Manganese is an essential trace mineral present in minimal amounts in the body, especially in the liver, bones, kidneys, and pancreas. Learn more about manganese benefits below!
This nutrient is necessary for various bodily functions, including immune defense, bone development, production of digestive enzymes, and nutrient absorption.
It also works closely with other nutrients like iron to enhance its functions.
You can easily boost your manganese levels through various foods such as seeds, nuts, legumes, leafy greens, and whole grains.
Manganese supplements are also available; however, they are unnecessary since dietary sources are often enough to meet your daily requirements. Besides, too much manganese intake through supplements has been shown to be toxic.
Here are the health benefits of manganese:
1. Fights inflammation
Manganese leads to the formation of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress, inflammation, and pain associated with inflammatory conditions.
A combination with other elements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can be more effective in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
In one study, men with degenerative joint disease of the knee experienced relief after they took combination therapy.
Another study involving people with osteoarthritis found that a supplement containing manganese glucosamine and chondroitin improved their symptoms by 52 percent after 4-6 months of intake.
2. It’s a strong antioxidant
Manganese takes part in the formation of an enzyme antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is the only antioxidant present in the cell mitochondria, which protects the cells from free radicle damage and oxidative damage.
Low levels of DOD and other antioxidants have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease more than triglycerides or even cholesterol levels.
3. Promotes healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis
Manganese is a co-factor for different enzymes needed in bone formation.
Thus, a deficiency may impair bone formation and reduce bone mineral density, leading to increased risk for bone conditions such as osteoporosis.
According to studies, both men and women over the age of 50, but women to a more significant extent experience osteoporosis-related fractures. This is due to low mineral density with a probability of manganese deficiency.
Further research shows that combining manganese with other bone-building nutrients like zinc, calcium, and copper may lower the risk of spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women.
4. Regulates blood sugar and fights diabetes
Manganese is needed to produce enzymes associated with gluconeogenesis, the conversion of amino acids into sugar, and the general regulation of blood sugar levels.
In one study, manganese increased glucose tolerance, improved mitochondria functions, and decreased lipid peroxidation. Contrary to this, low manganese levels may cause glucose intolerance, similar to what happens in type 2 diabetes.
Manganese also releases insulin, a hormone whose function is to carry excess glucose from the bloodstream into the cell.
5. Promotes nutrient metabolism
Manganese functions as a co-factor in various processes, including reproduction, development, brain function, and energy production.
It’s also involved in the utilization of vitamins, including vitamin C and E, thiamine, and choline.
Also, manganese promotes protein digestion, the utilization of amino acids, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and cholesterol.
6. Reduces PMS symptoms
PMS is a combination of symptoms that women get typically between ovulation and menstruation. They may include mood swings, fatigue, food cravings, trouble sleeping, irritability, and depression. Research shows that 3 in every 4 women experience some of these symptoms, but increasing your dietary manganese intake may help improve them.
In a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women with low magnesium intake experienced mood swings and more pain. In contrast, those that increased their intake through whole-grain foods instead of refined grains had a much better control of the PMS symptoms.
7. Speeds up wound healing
Magnesium is essential for wound healing as it promotes collagen production. It does so by facilitating the production of proline, an amino acid associated with collagen production.
8. Promotes brain health
Manganese has been used to treat certain conditions involving the nervous system. Also, since it’s an antioxidant, manganese helps neutralize free radicals that might cause oxidative stress and cause brain damage, and other related chronic conditions.
Research shows that a magnesium deficiency can increase your risk of mental illnesses, learning disabilities, and mood changes. Some may even experience epileptic symptoms. However, remember that too much manganese taken as a supplement may also present neurological symptoms.
Supplement dosages and concerns:
As I stated, early supplements are not usually recommended unless one has a condition that makes it difficult to digest foods containing this mineral, and a supplement has been prescribed. Otherwise, food sources are the most convenient and safe method to obtain manganese.
As for how much you should take, 11 mg per day appears safe for adults. On the other hand, adolescents should limit their intake to up to 19 mg and 9 mg or less for children.
Besides, you can rarely exceed your daily requirements through food. Rather, you can take too much when using supplements.
That being said, a well-functioning kidney should be able to eliminate any excessive dietary manganese. Still, it may not be so in kidney and liver conditions, so one must be cautious of their intake.
Also, iron deficiency anemia may increase the absorption of manganese, thus the need to be careful with their manganese consumption.
Too much manganese can accumulate in the body resulting in liver, lung, and kidney damage. It may also alter the central nervous system.
Overall, if getting your sources from food, you shouldn’t worry unless you have an underlying condition, and even so, your doctor should give you a clear guideline.
Final thoughts on manganese benefits:
Magnesium is an essential trace mineral without which some crucial processes in the body may be disrupted.
The mineral promotes various functions, including maintaining healthy bones, reducing premenstrual cramps, fighting inflammation, boosting brain health, and more.
To meet your daily requirements, incorporate magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds into your diet.
If considering a supplement, talk to your doctor first, as they can be pretty damaging to the body when taken in excess.
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