You have probably heard of manganese and know that it is one of the minerals needed by the body, but how much do you really know about the benefits of manganese? Well, to give you an idea, we have laid out some basic information about manganese that you need to know about.
Manganese Mineral: What is it anyway?
Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in very tiny amounts in our bodies. Your body most likely would contain around 20 milligrams of manganese, and most of them will be found and concentrated in your bones, kidneys, liver, and pancreas.
Functions of Manganese
Manganese serves many functions in your body. It primarily works as a coenzyme that facilitates various metabolic processes in the body. The benefits of manganese in the body vary largely. It is involved in bone formation, thyroid function, formation of connective tissues, sex hormone function, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, immune function, and in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Considering these vital functions, manganese nutrition is very important to make sure that these functions will go well in your body.
Sources of Manganese
To maintain manganese health, you need to maintain a good sense of manganese nutrition. Fortunately, manganese is abundant in natural sources, especially in fruits and vegetables. Manganese foods include nuts, seeds, avocados, seaweeds, raisins, spinach, broccoli, beans, whole grains, egg yolks, peas, oranges, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables.
The Risks of Manganese Deficiency
There is actually no recommended dietary allowance for manganese, but normally, about 5 milligrams per day is enough. If you do not get enough manganese in your daily diet, you stand the risk of manganese deficiency. Deficiency in manganese leads to various health problems, which may include bone malformation, eye and hearing problems, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, infertility, weakness, heart disorders, memory loss, muscle contraction, tremors, seizures, and so on.
Deficiency in manganese is quite rare considering that they are naturally abundant in foods, but interestingly, experts now estimate about 37% of the population to be deficient caused of improper diet and eating habits. Also, many factors can inhibit magnesium absorption. For example, calcium and iron is seen to interfere with the proper utilization of manganese in the body.
To counter this, manganese is available as a supplement and is now widely distributed in the market. The main benefit of manganese supplements is to counter deficiency disorders, but it has also been seen to provide other benefits as well. They now exist in many forms, which include manganese ascorbate, manganese sulfate, manganese gluconate, and manganese amino acid chelated forms.
Benefits of Manganese Supplements
Supplementation of manganese has been seen to relieve osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and in fighting premenstrual syndrome. It has also been seen to alleviate anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and depression in women (especially those linked with PMS). Supplementation with manganese also improves the effectiveness of the absorption of vitamins such as vitamin E and B, and minerals such as magnesium. This reinforcing effect of manganese on magnesium has been seen to be mutual, meaning that magnesium also helps in manganese absorption.