On this Healthy Happenings, Doctors Holly Lucille and James Frame explore the different phenotypes of maca. Maca naturally grows together in varied phenotypes, which in a balanced ration have traditionally been used for energy and stamina by the Peruvians. About 20 years ago, Dr. Meisner started doing clinical research on the different colors of maca to find they elicit different physiological effects. Some phenotypes are specifically more effective on men’s fertility, women’s fertility, reducing prostate size in men, some have no effect, some can affect cholesterol and even bone density. Because of this, Dr. Frame encourages other physicians to look at maca more like mushrooms because of how diverse the phenotypes are.

Even the Peruvians are starting to shift their research to specific phenotypes. Now research is focusing on what types of maca you want to use for specific conditions. Dr. Meisner published a DNA profile a few years ago which caused sensation in the industry. For more companies to align with this research, more abstracts were published and the USDA came up with very similar results, further validating this research. More detail around this story will be elaborated on down the road. For the future of using maca as an effective medicine, quality is key. Arguably, the best maca still comes from Peru, but stability for maca is paramount for effectiveness. Capsules in blister packs seem to offer the best environment for stability. Interestingly, different types of maca grown in different regions and elevations, it’s effectiveness on specific conditions varies. This is why clinical research is so important, especially because some phenotypes used incorrectly can actually make a condition worse.

James Frame has been working in the natural products industry for 15 years and during this time has set up a global supply network with operations in Australia, Vanuatu, France, Pakistan, Peru and the United States. Over the last 5 years James and the SNH team have created Symphony Natural Health’s distribution network and business in the US and are now expanding around the world to 20 countries by the end of 2014.  James experience spans nutrition, exercise physiology and natural products. He has a comprehensive knowledge of each area of the Global Natural Products Industry from seed to shelf. He has established strong commercial ties with some of the largest natural product manufacturers in the USA – Pure World Botanicals and in Europe – Indena and was involved in the privatization of the kava market in Vanuatu, which up until February 1998 was a prescribed commodity. Since this time he has moved on to become one of the biggest exporters of kava out of Vanuatu, with sales in excess of 300 tons, as well as expanding into Tamanu Oil. James was also instrumental in establishing the St. John’s Wort industry in Australia as a viable alternative to product from Chile and Eastern Europe, supplying 200 tons of St. John’s Wort in the first year. From 1999 to the present he has been involved in establishing and growing SNH’s joint venture operation in Peru which includes growing, harvesting and manufacturing with a capacity of 1,500 tons per annum. James also oversaw SNH’s five years of research into Femmenessence and has since been involved in our continued research into women’s health, men’s health and now mental health. In 2010 he successfully acquired and rolled the leading Himalayan Crystal Salt business into SNH.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women’s health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women’s Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the ‘Daphne Blayden’ award for her ‘Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

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