Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, May 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 89

Men's Health Carlos, CA) more than a decade ago, increases total and free testosterone levels in athletes—and, thus, muscle strength and muscle power. It posits ZMA may also increase insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Both testosterone and IGF-1 are involved in muscle recovery and regeneration. ZMA comprises a proprietary blend of zinc (30 mg zinc monomethionine aspartate), magnesium (450 mg magnesium aspartate), and vitamin B6 (10.5 mg). Zinc and magnesium are key to muscle strength and function. Several enzymes, for instance, use zinc to metabolize energy in muscle. Studies on zinc in general—not on ZMA—also show that zinc may decrease cortisol. Magnesium is also key to muscle function—particularly, for relaxing muscle. Studies show that athletes tend to be low in both zinc (hypozincemia) and magnesium due to sweating and other factors, all of which leads to fatigue and loss of endurance. Tis is where ZMA helps, InterHealth says, providing highly bioavailable zinc and magnesium and, as a result, boosting muscle strength and testosterone levels. (Te vitamin B6 helps increase the absorption of zinc and magnesium.) ZMA is backed by one eight-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial performed on 27 college football players, published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology.3 (Tere are also a lot more studies linking zinc and magnesium in general with athletic performance.) Researchers looked for efects of ZMA on anabolic hormones and muscle function. Tey found that supplementation with ZMA signifcantly increased levels of zinc, magnesium, free and total testosterone, and IGF-1, signifcantly increasing strength and "suggesting that ZMA may have anabolic efects," InterHealth says. ZMA is not just for athletes, InterHealth scientist Francis Lau, PhD, FACN, adds: "It can be marketed to any man who wants to keep a healthy lifestyle." Supplement formulators would do well to keep an eye out for new research on testosterone. "Tis whole notion of raising testosterone to healthy, benefcial levels through natural products is somewhat of a new target," says CRN's MacKay. "Te research is still emerging." 32 magenta cyan yellow black Maca for Men's HealtH When one thinks men's health, maca isn't necessarily the frst ingredient to come to mind. But San Francisco dietary supplements frm Natural Health International (NHI) believes maca (Lepidium peruvianum) may help in a number of ways. First, we should specify which type of maca we're talking about. Not only are there 175 different Lepidium species, with 14 that grow at high altitude; some species contain subspecies, or phenotypes, with some phenotypes triggering different physiological effects. This is where a company's specifc phenotype blend matters. Because there is no, single active constituent proven responsible for maca's adaptogenic benefts, a company needs to be able to prove that its ingredient— its specifc phenotype blend—is actually effective for what it's being promoted for. Specifcally, NHI derives its ingredients from Peruvian maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon), which contains 13 different phenotypes. Each of NHI's two ingredients—Maca-OG for men and Maca-GO for women—is standardized to its own specifc ratio of phenotypes, depending on its health target. To back its products, NHI offers not one, but several, published human clinical studies. To date, the company has only done animal studies on its men's health ingredient, Maca-OG. But it has done both animal and human studies on Maca-GO, its women's health ingredient. The largest so far, published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science in 2006, was a two-part study: 1) a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 168 early-postmenopausal women (124 completed the study),10 and 2) a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover outpatient study on 34 early-postmenopausal women.11 Both demonstrated Maca-GO's hormone-balancing effects. "Maca-GO is currently the only maca-based product in the world that's ever been able to prove, in published clinical trials, statistically signifcant effects on a range of hormones in postmenopausal women," says NHI's CEO James Frame. "In fact, it's the only herbal product to ever show this, not just maca." This studied ingredient, Maca-GO, is the building block for the company's three dietary supplements for women: MacaHarmony for premenstrual health; MacaLife for perimenopausal health; and MacaPause for postmenopausal health, as well as heart, bone, and mental health. Each supplement stars Maca-GO, with other phenotypes included at higher ratios in MacaHarmony and MacaLife, depending on the physiological target. Frame explains that Maca-GO affects the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, which many scientists and doctors believe is in fact the root cause of hormone imbalance and many of the symptoms women experience, such as hot fashes and night sweats. The company is very straightforward in saying that it has yet to publish a human clinical study on its Maca-OG ingredient for men. But, it says, so far this ingredient—used in the company's Revolution Macalibrium men's health supplement—has shown good evidence in pharmacology research and clinical usage for men's health. Specifcally, in clinical practice, Revolution Macalibrium has demonstrated benefts for hormone health—increasing growth hormone and testosterone levels—energy, and sexual vitality. The company believes this may be due to the Lepidium peruvianum Chacon phenotypes in Maca-OG that specifcally impact the adrenal glands and testes (as opposed to the phenotypes in the women's Maca-GO that instead target other areas, including the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis). NHI soon plans to introduce another men's product specifcally for prostate support. Frame says animal studies have shown that gelatinized red maca can reduce the size of the prostate but that no other maca phenotype so far has been able to prove it reduces size. In fact, he's seen clinical usage demonstrate that if a product has concentrated levels of one of the other maca phenotypes, this can actually, in some cases, cause prostate infammation. Stay tuned. MAY 2013 ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ES245143_NO1305_032.pgs 05.02.2013 22:18 UBM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Nutritional Outlook - Nutritional Outlook, May 2013