enanthate (TE) alone or TE+Red Maca. Rats were treated for 42 days. *P < 0.05 with respect to control, aP < 0.05 respect to TE group; bP < 0.05 respect to TE+ Red Maca. Differences in duct luminal areas were assessed with Mann-Whitney U test.
Figure 8
Figure 8
Infrared (IR) spectra of lyophilized aqueous extract of three ecotypes of Lepidium meyenii (Maca). Data are expressed in absorbance units (A). Wave number is expressed in cm-1. IR spectra were measured from 4000 cm-1 to 650 cm-1 with a FT-IR spectrophotometer equipped with an ATR apparatus. Highest absorbance values correspond to Red Maca, intermediate values to Yellow Maca and lowest values to Black Maca. Peaks of absorbance are recorded at 3291 cm-1, 2927 cm-1, 1614 cm-1, 1406 cm-1, 1022 cm-1, 924 cm-1 and 862 cm-1.
Figure 9
Figure 9
Structure of Glucotropaeolin (Benzyl glucosinolate)

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 14 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Gonzales GF, Ruiz A, Gonzales C, Villegas L, Cordova A. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) roots on spermatogenesis of male rats. Asian J Androl. 2001;3:231–233. - PubMed
    1. Tello J, Hermann M, Calderón A. La Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp) Cultivo alimenticio potencial para las zonas altoandinas. Bol Lima. 1992;14:59–66.
    1. Kristal AR, Lampe JW. Brassica vegetables and prostate cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutr Cancer. 2002;42:1–9. doi: 10.1207/S15327914NC421_1. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Cohen JH, Kristal AR, Stanford JL. Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Nat Cancer Inst. 2000;92:61–68. doi: 10.1093/jnci/92.1.61. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Kolonel LN, Hankin JH, Whittemore AS, Wu AH, Gallagher RP, Wilkens LR, John EM, Howe JG, Dreon DM, West DW, Paffenbarger RS. Vegetables, fruits, legumes and prostate cancer: a multiethnic case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000;9:795–804. - PubMed

Publication types

Feedback