MACA- A Promising PCOS Supplement Part 2

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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

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  • Amy M

    I have been dx’d w/ PCOS. Did you happen to find out if you can take Maca in addition to or in place of BC or IUD to regulate hormones?? My doc has me scheduled for IUD placement tomorrow, and after reading your info, I am unsure what to do. Would you possibly email me directly to my email address?? I would love to talk to you! THANK YOU! :)

  • Marie

    Hi Amy! After being on this supplement for a few months, how do you feel? What have you noticed and do you still recommend it?

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      I had my first 28 day cycle in forever. Usually I am about 35 days. I really feel great – lots of energy and stable mood. I am going to try to get my mother to take the post-menopause formula.

  • Sarah

    Hi Amy! I just purchased this supplement yesterday at the recommendation of my PCP. I can’t find reviews on it anywhere and I’m curious about it’s effectiveness. My hormones are all over the place which causes me facial breakouts. If this product is effective at regulating and balancing hormones, I would love to give it a try, however if it’s just another expensive product with false promises, I will not be breaking the seal and will return it today. Would love to hear any additional reviews there are out ther for this product.

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      Hi Sarah- I am really loving the Femmenecence Maca Harmony. I have heard from other women with PCOS that like it as well. If you try it let me know how it works for you. Best of luck!

  • Tia

    I have looked and can not find any information regarding this product helping women with PCOS to conceive. Will it better your chances of getting pregnant by by balancing your FSH and LH hormone levels? Please email me with any info u have

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      Tia-
      I suggest that you contact Natural Health International – the makers of Maca Harmony. They will be able to answer these questions.

  • Linzy

    I just need to say THANK YOU for posting this!!! Started Femmenecence 5 days ago and the results are pretty extraordinary on my mood and energy levels. Been doing hormone therapy for my PCOS and it never made me “feel” better. My poor husband has marked on the calendar when exactly to be “extra” nice to me and yesterday he asked me what was wrong (this time of the month I am usually depressed and in bed crying). I have MORE energy than normal and feel HAPPIER than normal. So this is what having balanced hormones feels like! Thank you mother nature! And thank you Amy!!!! Off to rock the world :D

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      This is great news! Keep us posted. I’ll be curious to know if it regulates your cycles too. It certainly has for me.

  • Jackie

    Hey Amy. Does Maca Harmony help with excess free testosterones in the body (androgens that cause acne, etc.) My main problem is that, in addition to irregular cycles. I need to regulate my cycles and higher my SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) so that the free test. will decrease.
    I was wondering (if you didn’t mind and find the time to)if you can email me with more info on this product and if you truly recommend it for me. I’d appreciate it so much.

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      Jackie- The Maca will help balance all of your hormones if you want more specific info you should contact Natural Health International directly. You might also look into myo-inositol or d-chiro inositol – both really help with testosterone levels.

  • Emma

    Hi Amy,

    So, I started taking Femmenessence a couple weeks ago, and I unfortunately had tho off of it because I was experiencing terrible stomach cramping, bloating, etc. I have a few food allergies/intolerances including gluten, dairy, whey, and eggs, so I was wondering if you have heard of any one else experiencing the same problems? I was bummed I had to go off it because just after a week of taking it, I noticed my acne was already getting better.

    Thanks!

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      Emma- I would call the folks at Natural Health International the makers of Maca Harmony and ask them what their thoughts are. I haven’t had any other clients complain about GI issues with the Maca.

  • Jackie

    Hey Amy, you mentioned the myo-inositol or d-chiro inositol for me to take. Can you suggest where I can buy it and which brand to look for? And how much mg should I take a day? THANK YOU SOOO MUCH

  • Yolanda

    Hi Amy,

    I took a Maca Root supplement in early 2010 and after 2 months of it, I GOT PREGNANT! : ) It was recommended by a friend to help restore my cycle and balance my hormones. I had already tried clomid for 4 months along with Metformin. I got nothing. When I stopped going to the Dr to assist with getting pregnant, I turned to Maca Root as a last resort and IT WORKED! My son will be 15 months old tomorrow. He is my 2nd child that I conceived in the midst of PCOS. My daughter is 5 years old. So after having a girl and a boy, I felt that my family was complete. I got clips placed on my tubes when my son was born via c-section. I nursed him for a month. I got my cycle about 2 months after his birth and wouldn’t you know they have been like clock work, every 32 to 34 days! It has been a little over a year that I have had regular monthly cycles. Before this I would go MONTHS without a cycle and ended up on BC to regulate it or Provera to cause break through bleeding. I don’t know what is going on with my body these days but I am extremely happy to have a monthly cycle.

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      Thanks for sharing your positive experience with Maca. Stay well Yolanda!

  • Jennifer

    Amy,
    Do you take this along with saw palmetto and your spiro?

  • Jennifer

    Do you take this along With the saw palmetto and your spiro?

  • Kristy

    I was diagnosed with pcos 1 year after giving birth to my now 7 year old daughter. We have been TTC for 6 years now. I stopped taking metformin and started using PGX daily to help regulate blood sugar levels. I lost a little weight, but I went to my PCP and got a perscription for phentermine to help me with the weight loss. I lost 35lbs! The weight lost regulated my periods for a couple months, but now I have not had a period since May 7th! I have taken 2 pregnancy test, one just today and they were both negative. I recently heard about MACA. I am taking NAVITAS NATURALS, raw maca capsules. I take 3 a day. They are 500mg capsules and I take three in the morning with a yogurt. The ingredients are as follows: Pure Organic Raw Maca Lepidlum Meyenil, Walpers. I was wondering if you had any information on this product and if it is the right kind to be taking? Also what do you know about combining it with the PGX daily?

    Thanks,

    Kristy

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      Navitas Naturals is a great company and they have great products but as you read in my article about Maca – femmenecence is designed for women with the right phenotype of Maca. I think PGX is great but I am not sure about how you should take Maca with it.

    • Laura

      To those who ask about maca harmony and are trying to get pregnant. I am 33 years old. I was diagnosed with PCOS since I was 15 years old. I started to take BC pills since I was 19 until I was 32. A year and a half ago I stopped my BC and decided to try to balance my hormones naturally – changed my diet but not very strictly. I would not get my period for 2 to 3 months, me and my husband would have sex without protection and I did not get pregnant until recently. I started to take macaharmony, and was taking for more than two months and got pregnant. So that is my experience – either it is totally coincidence or it really had affect. But as I said, i tired to eat healthy, I mean white bread and other processed food was out of my diet.

  • Amber

    Hi, I’ve been reading the comments on here and they all seem to be praising the product, however what I would like to know is if women taking it have returned to the doctor and has their PCOS symptoms checked out after taking it? If so, how did they go? Was there actual evidence of improvement during say, ultrasound? Or has everyone taken it and felt better and left it at that? I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS and am prediabetic.

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      I for one can say that it helped balance my hormones. All of my tests are normal now.

  • Katie

    I was just wondering if you recommend any maca root that I can buy over the counter? I’ve been doing lots of research but some say it makes your body develop too much estrogen. My doctor prescribed me Provera but I am trying to find other alternatives since Provera makes me gain weight!

    • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

      I do like Maca Harmony because I you read in my article there are 13 different types of Maca and all act differently. This company has figured out the optimum mix for women of reproductive age.

  • http://www.simplisticchic.blogspot.com Candice Selby

    Thanks for posting! I have recently started taking maca root again after reading so much about it and I am hoping that it can help my PCOS symptoms. The first time I started taking it I was experiencing a common ‘side effect’—increased libido. LOL

  • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

    Roberta-
    I am still using Maca Harmony and really love it! I have had regular cycles since July.

  • http://pcos.designbyansley.com Amy

    It will take a few months Louise. You may want to call the folks at Natural Health International and see what they advise – you may need to up your dose.