February 19, 2018
Manganese: a metal found in combination with other metals on earth.
It is necessary for many enzymatic processes, especially detoxification of oxygen radicals. It is important in developmental neurologic processes and metabolism. We need it for bone and connective tissue growth and repair.
Manganese is stored primarily in our bones but also in our liver and kidneys.
Manganese's major role is as a cofactor for superoxide dismutase in our cell's energy center, the mitochondria. It helps the body clear out nasty oxygen radical species that can damage our DNA and cells. It also is necessary for the metabolic functions of cholesterol synthesis, carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. It is necessary for glucose production in the liver as well as clearing ammonia out of our system.
Manganese is important for the production of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, that helps keep the brain calm.
Manganese deficiency is extremely rare. Insufficiency states can result from poor nutritional habits. Consequences of inadequate manganese are fatigue, inflammation, oxidative cellular stress, sugar and fat metabolism problems, impaired bone, nail, hair and tissue growth.
We most commonly derive manganese from whole grains, legumes, dried fruits, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney and tea.
Manganese absorption can be disrupted by excessive supplemental iron, folic acid, calcium or phosphorus. Checking a manganese level is not a bad idea if on high doses of these supplements.
Children need 1-2 mg per day which is easily obtained from a quality diet. Adults need closer to 2.5mg per day.
Manganese overdose or unknown ingestion can be neurotoxic and cause a Parkinson like disorder with muscle rigidity. High risk groups are drug users who get exposed to manganese laced drugs.