Manganese is one of the most important so-called trace minerals, with great health benefits for humans. It is a vital mineral for the human body, although it is needed in very small quantities.
It is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the level of free radicals and neutralizes their harmful effects. And thus participates in the prevention of damage that can occur due to the presence of high levels of free radicals.
Manganese contributes significantly to many functions of the body, including the metabolism of amino acids (the building blocks of all proteins), cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrates.
It must be noted that it also plays an important role in bone formation, blood clotting, and the reduction of inflammatory processes.
Like other minerals that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, manganese is essential, which means that the body has no mechanism to synthesize it, so we must enter it through the diet.
However, our body has its own mechanisms to make reserves of it in the liver, pancreas, bones, kidneys, and brain (up to about 20mg).
In addition, in today’s article, we will learn more about the most important functions of manganese.
As well as problems or symptoms caused by its deficiency and how we behave in large quantities.
11 Benefits of manganese in the body
Antioxidant properties of manganese
The metabolic “waste” that is constantly generated in the body – free radicals – has the potential to damage various types of cells and tissues in the body.
This usually occurs through oxidative damage. Continuous oxidative damage leads to chronic inflammation, which is one of the main risk factors for chronic diseases.
The first line of defense against these harmful processes is precisely the antioxidant components.
With their help and the fact that they can be ingested through food, and some of them can be synthesized by the body itself.
Manganese helps synthesize the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). A 2011 study found that SOD helps “neutralize” one of the most dangerous free radicals, called superoxide.
SOD finds a way to break down this component into much smaller components that do not be a danger to the body.
SOD, for example, has a very important role in protecting the brain from oxidative damage, but also a number of other important antioxidant roles.
Manganese and metabolism
In addition to its role in the synthesis of SOD, manganese is also important for the synthesis of some very important enzymes.
These enzymes play an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. Manganese is also needed to maintain optimal thyroid health.
It is an essential cofactor for the synthesis of the hormone thyroxine, a vital thyroid hormone that helps control appetite.
Because of this, he also participates in weight control in his own way. Enzymes are protein molecules that accelerate important biochemical processes in the body of all living things. Each of them has its own specific role and protein structure.
Manganese mineral for bone health
Although vitamin D and calcium come first and play a more important role in bone health, manganese should not be underestimated.
This mineral participates in the synthesis of several enzymes that are important for anabolism or the synthesis of bone tissue.
Relieves the symptoms of epilepsy
Manganese supplements can reduce the incidence of seizures. It is not yet clear to scientists exactly how manganese works.
But several studies have shown that increasing manganese intake can improve the quality of life of epileptics.
Faster wound healing with manganese
Manganese is involved in the production of a very important amino acid called proline. Proline is essential when it comes to collagen protein synthesis.
We know about collagen, which is probably the most important protein for skin and bones and definitely the most widespread protein in the human body.
Collagen is crucial for both skin and wound healing. In addition, manganese, along with vitamin K, plays an important role in blood clotting.
In case of injuries, blood clots are very important, to prevent unnecessary blood loss. In other words, manganese allows us to create the foundation to have healthy skin and bones.
Manganese supplements have been linked to relieving the symptoms of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis because manganese increases bone density.
However, research on this topic does not provide
enough evidence so that scientists are not sure how important manganese is for preventing osteoporosis.
Therefore, additional research will be needed for this reason.
Relieves the symptoms of PMS
Manganese can help prevent sudden mood swings, headaches, and anxiety.
Studies have shown that there is a link between low levels of manganese in the body and more intense symptoms of PMS.
Experts recommend increasing manganese intake for almost all women suffering from intense PMS symptoms.
But it is important not to start taking supplements before consulting your doctor.
Stimulates thyroid health
Manganese is a compound found in a number of different enzymes. It is an important factor for thyroxine, the most important thyroid hormone.
The proper functioning of the thyroid gland enables the maintenance of healthy body weight, the regulation of appetite, metabolism, and the functioning of all organ systems.
Stimulates the absorption of vitamins
Manganese stimulates the absorption of important vitamins (vitamins B and E) and minerals (magnesium).
Manganese participates in the work of enzymes and allows them to perform their function properly.
If you suffer from a deficiency of any vitamin, it would certainly be good to increase your intake of that vitamin and manganese that will stimulate its absorption.
Manganese stimulates the digestive system
Manganese is a mineral that stimulates the digestive system by stimulating fat breakdown, reducing the risk of constipation and feeling of discomfort in the intestines.
This mineral is also important for the absorption of nutrients and the transformation of substances into a form that serves the body as a source of energy.
The role of manganese in controlling sugar
According to some research, manganese also plays an important role in controlling blood sugar.
A number of studies say that people diagnosed with diabetes had lower levels of manganese in their blood.
However, it is not yet fully established whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between such reduced levels and the development of diabetes, or whether diabetes itself reduces manganese.
But one thing is clear – manganese is highly concentrated in the pancreas.
Therefore, according to some studies, it strongly indicates that it has a role in the production of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood glucose levels.
It can help, in combination with calcium, in menstrual cramps, and has been linked to a positive role in reducing the incidence of seizures.
Symptoms of manganese deficiency
The deficiency of this mineral is quite rare, given that manganese is quite present in frequently used daily foods.
Although most experts point out that manganese deficiency is a rarity, about 35% of the world’s population still suffers from manganese deficiency.
Bad eating habits are often responsible for this. The need for manganese for our body is quite small, but in some cases a deficiency is possible.
If it occurs, it is important to know how to recognize the symptoms, and they are the following:
• deformities in the bones
• Slowed and reduced growth
• impaired fertility
• Impaired metabolism of carbohydrates and fats
As mentioned, a deficiency is very rare, especially in healthy people, but some individuals with certain disorders are at risk.
Manganese is one of the 3 potentially toxic minerals found in trace amounts. This means that you should not enter too little or too much.
Do not overdo the intake of manganese through supplements as it can cause a number of dangerous conditions and diseases.
Excessive manganese intake can cause Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Other side effects of manganese consumption
People with liver disease should also be careful with manganese intake, as the liver will not be able to handle the excess well and excrete it.
If you have anemia, your body will want to absorb as much manganese as possible. This can be extremely dangerous, so it is important to watch your manganese intake as much as possible.
Such are individuals with epilepsy, osteoporosis, diabetes, pancreatic disorders, people undergoing hemodialysis, and children with rarer blood diseases.
A richer diet with manganese or its supplementation is usually recommended.
According to research, the safe amount of manganese ranges up to 11mg per day, and for younger (up to 19 years) – up to 9mg.
However, healthy individuals, ie those with healthy kidneys and liver, can also excrete excess manganese to a certain extent. Those people who have diseases of these organs should pay more attention.
Continuous excessive intake can lead to slow movements, shaking of the hands, poor balance and weak muscles, etc. – a condition called manganism.
However, the bottom line is that you can hardly overeat manganese in your diet. Most attention should be paid to those who take supplements of this exceptional mineral.
People who are exposed to manganese in some way (inhalation due to the specificity of the workplace or some other reasons) should be careful.
Also, people who have iron deficiency, with some liver disorders, but also younger children and newborns.
Although manganese offers many health benefits, you should limit your use and be aware of its side effects.
Here are some things to keep in mind: Make sure you consume the amount prescribed by your doctor.
Overdose can be fatal. Do not take manganese supplements within one or two hours of taking antacids.
This is because antacids are known to reduce the absorption of manganese in the body. Children under the age of five can be severely affected if they inhale manganese.
Foods rich in manganese
Many of the foods we eat every day contain very solid amounts of manganese, for example:
◦ nuts, such as almonds
◦ legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils
◦ oats and most other whole grains
◦ integral rice
◦ green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
. Dark chocolate
Foods rich in iron reduce the absorption of manganese. And also, to a lesser extent, phosphorus and calcium do.
However, this does not mean that you should reduce your intake of foods rich in iron, phosphorus, and calcium.
Because the deficiency of the mentioned minerals is much more common than that of manganese.
The list below shows the values for the manganese content in some products (milligrams of manganese per kilogram of product):
- Milk – 0.04 mg
- Beef, veal, bacon, poultry, eggs, oil – 0-50 mg
- Some fish (salmon, sardines), crabs, olive oil, honey, mustard, lemon, coffee – 0.5-2 mg
- Kidneys, pork, cheese, egg yolk, cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, rye flour, olives, dried dates, plums, grapes – 2-10 mg
- Avocado – 2.0 mg
- Pineapple – 5.0 mg
- Integral rice – 9.0 mg
- Liver, beets, beans, onions, peas, rye and wheat bread, bananas, plums, figs, dark honey, yeast – 10-30 mg
- Wheat flour – 10-70 mg
- Almond – 17.0 mg
- Cocoa beans – 18.0 mg
- Spinach, lettuce, rice, raspberry, chocolate, gelatin – 30 mg
- Cocoa – 35 mg
- Oatmeal – 36 mg
- Soy flour – 40.0 mg
- Hazelnut – 49.0 mg
- Pepper – 65 mg
- Wheat germ – 123 mg
- Tea -150-900 mg
Daily amounts and manganese supplementation
Recommended daily amounts of this mineral range from 1.8 to 2.3mg.
Manganese intake by age:
- babies 0-6 months 0.003 mg
- babies 7-12 months 0.6 mg
- kids 1-3 years 1.2 mg
- kids 4-8 years 1.5 mg
- female kids 9-13 years 1.6 mg
- male kids 9-13 years 1.9 mg
- boys 14-18 years old 2.2 mg
- girls 14-18 years old 1.6 mg
- male 19+ age 2.3 mg
- female 19+ age 1.8 mg
- Pregnant women 2.0 mg
- Breastfeeding 2.6 mg
As we mentioned earlier, safe amounts up to 11mg are considered. In rare cases, there is a need for supplementation, but it is mandatory in consultation with the family doctor.
Most often, supplementation is used to treat a deficiency of some other minerals, such as zinc and copper, for example.