Estudio de la Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.), cultivo andino con propiedades terapéuticas


  • Gabriel Sifuentes-Penagos Universidad Nacional del Santa, Nuevo Chimbote
  • Susan León-Vásquez Universidad Nacional del Santa, Nuevo Chimbote
  • Luz María Paucar-Menacho Universidad Nacional del Santa, Nuevo Chimbote


Palabras clave:

Lepidium meyenii, acción terapéutica, antioxidante, glucosinolatos, macamidas


La maca es un producto originario de los Andes Centrales del Perú, resistente a granizadas, heladas y sequías prolongadas. Se cultiva desde la época incaica en altitudes comprendidas entre los 3800 a 4500 m.s.n.m. Esta planta herbácea, presenta no sólo un alto valor nutricional sino también es valorada por su papel medicinal. Entre los componentes químicos de este cultivo andino que se han relacionado con sus acciones terapéuticas como el aumento de la fertilidad, niveles de energía, acción antioxidante, mejora del deseo sexual y la tasa de crecimiento, destacan: los glucosinolatos, esteroles, ácidos grasos (macaeno) y sus respectivas amidas (macamidas), alcaloides (lepidilinas A y B, macaridina) y polifenoles. El objetivo de este trabajo fue, recopilar las diferentes investigaciones que se han llevado a cabo sobre las propiedades terapéuticas de la maca y los compuestos responsables de las mismas.


Boaling, C.; Bo, L.Z.; Kan, He.; Qun, Y.Z. 2003. Imidazole alkaloids from Lepidium meyenii. Journal of Natural Products 66: 1101–1103.

Beckman, J.S.; Koppenol, W.H. 1996. Nitric oxide, superoxide, and peroxynitrite: the good, the bad, and ugly. American Journal of Physiology 271: 1424–1437.

Bogani, P.; Simonini, F.; Iriti, M.; Rossoni, M.; Faoro, F.; Poletti, A.; Visioli, F. 2006. Lepidium meyenii (maca) does not exert direct androgenic activities. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 104: 415–417.

Castaño-Corredor, M. 2008. Maca (Lepidium peruvianum chacón): composición química y propiedades farmacológicas. Revista de Fitoterapia 8: 21-28.

Chacón de Popovici, G. 1997. La importancia de Lepidium Peruvianun Chacón (Maca) en la alimentación y salud del ser humano y animal 2000 años antes y después de cristo y en el siglo XXI. Servicios Gráficos “ROMERO”. Lima, Perú.Cicero, A.F.; Bandieri, E.; Arletti, R. 2001. Lepidium meyenii Walp. improves sexual behaviour in male rats independently from its action on spontaneous locomotor activity. Journal of Ethnopharmacol 75: 225–229.

Dean, R.T.; Gieseg, S.; Davies, M.J. 1993. Reactive species and their accumulation on radical damaged proteins. Trends in Biochemical Science 18: 437–441.

Dini, A.; Migliuolo, G.; Rastrelli, L.; Saturnino, P.; Schettino, O. 1994. Chemical composition of Lepidium meyenii. Food Chemistry 49: 347–349.

Dini, I.; Terone, G.C.; Dini, A. 2002. Glucosinolates from maca (Lepidium meyenii). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 30: 1087–1090.

Eddouks, M.; Maghrani, M.; Zeggwagh, N.A.; Michel, J.B. 2005. Study of the hypoglycaemic activity of Lepidium sativum L. aqueous extract in normal and diabetic rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 97: 391–395.

Ernst, E.; Posadzki, P.; Lee, M.S. 2011. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction in older men and women: an overview of systematic reviews. Maturitas 70: 37-41.

Fahey, J.W.; Zalcmann, A.T.; Talalay, P. 2001. The chemical diversity and distribution of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates among plants. Phytochemistry 56: 5–51.

Flores, H.E.; Walker, T.S.; Guimaraes, R.L.; Pal Bais, H.; Vivanco, J.M. 2003. Andean root and tuber crops: Underground rainbows. Hortiscience 38: 161–167.

Ganzera, M.; Zhao, J.; Muhammad I.; Khan, I.A. 2002. Chemical profiling and standardization of Lepidium meyenii (maca) by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 50: 988–991.

García R.M.; Gómez-Sánchez P.I.; Espinoza B.C.; Bravo R.F.; Ganoza M.L. 2009. Tablas peruanas de composición de alimentos. Lima, Perú.

Gonzales, G.F.; Córdova, A.; Gonzales, C.; Chung, A.; Villena, A.; Vega, K. 2001. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men. Asian Journal Androl 3: 301-303.

Gonzales, G.F.; Córdova, A.; Vega, K.; Chung, A.; Villena, A.; Góñez, C. 2003. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertilityenhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men. Journal of J Endocrinol 176: 163–168.

Gonzales, G.F.; Córdova, A.; Vega, K.; Chung, A.; Villena, A.; Góñez, C.; Castillo, S. 2002. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (maca) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Andrologia 34: 367-372.

Gonzales, G.F.; Miranda, S.; Nieto, J.; Fernandez, G.; Yucra, S.; Rubio, J.; Yi, P.; Gasco, M. 2005. Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) reduced prostate size in rats. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 3: 5.

Gonzales, G.F.; Nieto, J.; Rubio, J.; Gasco, M. 2006. Effect of Black maca (Lepidium meyenii) on one spermatogenic cycle in rats. Andrologia 38: 166–172.

Halkier, B.A.; Gershenzon, J. 2006. Biology and biochemistry of glucosinolates. Annual Review of Plant Biology 57: 303–333.

Halliwell, B.; Gutteridge, J.M.; Aruoma, O.I. 1987. The deoxyribose method: a simple ‘‘test tube’’ assay for the determination of rate constants for reactions of hydroxyl radicals. Analytical Biochemistry 165: 215–219.

Hermann, M.; Bernet, T. 2009. The Transition of Maca from Neglect to Market Prominence: Lessons for Improving Use Strategies and Market Chains of Minor Crops. Agricultural Biodiversity and Livelihoods Discussion Papers 1. Bioversity International, Rome,

Italy.Ho, C.C.; Tan, H.M. 2011. Rise of herbal and traditional medicine in erectile dysfunction management. Curr Urol Rep. 12: 470-478.

Hudson T. 2008. Maca: new insights on an ancient plant. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal 7: 54–7.

Jones, R.B.; Faragher, J.D.; Winkler, S. 2006. A review of the influence of postharvest treatments on quality and glucosinolate content in broccoli (Brassica oleraceavar. italica) heads. Postharvest Biology and Technology 41: 1–8.

Kamohara, S.; Kageyama, M.; Sunayama, S.; Denpo, K. 2014. Safety and efficacy of a dietary supplement containing functional food ingredients for erectile dysfunction. Personalized Medicine Universe 3: 38-41.

Koufen, P.; Stark, G. 2000. Free radical induced inactivation of creatine kinase: sites of interaction, protection, and recovery. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 1501: 44–50.

Lagarda, M.J.; García-Llatas, G.; Farré R. 2006. Analysis of phytosterols in foods. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis 41: 1486–1496.

Le, H.T.; Schaldach, C.M.; Firestone, G.L.; Bjeldanes, L.F. 2003. Plant-derived 3,3-diindolylmethane is a strong androgen antagonist in human prostate cancer cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278: 21136–21145.

Lee M.S.; Shin, B.C.; Yang E.J.; Lim, H.J.; Ernst E. 2011 Maca (Lepidium meyenii) for treatment of menopausal symptoms: A systematic Review. Maturitas 70: 227–233

Lee. K.J.; Dabrowski, K.; Rinchard, J.; Gomez, C.; Guz, L.; Vilchez, C. 2004. Supplementation of maca (Lepidium meyenii) tuber meal in diets improves growth rate and survival of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) alevins and juveniles. Aquaculture Research 35: 215– 223.

Lehtinen, K. J., Mattsson, K., Tana, J., Engstrom, C., Lerche, O., Hemming, J. 1999. Effects of wood-related sterols on the reproduction, egg survival, and offspring of brown trout (Salmo trutta lacustris L.).Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 42: 40–49.

Lemus-Mondaca, R.; Vega-Gálvez, A.; Zura-Bravo, L.; Ah-Hen, K. 2012. Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, source of a high-potency natural sweetener: A comprehensive review on the biochemical, nutritional and functional aspects. Food Chemistry 132: 1121–1132.

Li, G.; Ammermann, U.; Quirós, C.F. 2001. Glucosinolate contents in maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacón) seeds, sprouts, mature plants and several derived commercial products. Economic Botany 55: 255–262.

MacLatchy, D.L.; Van Der Kraak, G.J. 1995. The phytoestrogen hsitosterol alters the reproductive endocrine status of goldfish. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 134: 305– 312.

Malison, J.A.; Kayes, T.B.; Best, C.D.; Amundson, C.H. 1985. Hormonal growth promotion and evidence for a size-related difference in response to estradiol-17h in yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 42: 1627–1633.

McCollom, M.M.; Villinski, J. R.; McPhail, K.L.; Craker, L.E.; Gafner, S. 2005. Analysis of macamides in samples of Maca (Lepidium meyenii) by HPLC-UVMS/MS. Phytochemical Analysis 16: 463–469.

Meissner, H.O.; Mscisz, A.; Reich-Bilinska, H.; Mrozikiewicz, P.; Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T.; Kedzia, B.; Lowicka, A.; Barchia, I. 2006. Hormone-balancing effect of pre-gelatinized organic maca (Lepidium peruvanum Chacon): (iii) clinical responses of earlypostmenopausal women to maca in double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study. International Journal of Biomedical Science 2: 375–94.

Milasius, K.; Dadelien, R.; Tubelis, L.; Raslanas, A. 2008. Effects of a maca booster food supplement on sportsmen's bodily adaption to physical loads. In 13th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Sciences, 226. Estoril, Portugal.

Moreau, R.A.; Whitaker, B.; Hicks, K.B. 2002. Phytosterols, phytostanols, and their conjugates in foods: Structural diversity, quantitative analysis, and health-promoting uses. Progress in Lipid Research 41: 457–500.

Muhammad, I.; Zhao, J.; Dunbar, D.C.; Khan, I.A. 2002. Constituents of Lepidium meyenii ‘maca’. Phytochemistry 59: 105–110.

Piacente, S.; Carbone, V.; Plaza, A.; Zampelli, A.; Pizza, C. 2002. Investigation of the tuber constituents of maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50: 5621–5625.

Quirós, C.F.; Aliaga, R.C.; Herman, M.; Heller, J. 1997. Andean Roots and Tubers: Ahipa, Arracacha, Maca and Yacon. Promoting the Conservation and Use of Underutilized and Neglected Crops. Disponible en:

Rossouw, J.E.; Anderson, G.L.; Prentice, R.L. 2002. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the women’s health initiative randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 288:321–333.

Rowland, D.L.; Tai W.A. 2003. Review of plant-derived and herbal approaches to the treatment of sexual dysfunctions. Journal of Sex y Marital Therapy 29: 185–205.

Ruiz-Luna, A.C.; Salazar, S.; Aspajo, N.J.; Rubio, J.; Gasco, M.; Gonzales, G.F. 2005. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) increases litter size in normal adult female mice. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 3: 3–16.

Sandoval, M.; Okuhama, N.N.; Angeles, F.M.; Melchor, V.V.; Condezo, L.A.; Lao, J.; Miller, J.S. 2002. Antioxidant activity of the cruciferous vegetable Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Food Chemistry 79: 207–213.

Spector, I.P.; Carey, M.P.; Steinberg, L. 1996. The sexual desire inventory: development, factor structure, and evidence of reliability. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 22: 175–190.

Stone, M.; Ibarrab, A.; Rollerc, M.; Zangaraa, A.; Stevenson, E. 2009. A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 126: 574–576.

Tremblay, L.; Van Der Kraak, G. 1999. Use of a series of homologous in vitro and in vivo assays to evaluate the endocrine modulating actions of h-sitosterol in rainbow trout. Aquatic Toxicology 43: 149–162.

Valentová, K.; Buckiová, D.; Kren, V.; Peknicová, J.; Ulrichová, J.; Simánek, V. 2006. The in vitro biological activity of Lepidium meyenii extracts Cell Biology and Toxicology 22: 91–99

Wang, Y.; Wang, Y.; McNeil, B.; Harvey, L.M. 2007. Maca: An andean crop with multipharmacological functions. Food Research International 40: 783–92.

Yábar, E.; Pedreschi, R.; Chirinos R.; Campos, D. 2011. Glucosinolate content and myrosinase activity evolution in three maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) ecotypes during preharvest, harvest and postharvest drying. Food Chemistry 127: 1576–1583.

Yao, L.; Zhao, Q.; Xiao, J.; Sun, J.; Yuan, X.; Zhao, B. 2012. Composition andantioxidant activity of the polysaccharides from cultivated Saussurea involucrata. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 50: 849–853.

Zhaa, S.; Zhaoa, Q.; Chena, J.; Wanga, L.; Zhanga, G.; Zhangc, H.; Zhaoa, B. 2014. Extraction, purification and antioxidant activities of the polysaccharides from maca (Lepidium meyenii). Carbohydrate Polymers, 111: 584–587.

Zhang, Y.; Yu, L.; Ao, M.; Jin, W. 2006. Effect of ethanol extract of Lepidium meyenii Walp. on osteoporosis in ovariectomized rat. Journal of Ethnopharmacol 105:274–279.

Zhao, J.; Muhammad, I.; Dunbar, D.C.; Mustafa, J.; Khan, I.A. 2005. New alkamides from maca (Lepidium meyenii). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 5: 690–693.

Zheng, B.L.; He, K.; Khim, C.H.; Rogers, L.; Shao, Y.; Huang, Z.Y.; Lu, Y.; Yan, S.J.; Qien, L.C.; Zheng, Q.Y. 2000. Effect of a lipidic extract from Lepidium meyenii on sexual behavior in mice and rats. Urology 55(4): 598–602

Zheng, B.L.; He, K.; Kim C.H.; Rogers, L.; Shao, Y.; Huang, Z.Y.; Lu, Y.; Yan, S.J.; Qien, L.C.; Zheng, Q.Y. 2000. Effect of a lipidic extract from Lepidium meyenii on sexual behavior in mice and rats. Urology 55: 598–602.

Zou, J.J.; Trudeau V.L.; Cui, Z.; Brechin, J.; Mackenzie, K.; Zhu, Z.; Houlihan, D.F.; Peter, R.E. 1997. Estradiol stimulates growth hormone production in female goldfish. General and Comparative Endocrinology 106: 102– 112.

Received: 04/03/15

Accepted: 05/04/15

Corresponding author: E-mail: (L.M. Paucar-Menacho)




Cómo citar

Sifuentes-Penagos, G., León-Vásquez, S., & Paucar-Menacho, L. M. (2015). Estudio de la Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.), cultivo andino con propiedades terapéuticas. Scientia Agropecuaria, 6(2), 131-140.



Artículos de Revisión