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Manganese

What is Manganese?

Manganese is a mineral that the body utilizes for several important functions, however, the human body requires very little of it to be effective. Manganese is primarily stored in the liver, pancreas, kidneys and bones and helps in the production of enzymes. Additionally, manganese plays a major role in producing antioxidants and helping to control nervous system functions.

What does Manganese do?

Manganese contributes to both enzyme activation as well as enzyme productivity. In general, the enzymes that are activated or affected by manganese are used in the metabolism of major amino acids, carbohydrates and even cholesterol.

Manganese supports the skeletal frame by contributing to cartilage and bone development. It also aides the body in healing wounds. Manganese has also been shown to help the body establish efficient nerve function, eliminate free radicals and help the body use Vitamin C effectively.

In women, manganese is particularly important in the production of breast milk and in both males and females, aides in the production of certain sex hormones.

Where is Manganese found?

Manganese is primarily found in foods that are digested. Green, leafy vegetable are particularly rich in manganese. Other manganese-rich foods include seeds, tea, whole grains and legumes.

Manganese is available in capsule form as an over the counter dietary supplement as well. It’s important to note that many dietary supplements contain traces of manganese and if used in combination, may lead to excessive manganese levels which could be harmful. Supplements used to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis most commonly contain trace levels of manganese as well.

What happens when someone has a Manganese deficiency?

Because manganese is a trace mineral in the human body, very little of it is needed in order to provide functional help and therefore, deficiency is rather rare. The group of people with the highest risk of acquiring a manganese deficiency are women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding. A large amount of a woman’s manganese supply is passed onto the infant either in womb, or through the expulsion of breast milk. That means a mother in either of these conditions may need to supplement her manganese intake with supplements. The most common symptoms of a manganese deficiency could include certain birth defects, inadequate blood glucose levels, infertility or inefficient bone growth. Recent studies have shown that individuals suffering from diabetes, epilepsy and osteoporosis tend to have lower manganese levels and may need supplements to create a mineral balance.

Excessive supplements and symptoms

It’s important to note that having too much manganese can lead to an iron deficiency that can result in anemia. When consumed in the form of a dietary supplement, manganese tends to combine well with Vitamins C and K, iron, zinc, copper as well as Glucosamine. When combined with any of these additional supplements, manganese has shown in some cases to be effective in reducing the loss of spinal bone. These combined supplements are particularly effective in older-aged women and those at risk for osteoporosis.

Manganese – AIs (Adequate Intakes)

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Milligrams per Day
0.003
0.6
Children
1-3 years
4-8 years

1.2
1.5
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

1.9
2.2
2.3
2.3
2.3
2.3
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

1.6
1.6
1.8
1.8
1.8
1.8
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

2.0
2.0
2.0
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

2.6
2.6
2.6

 

Sources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/182.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-182-Manganese.aspx?activeIngredientId=182&activeIngredientName=Manganese&source=1
http://www.vitalhealthzone.com/nutrition/minerals/manganese.html
http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutrition101/g/manganese.htm
USDA Dietary Reference Intakes