After more due diligence reviewing all the published clinical studies on maca, I realized that while there is a lot of anecdotal evidence, there has actually been a relatively limited number of human studies done on maca and women. Also nearly all of the studies have been focused on post menopausal women and the treatment of menopausal symptoms. What’s more, in all of those studies while they had reduced menopausal symptoms, none (yes none) had actually been able to show any statistically significant effect on hormone levels except one group of clinical trials on a product called Maca-GO (commercially known as Femmenessence).(4)
Further investigation into Femmenessence lead me to some leading experts in woman’s health who had written about it, such as Oprah’s woman’s health expert and best selling author of Woman’s Bodies Woman’s Wisdom Dr Christiane Northrup MD OBGYN and Dr Tori Hudson ND regarded as probably the leading Naturopathic Doctor in women’s health with over 25 years clinical experience as well as clinical Professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Program Director Institute of Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine.
So why were these doctors talking about Femmenessence and not maca?
So I decided to contact Natural Health International ,the makers of Femmenessence, to learn more about their product. I spoke with NHI’s CEO James Frame about PCOS and Femmenessence. (For the complete Q&A with James Frame of Natural Health International click here)
James Frame mentioned that patients who used Femmenessence MacaHarmony™ as part of a PCOS lifestyle protocol over 4-6 months have seen a reduction in symptoms such as hirsutism, acne and irregular menstrual cycles. In some more extreme cases he has observed patients who have not menstruated in 1-3 years, start to menstruate within 2-6 weeks. In instances where progesterone is not being produced, improved in 4-12 weeks. I also found it interesting when he mentioned that individuals who fit within the clinical spectrum of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), metabolic syndrome (Syndrome X) or have Type 2 Diabetes, have shown improvement in blood glucose regulation after the use of Femmenessence for 8-16 weeks. He explained that it also helps with mood regulation by improving serotonin levels.
I am sold. I started taking Femmenessence a week ago. Already, I feel that my mood is very stable and I have lots of energy. I’ll keep you posted! Here is the dosage info:
• 1 capsule of MacaHarmony™, two times each day, away from meals
1st dose in the AM before breakfast
2nd dose in the PM, preferably an hour before patient normally experiences an energy low
The price is $34.99 for 120 caps in a convenient pillow pack.
If you are considering looking into Femmenessence Maca please be sure to read the complete Q&A !
And please share your experience with maca, so other can learn from your experience in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter @pcosdiva.
1 Winston D, et al. Adaptogens. Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press 2007
2 Gonzales GF, et al. Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) reduced prostate size in rats. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2005, 3(5) 14
3 Meissner H.O., Mrozikiewicz P.M., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska T. et al. Hormone-balancing effect of pre-gelatinised organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon):
4 Meissner H.O., Kapczy_ski W., M_cisz A. et al. Use of Gelatinised Maca (Lepidium peruvianum) in Early–Postmenopausal Women – a Pilot Study. I. J. B. S., 2005; 1: 33