Manganese Overview, Health Benefits, Source Food, Deficiency, Side effects

Manganese Overview, Health Benefits, Source Food, Deficiency, Side effects

Manganese Overview

The mineral manganese is needed in trace amounts, however, it is one of the most common elements found in the earth's crust - it serves as a co-factor in many enzymatic reactions. Manganese can be found in atmospheric dust, in rain water, in fresh and sea water as well as in all animal and plant tissues. There is not a single sample of human tissue which does not contain a little manganese - some trace of the element can be detected in all tissue samples. As manganese serves as a co-factor in several important enzyme systems, it is considered to be an essential trace mineral and some amount is required in the diet. The reactions in which manganese functions as a co-factor include the synthesis of many types of protein, in the enzymatic formation of nucleic acids DNA and RNA, and in the synthesis of cartilage tissue. The mineral may be vital in processes involving the metabolism of fats, and it is known that manganese plays a role in the utilization of the insulin hormone. The mineral manganese is a powerful antioxidant that seeks out the free radicals in the human body and neutralizes these damaging particles, thereby preventing many of the potential dangers they cause.

The body may contain, at most, 20 mg of manganese, which is concentrated in our kidneys, pancreas, liver and bones. Manganese is very important for the normal functioning of the brain and proper activity of our nervous system throughout the body. As far as research can tell, it is an essential trace mineral for every form of life.

Manganese is used for prevention and treatment of manganese deficiency, a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough manganese. It is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), a type of “tired blood” (anemia), and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Manganese is sometimes included with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride in multi-ingredient products promoted for osteoarthritis.

Causes  and Symptoms of Manganese Deficiency

Full-blown manganese deficiency is very rare and would typically not occur unless manganese is eliminated from the diet.  However, many people may not be getting the optimal levels needed for health.

The most common cause of low manganese is poor dietary intake, either due to a diet lacking in manganese food sources, or because of intestinal tract disorders that hinder the absorption of nutrients from food.

Other factors that contribute to manganese deficiency symptoms include :
  • excessive sweating, as large amounts of manganese is lost in sweat
  • antacids or oral contraceptives interfere with manganese absorption
  • iron, copper and magnesium decrease manganese in the body, and excessive intake of any of those minerals can deplete it
  • chronic liver or gallbladder disorders may raise intake requirements, as production of enough bile and proper circulation of it is needed for transport of manganese throughout the body

Manganese deficiency can also lead to the impairment of growth, it can disrupt the reproductive processes, it can induce a glucose tolerance, it can affect egg shell formation, it can affect the clotting of blood and it can also lead to the development of deformities in the skeletal system and induce a loss of muscular coordination in the body. The immune response of test animals has also been found to be lowered by a deficiency of manganese deficiency in the body of the animals. Though, once believed to be genetic mutations, the deficiency caused by manganese has been found to be responsible for certain birth defects affecting animals. This effect was erased in the offspring by supplying manganese supplements to the pregnant test animals.

The physical symptoms of manganese deficiency in humans were an accidental discovery during a test diet, the manganese was mistakenly left out and this induced deficiency symptoms in the test subjects. Manganese deficiency symptoms experienced by the volunteers in the test include sudden weight loss, skin disorders like dermatitis, spells of nausea, the slow growth of hair and beard with changes in the color of the hair, the manganese deficiency also produced symptoms like very low levels of cholesterol in the blood.

The symptoms of manganese deficiency include high blood pressure, heart ailments, muscular contraction, bone malformation, high cholesterol, poor eyesight, hearing trouble, severe memory loss, shivers and tremors. Even though some medical experts argue that manganese deficiency is quite rare, more than 35 % of the world population is thought to be deficient. Poor dietary habits are the leading cause of such deficiencies.

In some cases, calcium and iron are believed to interfere with the appropriate use of manganese in the human body. Eye problems, sweating, fast heartbeats, weakness, and severe cramps may be some of the deficiency symptoms. Severe deficiency may cause infertility in women, pancreatic damage, heart ailments and osteoporosis.

Good food sources of Manganese

Manganese is found in good amounts from natural sources such as whole grains, as well as wheat germ and bran, in garden peas, in beet tops, in fruits like pineapple, as well as in tea, ginger and the sage herb. Good sources of manganese also include wines, different kinds of nuts, all types of green leafy vegetables and most fruits. Some types of multi-mineral supplements also include manganese as an additive.

Foods high in manganese : dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach) , avocados , pineapple , raspberries , nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts). 

Other manganese food sources include : bananas, blueberries, figs, grapes, kiwifruit, strawberries , blackstrap molasses , maple syrup , black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, garlic, peppermint, thyme, turmeric , egg yolks , beets, carrots, sweet potato , asparagus , celery , leeks , summer squash , seaweed , legumes (black beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), dried peas, green beans, pinto beans, lima beans, navy beans) , soybeans and soybean products like tofu and tempeh , whole grains (oats, brown rice, rye, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, spelt).

Manganese Supplements

Taking vitamins and minerals in their correct balance is vital to the proper functioning of all vitamins.  They work synergistically, which means that the effectiveness of any one nutrient requires, or is enhanced, sometimes dramatically, by the presence of certain other nutrients.

For this reason, if you are looking to take supplements for maintenance of optimal health, the recommended approach is to take a multi-vitamin that has the proper balance of all the necessary nutrients your body needs.

Keep in mind, however, that while mineral supplements are useful to plug nutritional gaps that are almost inevitable in modern diets, and to ensure we get optimal doses of nutrients, they are no substitute for a good diet. Instead, use them to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Health benefits of Manganese

Some of the health benefits of manganese include a benefit to healthy bone structure, bone metabolism, and helping to create essential enzymes for building bones. It also acts as a co-enzyme to assist metabolic activity in the human body. Apart from these, there are other health benefits of manganese including the formation of connective tissues, absorption of calcium, proper functioning of the thyroid gland and sex hormones, regulation of blood sugar level, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

Health benefits of Manganese for Healthy Bones

Manganese is essential for proper and normal growth of human bone structure. It is a very effective mineral in aiding in the increase of  the mineral density of spinal bone. This is especially true and useful for post-menopausal women. Many women suffer from manganese deficiency after they go through menopause, so increasing the amount of trace minerals that women consume is an important factor in preventing fractures. Although research has yet to consistently prove that manganese can prevent osteoporosis, it is believed to be one of the contributing factors that slow down the progress of that debilitating disease.

Health benefits of Manganese for Brain and nervous system

Manganese is essential for the healthy functioning of the brain and it is also used to treat specific nervous disorders. This is most likely due to the superoxide dismutase, which scavenges free radicals throughout the body, including the neural pathways. Oxidation byproducts like free radicals are everywhere in the body, and the brain can be negatively affected just as easily as other parts of the body, therefore powerful antioxidants like SOD are required. Aside from its antioxidant role, manganese can also bind with neurotransmitters and stimulate faster or more efficient transmission of electrical impulses throughout the body, in effect, speeding up cognitive function.

Health benefits of Manganese for Free Radicals

Due to the antioxidant properties of manganese, the health benefits of manganese include a special function of monitoring the activity of free radicals in human body. These free radicals are capable of damaging human cells and causing cancer and other devastating diseases, so adding manganese supplements or food rich in this mineral is a very good choice, particularly if you have other risk factors for various diseases.

Health benefits of Manganese for Sugar level

Manganese has also exhibited efficiency in controlling the level of sugar in human blood. This may further prevent the occurrence of certain diseases like diabetes. To control the level of sugar in the blood, manganese normalizes insulin synthesis and secretion, and the unpredictable drops in blood sugar can be better regulated, providing a more normal and functional life for diabetics.

Health benefits of Manganese for Preventing Osteoporosis

Manganese supplements are connected to the relief of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis syndrome because it is an essential mineral that has been proven to add to bone density and overall mineral density. However, as an individual element in the creation and repair of bones, studies are still somewhat lacking. In human testing, at least, most bone health research is done with a complete panel of trace minerals, not just manganese. Further studies have to be done on the specific roles and mechanisms of manganese on the body.

Health benefits of Manganese for Metabolism

Regulation of the body’s metabolism is one of the vital functions of manganese. Manganese-activated enzymes help in the metabolism of cholesterol, amino acids, and carbohydrates. It is also important for the metabolism of Vitamins like Vitamin E and Vitamin B-1. Furthermore, it helps the liver properly function and run smoothly, as well as being an essential part of the metabolism of glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in the body, and a key part of DNA polymerase.

Health benefits of Manganese for Inflammation and Sprains

Manganese is a widely known remedy for sprains as well as inflammation as it helps in increasing the level of superoxide dismutase. This increased level is due to the antioxidant properties of the mineral. Superoxide dismutase, also known as SOD, is normally found in very low levels in patients with arthritis. SOD has anti-inflammatory qualities which arthritis sufferers desperately need, so adding manganese back into the body to increase synthesis and function of SOD has been connected with a decrease in symptoms of this condition, according to various studies.

Health benefits of Manganese for Alleviating PMS syndrome

It is an unfortunate but unavoidable fact that many women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In these monthly situations, manganese helps to alleviate the mood swings, headaches, depression and irritability to a considerable extent. Studies have shown a connection between low levels of various trace minerals, including manganese, in women who suffered from particularly severe PMS symptoms, so supplementation is recommended. That being said, the impact of manganese on the hormonal function of the body can be quite noticeable, so speak with a doctor before using manganese supplementation to help with PMS, since that is also heavily connected to hormones.

Health benefits of Manganese for Thyroid Health

Manganese is an important co-factor for many different enzymes, and it is an essential component of thyroxine, arguably the most important hormone in the thyroid gland. Proper functioning of the thyroid gland and its hormonal synthesis benefits a wide variety of health issues in the body, including weight loss, appetite, metabolism, and organ system efficiency.

Health benefits of Manganese for Aids in vitamin absorption

Manganese helps absorb vital vitamins like vitamin B and E and minerals like magnesium. This is due to the role of manganese in the enzymatic reactions that are required to absorb and utilize vitamins taken in from food. Manganese is one of the most versatile co-factors for enzymatic reactions, and if there is a risk of having a deficiency in certain vitamins, then be sure to increase levels of manganese, as long as they are still within safe and non-toxic levels.

Health benefits of Manganese for Epilepsy

Low levels of manganese can act as a trigger for epileptic seizures. Manganese supplements can aid in controlling the possibility of any minor or major epileptic seizure. The exact mechanism for this is not fully understood, but manganese has been shown to act as a vasodilator in various studies, and there are some researchers who believe that this is the key to the anti-epileptic quality.

Health benefits of Manganese for Glucose Metabolism

Manganese aids in regulating glucose metabolism in the human body. This is one of the most important health benefits of manganese to provide proper resources to different body parts, which increases energy and functional efficiency. Also, when glucose is properly absorbed and utilized by organ systems and muscles, there is less of a chance of excess buildup, which is dangerous for patients with diabetics. Proper management of diabetes is definitely aided by proper manganese levels in the body.

Health benefits of Manganese for Digestive tract

Manganese is a mineral, which is helpful in maintaining the functioning of the digestive track. This further improves the absorption of fat in the process of digestion, and also reduces issues like constipation and bowel discomfort. Manganese is also important in terms of efficient food utilization and the transformation into usable energy.

Manganese Side effects and cautions

Manganese is likely safety for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts up to 11 mg per day. However, people who have trouble getting rid of manganese from the body, such as people with liver disease, may experience side effects when taking less than 11 mg per day.

Manganese is likely unsafety when inhaled by adults for long periods of time. Excess manganese in the body can cause serious side effects, including symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease, such as shaking (tremors).

Some very rare side effects including dementia and various psychiatric symptoms can result from the excessive consumption of manganese supplements. The excretion of manganese from the body of individuals with liver cirrhosis may possibly be disrupted according to the findings of preliminary research. The use of supplemental manganese by individuals affected with cirrhosis is not recommended until more is known about its effects on the liver.

People with iron-deficiency anemia seem to absorb more manganese than other people. If you have this condition, be careful not to get too much manganese.

The rate of absorption of manganese in the body is also affected by several minerals like calcium and iron, and perhaps zinc - these essential minerals may reduce the absorption rate of manganese into the body. For example, the minerals zinc and copper work along side manganese in activating superoxide dismutase - an enzyme.