How to treat thyroid related conditions with maca
1-1.5 tsp daily
2-3 tsp daily
Maca and thyroid dysfunction
The thyroid gland, a part of the endocrine system, sits at the base of the throat and produces thyroid hormones and calcitonin. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance.
The thyroid gland, a part of the endocrine system, sits at the base of the throat and produces thyroid hormones and calcitonin. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance. Thyroid hormones are produced through a complex cycle and controlled regulatory feedback. First, the hypothalamus excretes a releasing factor (TRH) to stimulate the production of thyroid secreting factor (TSH) from the anterior pituitary gland. Then, TSH initiates the synthesis and release of thyroid hormone (TH) from the thyroid gland (Figure 1). The thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) and are partially composed of either three or four iodine molecules, hence an association with iodine-based treatments for thyroid related issues. High levels of TH reduce gene transcription of components for TRH and TSH production, reducing their relative concentrations and acting as a homeostatic feedback loop1. Breakdown of TH is done by proteins composed of selenium, and therefore is an essential dietary element in healthy thyroid function. A blood test for TSH is the primary means of screening for thyroid dysfunction2. Thyroid disorders are uniformly observed more commonly in women than men3.
Figure 1. Thyroid hormone production
Hypothyroidism is when there are low amounts of TH. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in countries with sufficient iodine intake4. Conventional treatment is levothyroxine, a synthetic version of TH. Other conditions can cause low, but not deleterious effects of TH, for instance, menopause. Furthermore, it has been shown that rebalancing thyroid function can enhance libido.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol
- Myxedema (an oedema-like skin condition)
- Heart palpitations
- Decreased sweating
- Memory loss
Common causes of hypothyroidism:
- Autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
- Iodine deficiency
- Hormonal changes (menopause etc)
- Following surgery or radioiodine therapy (supplemental iodine)
- Congenital abnormalities
- Adverse drug effects (e.g. IL2, Lithium5)
Conversely, hyperthyroidism is characterised by elevated circulating free thyroid hormones. It is estimated that in Western culture, approximately 1.2 per cent of people have hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism6.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Decreased heat tolerance
- Hand tremor
- Chest pain
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
- Graves’ disease
- Inflammation of the thyroid
- Overactive thyroid nodules
- Pituitary adenoma
- Taking too much iodine or thyroid medication
Either hyper- or hypothyroidism can induce a generalised enlargement of the thyroid (a goitre). Thyroid hormones during pregnancy are subject to variation and should be carefully treated and monitored by a physician3. An adequate supply of nutritional selenium, iodine, iron, and vitamin D support a healthy, functional thyroid7,8. Dietary supplementation may be sufficient to reduce the symptoms of low thyroid hormone.
The Peruvian root vegetable maca, is often taken for the prevention of chronic diseases and maintenance of healthy endocrine function9. Maca is a type of cruciferous vegetable in the Brassica family, which are species often contraindicated in those with thyroid issues. However, traditionally maca is consumed by chopping, sun drying, and cooking the roots, which breaks down the glucosinolates often found in Brassica plants10,11 and protects the thyroid gland. Cooking maca does not change the nutritional quality of the product. Primarily, chopping and heating reduce the activity of myrosinase that produces isothiocyanate12, often avoided by those with thyroid conditions. Isothiocyanates are believed to reduce iodine uptake into the thyroid as the gland is more selective for these molecules than iodine. Therefore, maca should always be cooked – a dogma to which all our products adhere. It is therefore important to use an activated (heat-treated) maca for those with thyroid issues. All our maca is activated so does not require cooking before use. In Peru yellow maca is commonly used to support a healthy thyroid function and is sun-dried and boiled into teas, broths, porridge of soups and taken daily.
How maca works to improve health for thyroid related conditions
Maca contains many compounds that can treat the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, for example, iron and selenium. In a safety trial, black and yellow maca extracts were shown to be well-tolerated and safe13. In women, it was demonstrated that thyroid activity was not reduced after taking activated (heat-treated) maca14. Studies like this confirm the safety of using maca in this patient group to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with thyroid dysregulation.
Taking our heat-treated maca powder can reduce symptoms of low thyroid function, such as fatigue , as shown in endurance tests15-17. Taking maca can also relieve depression18, a common symptom between hypo- and hyperthyroidism. Furthermore, maca has anti-inflammatory properties19, which can be postulated to reduce thyroiditis conditions. Activated maca can restore heathy levels of TSH, as seen in a small study of overectomised rats20. These studies suggest the that regular consumption of an activated (heat-treated) maca may benefit thyroid function-related symptoms, and won’t negatively impact thyroid function and thyroid hormonal levels.
NO MORE FATIGUE AND ANXIETY
I loved the presentation and it's been well over a month, my extreme fatigue and anxiety that was making every day a challenge is gone. I'm so thankful I discovered my daily companion chocolate maca. I thought I would rush back to martial arts & my physical pursuits if I ever got energy again but I'm learning to be more mindful & just enjoy what I have - I feel like I have a second chance at life. Grateful - many thanks
LOVE THIS MACA
I love this stuff, have found a huge improvement in my energy and stamina since using it daily (the chocolate maca mix). Thank you guys!
MY ENERGY HAS SKYROCKETED
As someone that has her fair share of women's health issues, every ounce of my being wanted to love Maca and heal with its bounty of incredible properties. However, it seemed that every Maca powder I tried, either made my skin breakout quite horribly, my stomach bloat to the point of severe discomfort, have no real effect on fatigue and just basically contradict all the benefits i was so excited about. It was with a lovely friends recommendation to regain hope and give Seleno Health a try. Since that day I have banked more bags than i can remember, my skin has never been better, I’m smashing my PB’s by not just a little but a lot, I have more energy than i know what to do with and my general quality of life is through the roof. Im grateful that you have created a product were mass production isn’t at the core, where people are respected and quality is above quantity.
Note: There is no upper limit with maca and everybody is different, so it is important to find your ideal dose that is right for your body, for some this may be less than the recommended for others it may be more. If you experience positive health benefits then we suggest you continue treatment at that ideal dosage. The material provided on this website is for information purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice or be a treatment for any medical condition. Users should consult a health professional if you have any concerns about your health, are starting any health or nutritional related treatment, or for any questions you may have regarding your own or any other party’s medical condition. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Chiamolera MI, Wondisford FE. Minireview: Thyrotropin-releasing hormone and the thyroid hormone feedback mechanism. Endocrinology. 2009;150:1091–1096. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179434
2. Esfandiari, N. H., & Papaleontiou, M. (2017). Biochemical Testing in Thyroid Disorders. Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America, 46(3), 631–648. doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2017.04.002 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5957513/
3. Gessl A, Lemmens-Gruber R, Kautzky-Willer A. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2012;(214):361-86. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-30726-3_17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23027459
4. Mincer DL, Jialal I. Hashimoto Thyroiditis. [Updated 2019 May 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459262/
5. Berber, E. (2019). Causes of Hypothyroidism. [online] EndocrineWeb. Available at: https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hypothyroidism/causes-hypothyroidism [Accessed 23 Sep. 2019].
6. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2019). Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid) | NIDDK. [online] Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hyperthyroidism [Accessed 23 Sep. 2019].
7. Köhrle, J. (2015). Selenium and the thyroid. Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity, 22(5), 392-401. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26313901
8. Hu, S., & Rayman, M. P. (2017). Multiple nutritional factors and the risk of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thyroid, 27(5), 597-610. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28290237
9. Valentová, K., & Ulrichová, J. (2003). Smallanthus sonchifolius and Lepidium meyenii-prospective Andean crops for the prevention of chronic diseases. Biomed Papers, 147(2), 119-130. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15037892
10. Fenwick, G. R., Heaney, R. K., Mullin, W. J., & VanEtten, C. H. (1983). Glucosinolates and their breakdown products in food and food plants. CRC Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 18(2), 123-201. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398209527361
11. Kapusta-Duch, J., Kusznierewicz, B., Leszczyńska, T., & Borczak, B. (2016). Effect of cooking on the contents of glucosinolates and their degradation products in selected Brassica vegetables. Journal of Functional Foods, 23, 412-422.
12. Barba, F. J., Nikmaram, N., Roohinejad, S., Khelfa, A., Zhu, Z., & Koubaa, M. (2016). Bioavailability of glucosinolates and their breakdown products: impact of processing. Frontiers in nutrition, 3, 24. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2016.00024
13. Gonzales-Arimborgo, C., Yupanqui, I., Montero, E., Alarcón-Yaquetto, D., Zevallos-Concha, A., Caballero, L., & Gonzales, G. (2016). Acceptability, safety, and efficacy of oral administration of extracts of black or red maca (Lepidium meyenii) in adult human subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Pharmaceuticals, 9(3), 49.
14. Meissner, H. O., Reich-Bilinska, H., Mscisz, A., & Kedzia, B. (2006). Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women – Clinical Pilot Study. International journal of biomedical science :June IJBS, 2(2), 143–159.
15. Shin, S., et al., Gelatinized and fermented powders of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improve physical stamina and epididymal sperm counts in male mice. J. Emb. Trans, 2008. 23: p. 283-289. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291889082_Gelatinized_and_fermented_powders_of_Lepidium_meyenii_Maca_improve_physical_stamina_and_epididymal_sperm_counts_in_male_mice
16. Choi, E.H., et al., Supplementation of standardised lipid-soluble extract from maca (Lepidium meyenii) increases swimming endurance capacity in rats. Journal of Functional Foods, 2012. 4(2): p. 568-573. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464612000436
17. Lin Zheng, B., et al., Effect of Aqueous Extract from Lepidium meyenii on Mouse Behavior in Forced Swimming Test. 2001. p. 258-268. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2002-0803.ch018
18. Ai, Z., et al., 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, 2014. 17(5): p. 535-542. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24730393
19. Zheng, W., et al., Lepidium meyenii Walp Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory Activity against ConA-Induced Acute Hepatitis. Mediators Inflamm, 2018. 2018: p. 8982756. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30647537
20. Meissner HO, Mrozikiewicz P, Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska T, et al. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (I) Biochemical and Pharmacodynamic Study on Maca using Clinical Laboratory Model on Ovariectomized Rats. Int J Biomed Sci. September 2006;2(3):260–272.
Treating With Maca
Treating menopause with maca
Maca contains many nutrients and bioactive compounds that can reduce uncomfortable menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, and depression.Learn more >
Treating hormonal imbalance in women with maca
Peruvian Maca root has been used for centuries to help balance female hormonal cycles and to treat and prevent conditions relating to hormonal imbalances.Learn more >
Treating fertility in women and men with maca
Amongst the many means of addressing infertility, those wishing to conceive may benefit from taking maca.Learn more >
Treating male sexual function and libido with maca
Sexual dysfunction is an increasingly common medical concern that affects many men (and women), psychologically, emotionally, socially, and physically.Learn more >
Treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with maca
The three most common forms of prostate disease are prostatitis, prostate cancer, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).Learn more >
Treating chronic fatigue and autoimmunity with maca
Clinically, maca has demonstrated properties that could treat both some of the symptoms that impact individuals with CFS and more importantly, some of the underlying defects that lead to the symptoms.Learn more >
Treating thyroid dysfunction with maca
Maca contains many compounds that can treat the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, for example, iron and selenium.Learn more >
Treating mental health with maca
Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, and impulse control disorders affect a large portion of people across the globe and are a major concern in public health.Learn more >
Treating metabolic syndrome with maca
Maca is a traditional medicinal root and natural supplement that has several properties to counter metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes. It also is a natural supplement for weight loss and energy.Learn more >
Treating neurological disorders with maca
Neurological disorders are diseases impacting the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves that connect them all.Learn more >
Treating osteoporosis with maca
Osteoporosis is a disease where the bone becomes weak and fragile. Bones are living tissue, meaning that bone is continuously growing and reshaping.Learn more >
How to improve athletic performance with maca
Whether your goal is to complete your first 5km race, run a marathon, or improve your finish time, runners strive to boost their athletic performance.Learn more >
How to treat fatigue and stress with maca
Fatigue, or extreme tiredness, is estimated to cost employers over a hundred billion US dollars a year in health-related costs.Learn more >
Treating acne with maca
Recent data demonstrate that maca may treat acne in a multi-faceted approach, through both hormonal regulation and antibacterial activity.Learn more >
Maca during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
Can I take maca while pregnant? Is maca safe while breast feeding? Is maca safe for children?Learn more >