FAQs

/FAQs
FAQs 2018-06-01T04:23:03+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Peruvian Maca

Is it safe to take maca post cervical dysplasia, cervical cancer or breast cancer?
There is no direct study that measures the effectiveness or safety of maca consumption with these conditions. However, a recent study did demonstrate that maca did not affect any phase of either the estrous cycle, number of ova recovered within oviduct, serum estradiol levels, wet uterine and body weights as compared with a placebo control group. In addition, a further study of 14 postmenopausal women showed no differences in serum concentrations of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin between baseline with Maca treatment and placebo. These findings suggest that maca has no androgenic or alpha-estrogenic activity. The authors concluded Maca (3.5 g/d) was able to reduce psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lower measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity. Unlike other hormonal specific botanical treatments maca does not contain phytoestrogens and does not directly stimulate oestrogen production. It’s predominant mode of action is to regulate natural endocannabinoid function in the brain. If you have any concerns about the safety of maca with such conditions then please consult with you medical professional.

Does maca interfere with the contraceptive pill?
Please view response above. There is no research-based evidence to suggest that regular consumption of maca has any interactions with the contraceptive pill. Maca’s mode of action is most likely independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.

Can I take maca while on blood thinning medication?
It is very unlikely that maca will alter vitamin K levels and impact on blood thinning medication like warfarin. One of the first things you’re told when starting on an anticoagulant such as warfarin, is to limit your vitamin K intake. Vitamin K is found in many nutrient rich dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach. The avoidance or limitation of dark green leafy vegetables may be contradicting to information you received when learning how to follow a healthy diet. The level of vitamin K in maca is not excessively high and the daily dose of maca is small (~10g per day or less). Generally keeping your levels of vitamin K intake below 150 mcg per day is the target for those on blood thinners. Levels of Vitamin K in maca have not been officially assessed but it is classified as having ‘moderate levels’. A dose of 1/2-1 tsp per day of maca is much lower than if consuming the equivalent broccoli, kale or spinach for example. As such we advise to stick to the recommended daily dose or less and avoid or limit other foods with high levels of vitamin K (see here). It is also important to maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K over time and not drastically change your intake. For more information on vitamin K consumption please consult you healthcare professional.

Does maca increase blood pressure? Is it a stimulant?
Maca is not a stimulant and there is no evidence for assuming a direct mechanism to increase blood pressure in people that consume it regularly. In one study from 2015 maca was actually shown to lower diastolic blood pressure in a group of postmenopausal women. Interestingly maca consumption has also been linked to increased production of nitric oxide via stimulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Increased levels of nitric oxide have been linked to dilation of smooth muscle and a decrease in blood pressure. This is a key area of interest for cardiologists looking at new pathways to manage hypertension. Traditionally maca is used to bring endocrine and adrenal balance back to the body and can act as a switch to turn off the sympathetic, fight-flight response of stress. Long-term consumption is thought to build strength and resilience to stress and reduce fluctuations in blood pressure and other symptoms with chronic stress. If you still have concerns about the effect of maca on your blood pressure we advise you to check with your healthcare provider and request your blood pressure to be monitored before and during supplementation with maca.

Will maca impair my thyroid function?
Maca is often mistakenly associated with negatively impacting thyroid function as it belong to the cruciferous vegetable family. These vegetables contain high levels of biochemicals called glucosinolates which can interfere with production of thyroid hormones, particularly in the presence of a low-iodine diet. This is only an issue for those who consume maca in a raw form. In Peru, maca has never been consumed raw and it is always advised to cook it. Raw maca may actually be more harmful than good and the beneficial properties of maca are not lost when cooking (see here). During cooking the glucosinolates break down to create a powdered form that is ‘thyroid friendly’. Our maca is pre-cooked and as such there is little to no risk of negative impact to thyroid function. In fact, traditionally in Peru cooked maca is used to regulate and enhance thyroid function and may actually be highly beneficial for those suffering from thyroid related conditions.

Can I take maca while pregnant?
Traditionally in Peru maca is consumed before, during and after pregnancy. Maca is frequently used to assist with conception and has been shown to improve fertility in both men and women. After this, the people of Junin use it as a rich source of folate to assist with pregnancy and also to alleviate morning sickness. However, there are no clinical studies that currently evaluate the safety of maca during pregnancy. We advise you to check with your healthcare professional before deciding whether to start taking maca while pregnant, particularly during the first trimester. 

Is maca safe while breast feeding?
Traditionally in Peru maca is consumed while lactating. The best consensus piece addressing this by medical specialists was done by APILAM (Association for Promotion and Cultural and Scientific Research of Breastfeeding). https://apilam.org/
The organization consists of a group of pediatricians, health practitioners and mothers. Their review of evidence, case studies and data deemed maca to be very low risk to both mother and child during breast feeding. Refer here: http://www.e-lactancia.org/producto/966
Their classification for maca states – “A substance labeled as Very low Risk is a substance that has been shown safe for lactation and the infant. Safe product compatible with breastfeeding based on reliable information published on the scientific literature. It can be taken within a reasonable range of safety.”

What is gelatinised maca?
Gelatinized maca is produced by taking the crude raw maca (harina de maca) and extruding it under pressure with heated water vapour for 4-5 seconds. During this time the starch amylose and amylopectin granules swell or degrade and can be filtered or hydrolysed off. Gelatinised maca is low in starch, more concentrated (having lost much of its weight in starch) and is better absorbed and digested. As such it is advised that it can be consumed either raw or cooked. The heating during the gelatinization processing enhances the bio-active properties and our gelatinised maca contains twice the potency of macamides as our raw powder. 4 kg of raw maca produces about 1-2 kg of gelatinised maca. Gelatinised maca has a darker colour, more rich, caramel flavour and is better sanitised from bacteria and fungi that frequently infiltrate raw maca powder. It is ready to eat and can be consumed straight or cooked.

How is maca traditionally consumed?
Maca is a root vegetable that is 70% carbohydrate, with a high starch content (similar to a potato). As such, in Peru, it is traditionally cooked in ways similar to that of potatoes or starchy foods. The whole fresh bulb or dried bulb is either boiled in a soup or grated into fine pieces and boiled as a tea or porridge. Stories say that the Inca would boil and consume up to 200g of Maca per day via these traditional methods, with the local people claiming that sites like Machu Picchu were built with the power of Maca. In more recent times Maca has been ground into powders (fresh and dried) to increase surface area and allow easier inclusion into various meals. The ground raw powder is a favourite additive to Inca Tea (Boiled cinnamon, cloves, oats and maca), the most popular way to drink Maca in Junin (View Video Here). Maca is also used, similar to cornflour, as a way to thicken and flavour soups and stews. Due to the high starch content raw maca is rarely eaten raw by the people of Peru. Over the last 15-20 years maca demand for use in uncooked foods or drinks has led to the creation of low starch gelatinized powders or even extracted powders to maintain the medicinal properties of the plant while improving the absorption and tolerability of the powder.

Why should maca not be eaten raw?
Please read our blog here: http://www.selenohealth.com/2017/10/18/shouldnt-eat-raw-maca/

What is the best maca to take for me?
To find the right maca for your health requirements use our maca chart found on our webpage: http://www.selenohealth.com/maca/

What dose of maca should I take?
The ideal dose is 1-1.5 tsp of our yellow gelatinised maca per day. If you are not so sensitive you can have up to 2-3 tsp per day (1-1.5 in the morning, 1-1.5 at lunch is more ideal). For our atomised red and black maca we recommend 1 sachet per day. This can be taken instead of or on top of your current yellow gelatinised maca routine. During times of extra stress or big fluctuations in hormones use the atomised maca in combination with your daily yellow maca but in times of less stress you can use as an alternative to your daily yellow maca routine.

How long until maca begins working?
It really depends on your levels of stress and current hormonal balance as to how you respond. Most people take 4-6+ weeks to start to really feel the benefits, however small changes can begin to occur within the first few weeks. So be patient and consistent and allow the maca time to adjust and balance your endocrine function.

Is maca safe for children?
Yes, maca is traditionally consumed from approximately 5 years onwards and is stated to help with improving brain function for schooling. For children we recommend taking approximately half the dose of adults until they begin puberty.

GPx Cell Protect

How do I take GPx Cell Protect?
For best results GPx Cell Protect is taken orally with water 2 times per day. Generally two capsules just before breakfast and two capsules just before lunch.

How long will a bottle last?
The standard bottle contains 120 capsules. This is enough for 30 days (1 month) if taking a 2x daily dose.

Are there any other recommendations for someone taking GPx Cell Protect?
Ensure you stay well hydrated to allow your body to detoxify oxidants effectively. In order to maximise your potential it is also advised to keep to a well balanced diet and effective exercise regime. GPx production is highest in those who combine supplementation with diet and exercise.

What are the shipping times from date of purchase?
Our distribution centres are located in Wellington, New Zealand and Lima, Peru. Shipping times will vary depending on your postal address. For orders in Australasia or South America generally allow 3-5 working days. For orders outside these areas please allow up to 10-15 working days depending on location.

When should I start to feel results from taking GPx Cell Protect?
There are some benefits to be seen within the first week of taking the supplement, however often after prolonged levels of stress it may take some time to rebuild you own levels of antioxidant protection. An effective assessment of the benefits can be made at the end of 3-4 weeks of consistent supplementation.

Where are your products made?
GPx Cell Protect is 100% New Zealand made, in line with local industry and food safety standards. Our maca is sourced and packaged directly from a farm in the region of Junin, Peru by our farmer.

Is GPx Cell Protect soy, gluten and dairy free?
Yes our products are free from all of the above. All our ingredients are clearly displayed on the label, so please check before consuming if you have any other allergies. If unsure then consult your healthcare professional.

Is GPx Cell Protect a drug?
No GPx Cell Protect is made from 100% natural ingredients that are chosen to enhance your body’s own natural production of GPx. Many years of scientific research has enabled us to create a natural formula that acts to boost your own GPx production and generate significant health benefits as a result. Our product is manufactured in New Zealand under strict food safety standards and is certified as a natural supplement product.