Maca, Hormones, and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
By Mary Shomon
January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and we invited guest blogger Mary Shomon – a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author of 15 books on hormonal health – to share her thoughts about the health benefits of Maca for thyroid patients.
For almost 30 years, I’ve had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. My immune system produces antibodies that attack and slow my thyroid gland, causing symptoms of an underactive thyroid, including fatigue, a slowed metabolism, and brain fog. The thyroid may be a tiny little gland in your neck, but when it malfunctions, it can cause a long list of oversized symptoms, including low energy, mood changes, brain fog, low sex drive, and a difficult menopause, among many others. Along the way, I’ve also been through pregnancy, post-partum, and later, perimenopause and menopause.
To help resolve unrelieved symptoms, many thyroid patients – myself included – turn to supplements. But let’s be honest, despite all the miracles promised by manufacturers, supplements are hit-or-miss. I tried almost every type of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplement. And I’ve discovered that most supplements don’t work. You take a supplement for weeks or months, waiting for some small sign that it’s doing something – and that sign never comes.
That’s why I am excited to share some information about Royal Maca®. I first learned about Maca – and other medicinal botanicals from the Amazon and Andes – from Dr. Viana Muller, the vibrant and knowledgeable co-founder of Whole World Botanicals, more than 15 years ago. Maca, she explained, is a cruciferous root vegetable, traditionally grown in the high Andes of Peru. It has had an important role as a medicinal food for thousands of years, to help support energy, hormone balance, and sex drive. After experiencing dramatic, life-changing benefits within a few days of consuming organic maca root powder, Viana pioneered the introduction of Maca to the American market.
Viana readily shared research on Maca, and how it helps the body produce precursor hormones (notably IGF-1) that support better balance in the whole endocrine gland system, including the thyroid gland. She also shared testimonials from thyroid patients taking Royal Maca® who saw reduced Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels, and noticeably improved mood and energy.
But I’m a skeptic and needed to find out for myself whether Royal Maca® worked! (Spoiler: It did!) Royal Maca® helped increase my energy and well-being beyond what my thyroid medication alone was doing. I have since heard from many thyroid patients who had similar results and rely on Royal Maca® as a daily essential!
My appreciation for Royal Maca® rose to an even higher level during my perimenopause. I was experiencing hot flashes and night sweats several times a day, but I was not a good candidate for traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I called Viana for advice, knowing that she and her team had already worked with thousands of women to help them safely and effectively use Royal Maca® to handle symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and sex drive issues, as well as mood changes and fatigue. So many women, with help received from Whole World Botanicals, have been able to easily replace their prescription HRT, with this effective natural product.
Viana guided me through a customized regimen to help balance out my hormones. After several days on Royal Maca®, my hot flashes were shorter, less intense, and came less frequently. Within a week, they were gone completely! My book, The Menopause Thyroid Solution, details the use of Royal Maca® for Perimenopause and menopausal symptoms in thyroid patients.
While Maca can be highly effective, there are three key challenges to keep in mind:
1. Maca must be grown the right way in the right place. About 80% of the Maca you’ll find on the market is poor quality, grown in China from smuggled seeds at low altitudes on inferior, contaminated soil. It’s usually marketed raw. As a result, the secondary metabolites that give Maca root its hormone balancing properties are almost non-existent. In contrast, organic Royal Maca® is authentic Peruvian Maca that is pure, potent, sun-dried and cooked.
2. Maca needs to be properly prepared. Maca is a goitrogenic vegetable, so raw and improperly cooked Maca – most of the Maca on the market – can aggravate and slow thyroid function. When it’s cooked (“gelatinized”) like Royal Maca®, it’s both safe and effective for thyroid patients.
3. Maca needs to be dosed correctly. Maca can be tricky. If you don’t take enough, it simply doesn’t work. If you take too much, it can cause side effects and worsening symptoms. Effective Maca dosing guidelines are based on height, weight, individual sensitivity, and symptoms. Viana and her Whole World Botanicals team of product educators give personalized Royal Maca® dosing guidance to customers by email or phone.
Over the years, I’ve tried hundreds of different supplements, and very few products ever earn a permanent place in my medicine cabinet! But Royal Maca® has become an essential part of my health and wellness regimen, and I’m excited to help spread the word to thyroid patients who want to feel and live well in 2022.
Author, The Menopause Thyroid Solution
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