Table of Contents
What is manganese?
Manganese is a chemical. As simple as possible. When hearing the word “chemical”, however, most people would go into fibrillations. Chemicals are by definition bad, right? Well, wrong. Our wellbeing depends on chemicals and manganese is one of them. Regarding this metal, in particular, we would not be able to function without it. It plays a major role in processing the functioning of the metabolism, optimize the antioxidant system and assist the body’s development.
Even though it is only present in our bodies in small traces, its role in the overall biological functioning cannot be questioned.
The benefits are diverse and important to remember, just to show that every chemical compound, mineral, and vitamin plays a role of its own and whenever one of them is missing, however apparently meaningless its contribution is, you will feel the effects. The same goes for manganese and while it is only present in small amounts in our bodies, the benefits it comes along with it are not to be ignored:
- Bone health
It regulates bone growth and it is particularly important in creating a strong mineral density of the spinal bone among other things. Furthermore, it has been proven that manganese plays a major role in reducing the impact of osteoporosis and trimming down some of its symptoms.
- Regulates the impact of the free radicals
The free radicals are known to be responsible for triggering cancer, as well as a whole wide range of other affections. Fortunately, this mineral’s antioxidant properties minimize the impact of free radicals and greatly reduce their influence at a biological level.
- Regulates the metabolic processes
Certain enzymes in our body are particularly triggered by the levels of manganese and these are responsible for metabolizing cholesterol and various carbohydrates, but also a wide range of vitamins, particularly E and B1.
- Keeps the brain up and running
We keep coming back to the free radicals, which can harm the brain at a cellular level and that can be removed through a manganese triggered a process called superoxide dismutase. Simply by doing so, this potent mineral aids in increasing the effectiveness and rapidity of the cognitive functioning, due to speeding the electrical impulses.
- Improves the digestive health
It does so by preventing fat accumulation, as well as preventing constipation and allowing for a better nutrient absorption.
- Effective for the premenstrual syndrome
Among the symptoms caused by the PMS, we need to mention the irritation factor, stomach pain and headaches and even high levels of stress and even depression in some cases. It turned out that symptoms worsen when the manganese levels were too low and that replenishing the body’s needs helps in alleviating the symptoms considerably.
This is, paradoxically, a toxic mineral, alongside nickel and copper. This does not mean we should avoid it, but it does mean we should be very careful about the doses. This is because it is extremely easy to go over the top, particularly when it comes to manganese that is so sensitive. There have been cases when overdosing with this mineral resulted in triggering Parkinson’s and this is not the only disease you might encounter.
In high enough doses, it becomes fatal, so always check with your physician, especially when planning to get additional supplementation.
You are lucky because there are dozens of naturally occurring manganese sources available, which means that, normally, you do not need supplementation for the most cases. The most known sources are green vegetables, coconuts, almonds, green beans, cloves, bananas, figs, carrots, hazelnuts, grapes, pineapples, garlic, nuts and many others. There is plenty to choose from.
How much Manganese should you take?
For adults, the recommended dose is 2.3 mg every day, exclusively from food sources. These are the numbers for the male adult population. Regarding women and children, the values are lower, but not by much. The good thing is that there is no strict minimum you need to take, especially since manganese deficiency is extremely rare, to begin with.