Manganese is an essential mineral that is needed by our bodies in tiny amounts, and hence, it is often referred to as one of the trace minerals. Our body contains, at most, 20 mg of manganese. It is mainly concentrated in the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and bones. This mineral is needed for the proper functioning of our brain and nervous system.
There are several other important benefits of manganese that have been included in this article. Keep reading to know more about them.
Manganese – A Brief
Manganese, an active component of the enzyme manganese superoxide dismutase, is necessary for the proper functioning of enzymes, absorption of nutrients, wound healing, and development of bones in the body. The deficiency of manganese may cause joint pains, poor bone health, and fertility problems. Studies have shown that one needs to take almost 12 mg of manganese on a daily basis for optimum health.
This trace mineral is a strong antioxidant that scavenges free radicals in the body.
Now, the important question that arises is, what are the sources of manganese? This trace mineral is found in variable quantities in spices, herbs, cloves, saffron, wheat germ, bran, nuts, mussels, oysters, clams, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, roasted pumpkin, squash seeds, flax, sesame seeds, sesame butter, chili powder, roasted soybeans, and sunflower seeds.
How Manganese Is Beneficial
- Strengthens Bones
- Scavenges Free Radicals
- Controls Sugar Levels
- Treats Epilepsy
- Controls Metabolism Rate
- Treats Inflammation And Sprains
- Prevents Osteoporosis
- Good For Thyroid Health
- Alleviates PMS Syndrome
- Aids Vitamin Absorption
- Good For Brain Health
- Increases Energy And Functional Efficiency In The Body
Health Benefits Of Manganese
Let’s take a look at the spectrum of health benefits manganese has to offer.
1. Strengthens Bones
Manganese is vital for the normal development of the human bone structure (1). It helps to boost the mineral density of the spine (2). It has also proved to be beneficial for post-menopausal women. Manganese deficiency in women after menopause can increase the amount of trace minerals and cause minor fractures. Research is going on to establish a concrete evidence that manganese may help prevent osteoporosis and many other diseases.
2. Scavenges Free Radicals
Manganese has antioxidant properties, which help it to monitor the activity of free radicals in our body (3). These free radicals can damage human cells and lead to cancer and other harmful diseases. Hence, it is vital to add manganese-rich food sources or supplements to your diet to avert the risk of inflammatory diseases.
3. Controls Sugar Levels
Manganese can control the blood sugar levels in our body and help prevent diabetes. Manganese can normalize the synthesis and secretion of insulin in the blood to control the level of sugar. This also helps to regulate unpredictable drops in the blood sugar, which makes life easier for diabetics (4).
4. Treats Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a troublesome disorder, and the deficiency of manganese can trigger epileptic seizures. Manganese can act as a vasodilator and plays a key in treating seizures due to its anti-epileptic qualities (5). Manganese supplements may control minor and major epileptic seizures.
5. Controls Metabolism Rate
Regulating our body’s metabolism is an essential function of manganese. Manganese-activated enzymes are useful to metabolize cholesterol, amino acids, carbohydrates, and vitamins such as vitamin E and vitamin B1. It also helps in proper functioning of the liver. Manganese can help in the metabolism of glutamine (amino acid) and is an integral part of DNA polymerase (6).
6. Treats Inflammation And Sprains
Manganese enhances the healing of sprains and inflammation by increasing the superoxide dismutase level (7). This happens due to its antioxidant properties. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) deficiency is also observed in patients with arthritis. SOD has anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate arthritis. Manganese can help to increase the synthesis and functioning of SOD, thus helping reduce the symptoms of the condition.
7. Prevents Osteoporosis
Manganese supplements can give you relief from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis since this essential mineral can add to the bone density and mineral density. With all minerals, balance is key and not only supplementing with one mineral. However, further research is needed to specifically explore the impact of manganese on the bone health (8).
8. Good For Thyroid Health
You may not be aware of many other mineral supplements for thyroid disorder other iodine, right? But, manganese is also very much essential for thyroid health.
Manganese is an essential co-factor for various enzymes like thyroxine, a vital hormone in the thyroid gland. It is important to maintain proper functioning of the thyroid gland to avoid health issues. This can be useful to maintain proper appetite, metabolism, weight, and organ system efficiency (9).
9. Alleviates PMS Syndrome
Many women can suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Manganese helps to manage mood swings and reduce headaches, depression, and irritability. Women who suffer from severe PMS symptoms are advised to consume manganese supplements (10).
10. Aids Vitamin Absorption
Manganese can be useful in the absorption of essential vitamins such as vitamin B, vitamin E, and minerals. It plays an important role in enzymatic reactions required for the absorption and utilization of vitamins obtained from food (11).
11. Good For Brain Health
Manganese is found to be an essential component in treating many nervous system disorders. This property of manganese is due to the availability of superoxide dismutase, which scavenges free radicals from the neural pathways. Manganese also binds with neurotransmitters, thus regulating the transmission of electrical impulses throughout the body and enhancing the cognitive function (12).
12. Increases Energy And Functional Efficiency In The Body
Manganese can also provide instant energy and ensure proper working of the body. It regulates glucose metabolism, thus ensuring proper energy distribution in each and every cell of the body. It also ensures proper absorption of glucose in the muscles and organs (13).
A Word Of Caution
Though manganese offers a lot of health benefits, you need to limit its consumption and be aware of its side effects. Listed below are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Make sure you consume the amount prescribed by your healthcare provider. Overdose can be fatal.
- Do not consume manganese supplements within one to two hours of taking an antacid. Antacids are known to lower the absorption of manganese in the body.
- People who receive nutrition through IV should avoid consuming manganese supplements.
- Children under the age of five may be negatively affected if manganese is inhaled.
- Using manganese supplements with quinolone antibiotics can be fatal.
- Manganese makes up the trio of toxic trace minerals in the body, and their deficiency or overuse can cause serious damage. Make sure that you never inhale it over a long period as it may lead to a number of fatal disorders like Parkinson’s.
- Those with liver disorders should avoid taking manganese supplements as they can lead to tremors or mental disorders.
- People who have iron-deficiency anemia should avoid supplementation as the body absorbs manganese in excess, thus creating an imbalance.
Public Health Recommendations
The dietary intakes recommended by the National Academy of Sciences for common masses are as follows.
Adequate Intake (Per day)
0-6 months 0.003 mg 7-12 months 0.6 mg 1-3 years 1.2 mg 4-8 years 1.5 mg 9-13 years, female
9-13 years, male
14-18 years, female
14-18 years, male
19+ years, female
19+ years, male
Pregnant women 2.0 mg Lactating women 2.6 mg
It is evident from the above-mentioned benefits that manganese can contribute to your overall wellness in a variety of ways.
We hope you found this information useful. Let us know if you know any other ways of incorporating this essential mineral in your diet.