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
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection. It is a natural process that helps the body heal and protects itself from further harm. However, when inflammation persists, it can become a chronic condition that leads to pain, swelling, and various chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. The good news is that there are many natural ways to reduce inflammation, such as consuming a diet rich in manganese.
Manganese is an important cofactor for many enzymes, including ones that fight inflammation. Studies have shown that manganese has anti-inflammatory effects both in test tubes and in animal models. This means that it may help to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, manganese has been shown to reduce the severity of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
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 the 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
An antioxidant is a molecule that helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have unpaired electrons, making them unstable and reactive. When these molecules interact with other molecules, they can cause damage to cellular DNA, proteins, and lipids. Antioxidants work by either donating an electron to the free radical or by scavenging the free radical before it can do any damage.
Manganese takes part in the formation of an enzyme antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is the only antioxidant in the cell mitochondria, protecting 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
Bones are the supporting structure of the body. They provide strength and stability to the frame, while also protecting vital organs. The bones in the human body also produce red blood cells and store minerals essential for good health.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle due to low bone mineral density. It typically affects older adults, but it can also occur in younger people. Osteoporosis is often asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include bone pain, fractures, and stooped posture. There is no cure for osteoporosis, but treatments are available to help prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
Manganese, for instance, 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
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body metabolizes sugar. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications like nerve damage, blood pressure, and kidney damage.
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 typically get 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 of whole-grain foods instead of refined grains had much better control of the PMS symptoms.
7. Speeds Up Wound Healing
One of the most important benefits of manganese is its ability to speed up wound healing. When you have a cut or scrape, your body needs manganese to create new cells and repair tissue. This process can be accelerated by taking manganese supplements or eating foods that are rich in this mineral. Eating spinach, almonds, squash, and pumpkin seeds will help your body heal more quickly.
Magnesium also promotes collagen production. It does so by facilitating the production of proline, an amino acid associated with collagen production. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about 30% of the total protein content. It is found in every tissue, including skin, bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Collagen plays an important role in wound healing by providing strength and support to the newly formed tissue. It also helps to reduce inflammation and promote new cell growth.
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.
9. Helps Metabolize Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food.
Cholesterol can also build up as plaque inside your arteries and block them from supplying blood to the heart, brain, and other parts of your body. When this happens, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Eating foods with high levels of saturated fats increases the risk of developing heart disease by raising levels of bad LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of good HDL cholesterol.
A change in diet by especially focusing on manganese-rich foods or supplements is one way to balance your cholesterol levels.
Although manganese is not required in large amounts by the body, it is necessary for the proper metabolism of cholesterol. Research has shown that people with high levels of manganese in their bodies have lower levels of cholesterol. This is because manganese helps the body break down and remove cholesterol from the blood.
10. Promotes Healthy Skin
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It protects us from the environment, helps regulate our body temperature, and stores water and fat.
Manganese is an essential mineral for healthy skin. It helps the body produce collagen, which is responsible for skin elasticity. Manganese also helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. A deficiency in manganese can lead to skin problems such as acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. Getting enough manganese in your diet can help to keep your skin looking its best.
11. Aids Depression Treatment (When Paired With Magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C)
Depression is a serious mental illness that can have a debilitating effect on one’s life. While there are many different treatments available, some people may not respond well to traditional therapies. However, new research suggests that adding manganese to your treatment plan could be beneficial.
A recent study found that patients who took a combination of magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C for three months were more likely to improve their symptoms than those who didn’t take the supplements. Researchers believe that manganese works by activating enzymes in the brain that produce serotonin and dopamine- two neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation and positive feelings.
12. Reduces Menopausal Symptoms
As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. One such change is the reduction in estrogen levels, which can cause all sorts of problems like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. However, taking a manganese supplement can help reduce these symptoms by increasing estrogen production.
13. Promotes A Healthy Digestive System
Healthy digestion is the first step to good nutrition and a healthy body. The digestive system breaks down food so that the nutrients can be absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the cells. The digestive system also eliminates waste products from the body.
Manganese is an essential mineral that promotes healthy digestion. It helps the body break down food and absorb nutrients. Manganese also helps the body produce enzymes that are necessary for proper digestion.
Also, a lack of manganese can lead to digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.
14. Strengthens The Immune System
The immune system is the body’s natural defense against foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. It is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. The immune system is constantly on the lookout for anything that doesn’t belong in the body and attacks it when it finds it.
Some research suggests that manganese may help boost the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are an important part of the immune system, and they help protect the body against infection and disease.
The more white blood cells you have, the stronger your immune system will be. One study showed that manganese intake was associated with improved production of lymphocytes, another type of cell involved in immunity. In this study, manganese supplementation increased natural killer cells’ activity, which attacks virus-infected cells and cancerous tumors. Lymphocytes and natural killer cells work together to fight cancer.
15. Increases The Production Of Sex Hormones
Manganese helps increase the production of sex hormones, which can improve sexual function and libido. This can improve fertility in both men and women. Manganese can also help reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. A mother with a deficiency in manganese may have an increased risk of giving birth to a child with certain neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
16. Promotes Thyroid Health
Manganese is a trace mineral that’s important for thyroid health. It helps the thyroid gland produce the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are essential for regulating metabolism. Thyroid hormone levels that are too low or too high can lead to problems such as weight gain or loss, fatigue, and mood swings. Getting enough manganese in your diet is important for maintaining healthy thyroid function.
What Are The Dangers Of Manganese Deficiency?
As seen above, manganese is an essential trace mineral that humans need to stay healthy, but most people don’t consume enough of it. And although manganese deficiency may not be as common as other nutrient deficiencies, it can still have its drawbacks when it comes to your health and well-being.
As with most nutrients, the easiest way to make sure you’re getting the recommended daily intake is by eating foods rich in it or by taking a supplement. Manganese deficiency can lead to serious health issues if left untreated, so knowing these 10 dangers of manganese deficiency can help you figure out if you are suffering from this common nutrient deficiency.
- Poor bone health
- Low energy levels
- Anorexia nervosa
- Reduced muscle strength
- Skin damage
- Weak immune system
- Numbness in extremities
- Problems with digestion
- Stress and anxiety
- Impaired mental development
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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