Manganese is one of the minerals that is present in the human body, but in very small amounts. The human body contains around 20 mg of manganese mainly in the pancreas, kidneys, bones and liver and is vital for many bodily functions such as nervous system activity, brain functioning, blood sugar level regulation, sex hormones regulation, calcium absorption, strong bones and many more. This mineral is found in many foods and it is also available as a supplement.
Sources of Manganese
The following foods are the riches in manganese: green vegetables, hazelnuts, almonds, coconuts, brown rice, bananas, kiwis, carrots, figs, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, turmeric, tofu, leeks, whole wheat, strawberries, blackberries, nuts, oats, tropical fruits, mustard greens, grapes, green beans, peppermint, beetroot, rice, pineapples, garlic, watercress and more.
Benefits of Manganese
As one of the most vital minerals for people, manganese helps the human body and overall health in the following ways: it helps in the creation of strong bones and normal bone growth. Manganese is also a fighter against free radicals in the human body which can be a cause for cancer or other severe illnesses. It has antioxidant properties and is therefore able to destroy these free radicals, preventing them from doing damage to the human body. Manganese also balances the blood sugar level and prevents diseases like diabetes. It also regulates the body’s metabolism and helps with regulation of cholesterol, carbohydrates and amino acids. It is also vital for metabolism of important vitamins such as Vitamin B-1, Vitamin E and others. It can prevent osteoporosis because it’s important for the bones density and mineral density in the body. Manganese helps with decreasing the PMS symptoms and alleviates headaches, mood swings, irritability and depression occurring during this time. It also maintains the thyroid gland healthy functioning. It also helps the nervous system and the brain function well.
Symptoms of Manganese Deficiency
If the manganese level in the body is below the normal average, there are symptoms that will demonstrate that. Such symptoms are bone malformation, poor eyesight, high blood pressure, heart conditions, high cholesterol, memory loss, tremor and shivering, muscular contractions etc. Even though manganese deficiency rarely occurs, attention should be paid to it, especially if a person’s diet lacks foods rich in manganese. Most severe symptoms are pancreatic damages, osteoporosis, infertility in women etc.
It should be noted that manganese belongs to one of the three toxic minerals in the body which means that it shouldn’t be too present or too deficient because this could lead to many dangerous diseases and conditions. A manganese overdose may cause Parkinson’s disease, liver issues due to the liver’s inability to get rid of it which leads to mental disorders, tremors, even psychosis.
As there is no recommended dosage, an adequate intake may be used as a reference. For infants 0-6 months, 3 mcg per day, for 7-12 months, 600 mcg per day; for 1-3 years, 1.2 mg per day; for 4-8 years, 1.5 mg per day; for boys 9-13 years, 1.9 mg per day; for boys 14-18 years, 2.2 mg per day; for girls 9-18 years 1.6 mg per day; for adult men 19+ years, 2.3 mg per day; for women 19+ years, 1.8 mg per day; for pregnant women 14-50, 2 mg per day.
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