The mineral manganese is a catalyst for enzyme action and synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It is necessary for the digestion of protein, for glucose regulation and thyroid activity. It is also needed for normal bone formation and development.
Manganese has also been found to increase the activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase
Possible signs of deficiency:
• Joint pains
• Bursitis, tendonitis
• Being prone to injuries
• Weak knees
• Creaking or clicking of joints
• Weak muscles
Cause of deficiency:
Dietary deficiencies or genetic inheritance is the cause of manganese deficiency.
Effects of deficiency:
Achy joints are perhaps the most recognised effect of the lack of manganese. Low levels of manganese in the system cause weak ligaments and over the years the body compensates by adding extra calcium to the joints to firm them up and keep them together, causing stiff joints. Deficiency of manganese may also lead to osteoporosis, diabetes and epileptic seizures.
A supplement is advisable only when a manganese deficiency has progressed enough to exhibit some or all of the symptoms above. Otherwise it is readily available from dietary sources.
Supplementation range: 8 to 25 mg daily. Supplements can be used in the treatment of sprains, inflammation, epilepsy and diabetes.
Dietary sources of Manganese
- Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, cashews, almonds
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Green peas
- Egg yolk
- Whole grains and bran
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
Please note : Foods high in phytic acid, such as beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and soy products, or foods high in oxalic acid, such as cabbage, spinach, and sweet potatoes, may slightly inhibit manganese absorption. Although teas are rich sources of manganese, the tannins present in tea may moderately reduce the absorption of manganese. Intake of other minerals, including iron, calcium, and phosphorus, have been found to limit retention of manganese.
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