Manganese is a trace mineral, which your body needs in small amounts.
It is essential for the proper operation of your brain, nervous system, and many of your body’s enzyme systems.
Although your body can store up to 20 mg of manganese in your kidneys, liver, pancreas, and bones, you must also obtain it from your diet.
Manganese is an essential nutrient and can be present in a variety of foods, including seeds and whole grains. As well as in smaller amounts in legumes, beans, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and tea.
Here are 10 evidence-based benefits of manganese.
1. May Improve Bone Health in Combination With Other Nutrients
Manganese is essential for bone protection, including bone formation and maintenance.
Manganese promotes bone mineral density when mixed with the nutrients calcium, zinc, and copper. This is especially significant in older people.
Studies have shown that about 50% of postmenopausal women and 25% of men aged 50 or older will suffer from an osteoporosis-related bone break (Trusted Source).
According to research, combining manganese with calcium, zinc, and copper may help minimize spinal bone deterioration in older women.
Furthermore, a one-year study of women with poor bones discovered that consuming a vitamin containing these nutrients was beneficial. In addition to vitamin D, magnesium and boron can help with bone density.
However, other studies suggest that supplements containing only calcium and vitamin D have similar effects.
SUMMARY: It can benefit bone health by collaborating with other vitamins and minerals to increase bone mineral density.
2. Strong Antioxidant Properties May Reduce Disease Risk
That is an enzyme that is part of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). And is arguably one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants help guard against free radicals, which are compounds that can damage the body’s cells.
SOD, in particular, aids in the fight against free radicals by transforming superoxide, one of the most harmful free radicals, into small molecules into smaller molecules that won’t damage your cells.
In one study in 42 men, researchers concluded that low levels of SOD and poor total antioxidant status may play a larger role in heart disease risk than total cholesterol or triglyceride levels .
Therefore, researchers proposed that proper intake of antioxidant nutrients may reduce free radical generation and improve antioxidant status in those with the disease .
As it plays a role in SOD activity, consuming the mineral may help reduce disease risk .
SUMMARY: It is important in the formation and functioning of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant, which can help reduce damage to your cells.
3. Helps Reduce Inflammation, Particularly in Combination With Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Due to its role as part of the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), manganese may reduce inflammation.
Research suggests that SOD is potentially useful as a therapeutic agent for inflammatory disorders .
Evidence supports that combining manganese with glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce osteoarthritis pain.
Osteoarthritis is considered a wear-and-tear disease leading to the loss of cartilage and joint pain. Synovitis, which is inflammation of the membrane inside the joints, is a critical driver of osteoarthritis .
In one study in 93 people with osteoarthritis, 52% reported symptom improvements after 4 and 6 months of taking a manganese, glucosamine and chondroitin supplement .
However, it seems that only those with minor osteoarthritis benefit from the supplement. Those with a severe condition did not report the same improvement .
Another 16-week study in men with chronic pain and degenerative joint disease found that taking the supplement helped decrease inflammation specifically in the knees .
SUMMARY: It appears that manganese may contribute to decreasing inflammation and pain associated with inflammatory diseases.
4. Plays a Role in Blood Sugar Regulation
Manganese appears to play a role in regulating blood sugar.
In some animal species, manganese deficiency can lead to glucose intolerance similar to diabetes. However, results from human studies are mixed.
Multiple studies have shown that people with diabetes have lower manganese blood levels .
Researchers are still trying to determine if low levels of manganese contribute to developing diabetes, or if a diabetic state causes manganese levels to drop.
Thus, manganese may contribute to the proper secretion of insulin and help stabilize blood sugar .
Other research has shown that individuals with diabetes have lower levels of the antioxidant enzyme manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). Which further links low blood levels of manganese with blood sugar issues .
SUMMARYManganese has a variety of functions that can help regulate blood sugar levels in your body. Low levels of this trace mineral may negatively affect blood sugar control.
5. Linked to Lower Incidences of Epileptic Seizures
Stroke is the leading cause of epilepsy in adults over 35.
Manganese is a known vasodilator, which means it helps enlarge veins to efficiently carry blood to tissues like the brain. Adequate manganese levels in your body may help increase blood flow and decrease your risk of some health conditions like strokes.
Several studies suggest that manganese levels may be lower in individuals with seizure disorders .
However, it’s unclear whether seizures reduce levels of manganese in your body, or if low levels cause individuals to be more susceptible to convulsions .
6. Plays a Role in the Metabolism of Nutrients
Manganese helps activate many enzymes in metabolism and plays a role in a variety of chemical processes in your body.
It helps with protein and amino acid digestion and utilization, as well as the metabolism of cholesterol and carbohydrates .
Manganese helps your body utilize a number of vitamins, such as choline, thiamine, and vitamins C and E, and ensures proper liver function.
Additionally, it works as a cofactor, or helper, in development, reproduction, energy production, immune response and the regulation of brain activity .
SUMMARYManganese plays a vital role in the metabolism of nutrients by serving as a cofactor in a variety of chemical processes in your body.
7. May Reduce PMS Symptoms in Combination with Calcium
Many women suffer from a variety of symptoms at certain times in their menstrual cycle. These may include anxiety, cramping, pain, mood swings and even depression.
Early research shows that taking manganese and calcium in combination may help improve premenstrual (PMS) symptoms.
However, the results are inconclusive as to whether this effect is from manganese, calcium or the combination of the two.
SUMMARYWhen combined with calcium, manganese may act as a natural remedy for decreasing PMS symptoms.
8. May Protect Your Brain Against Free Radicals and Improve Brain Function
Manganese is essential for healthy brain function and often used to help treat specific nervous disorders.
One way it accomplishes this is through its antioxidant properties, specifically its role in the action of the strong antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), which can help protect against free radicals that would otherwise damage brain cells in the neural pathway.
Furthermore, manganese can bind to neurotransmitters and induce quicker or more effective electrical impulse movement in your body. As a consequence, brain function may be enhanced.
While sufficient manganese levels are required for brain function, it is important to remember that too much of the mineral can be harmful to the brain.
You will get too much manganese if you consume more than the Tolerable Upper Intake Limit (UL) of 11 mg per day or if you breathe in too much from the air. This can cause Parkinson’s-like effects, such as tremors.
SUMMARY: Manganese can benefit brain health by protecting it from free radical damage and improving cognitive function.
9. Contributes to Good Thyroid Health
Manganese is an important cofactor for certain enzymes, which means it aids in the function and operation of certain enzymes in your body.
It also plays a role in the production of thyroxine.
Thyroxine is a necessary hormone for the normal activity of your thyroid gland, which aids in the maintenance of a healthy appetite, metabolism, weight, and organ productivity.
As a consequence, a manganese deficiency can cause or contribute to hypothyroidism, which may lead to weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
SUMMARY: Manganese is essential for thyroxine production and proper thyroid health and functioning.
10. May Aid Wound Healing by Playing a Role in Collagen Production
Trace minerals, such as manganese, are important in the healing process of wounds.
Wound healing requires an increased production of collagen.
Manganese is required for the synthesis of the amino acid proline, which is required for the formation of collagen and wound healing in human skin cells.
According to preliminary studies, applying manganese, calcium, and zinc to chronic wounds for 12 weeks can improve healing.
Dosage and Sources
Although there is no RDA for manganese, the Adequate Intake (AI) guideline is 1.8–2.3 mg per day. The AI for children varies based on their age.
For adults aged 19 and over, the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is 11 mg per day. Manganese, like zinc, copper, selenium, and iron, is classified as heavy metal, and drinking so much of it can be hazardous.
Manganese is used in medicine to treat deficiencies and to stabilize zinc and copper levels. It is normally taken orally, but in cases of deficiency, it may be administered intravenously (IV).
Manganese is used in a variety of foods. It is most abundant in seeds and whole grains, with smaller quantities present in legumes, beans, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and tea.
Side Effects and Dangers
It appears to be safe for adults to consume up to 11 mg of manganese per day .
The safe amount for adolescents 19 or younger is 9 mg per day or less.
Excess dietary manganese can be excreted by a healthy person with a working liver and kidneys. Those with liver or kidney failure, on the other hand, should exercise caution.
Furthermore, those with iron deficiency anemia may absorb more manganese, according to studies. As a result, people with this disease should limit their intake of the mineral.
In addition, consuming excess manganese by inhaling it, which may happen when welding, provides health risks. In this case, manganese bypasses the body’s normal defense mechanisms .
An accumulation can cause damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
Prolonged exposure can result in Parkinson’s-like symptoms such as tremors, slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, and poor balance, a condition known as manganism.
Most individuals consuming manganese from food do not have to worry about over-consumption.
SUMMARY: Although sufficient levels of manganese are healthy, those with iron deficiency anemia, liver or kidney disease, and those who inhale the mineral should exercise caution.
The Take Away
Without adequate dietary manganese, many chemical processes in your body may not function properly.
The mineral plays a variety of roles, such as aiding metabolism, helping regulate blood sugar, contributing to decreased inflammation, reducing premenstrual cramps and more.
Consume a number of manganese-rich ingredients, such as whole grains and seeds, to get the most health benefits. If you’re thinking of taking a supplement, see the doctor first.
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