Effect of Lepidium meyenii Walp. on Semen Parameters and Serum Hormone Levels in Healthy Adult Men: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:324369. doi: 10.1155/2015/324369. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Abstract

Background/Aims. Products of Lepidium meyenii Walp. (maca) are touted worldwide as an alimentary supplement to enhance fertility and restore hormonal balance. Enhancing properties of maca on semen parameters in animals were previously reported by various authors, but we present to the best of our knowledge the first double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial in men. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of maca on semen parameters and serum hormone levels in healthy adult men. Methods. A group of 20 volunteers aged 20-40 years was supplied by milled hypocotyl of maca or placebo (1.75 g/day) for 12 weeks. Negative controls of semen were compared to the samples after 6 and 12 weeks of maca administration; negative blood controls were compared to the samples after 12 weeks of treatment. Results. Sperm concentration and motility showed rising trends compared to placebo even though levels of hormones did not change significantly after 12 weeks of trial. Conclusion. Our results indicate that maca possesses fertility enhancing properties in men. As long as men prefer to use alimentary supplement to enhance fertility rather than prescribed medication or any medical intervention, it is worth continuing to assess its possible benefits.