Sources of Manganese
The best health benefits of manganese can be obtained from Nuts (coconuts, almonds and hazelnuts arecanuts, walnuts,), whole grains (brown rice, Finger millet, green gram, soyabeans), dried legumes, betel leaves, mustard seeds, green vegetables, etc., Other food sources of manganese include – peppermint, watercress, raspberries, garlic, grapes, green beans, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, tropical fruits, strawberries, blackberries, cloves, tofu, turmeric, banana, molasses, kiwifruit, carrots, cucumber and figs.
Manganese Deficiency symptoms
Human body obtains sufficient manganese through normal diet and so deficiency is rare. However some of the deficiency symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, skin rash, high blood sugar or bone loss. Prolonged deficiency of manganese may cause retarded growth, digestive disorders, abnormal bone development and deformities, sterility and sexual impotence in men.
Health benefits of Manganese
Promoting Bone growth
Manganese along with other minerals, is essential for health of bone, their normal growth and structure. Manganese helps maintain bone density and thus prevent fractures, osteoporosis and spinal bone loss in women after menopause. It helps to form glucosamine, required for bone cartilage and lubricating fluid in joints and thus joint mobility.
Manganese helps to nourish brain cells and the nerves. It helps transmission of electrical signal in body and thus proper coordination of brain, nerves and muscles. Studies have shown that epilepsy or seizure disorder are associated with low manganese levels in blood and thus can be treated with manganese supplements. More studies are carried out to establish the claim. If manganese is breathed in excess, in the form of dust or fumes, it can lead to a condition very much similar to parkinson’s disease wherein tremors develop in hands and fingers.
Manganese participate in production of sex hormones and maintaining reproductive health. It is involved in normal reproductive and function of mammary glands. Reproductive function in manganese deficient patients is characterized by defective ovulation, ovarian and testicular degeneration, and increased infant mortality.
Antioxidant properties of Manganese
SOD (superoxide dismutase) is called bodyguard enzyme in body as it has strong antioxidant properties. Manganese is essential component of SOD. Manganese thus helps removes free radical from body. Manganese through SOD also alleviates pain in arthritis, osteoporosis and reduces inflammation in joints.
Significant health benefits of manganese have been found for women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome. Studies have shown that there were fewer instances of cramps, mood swings and other PMS symptoms in women who consumed manganese supplements. A study of 46 women with PMS found that they had lesser quantities of manganese, calcium, copper and chromium in their blood. Hence it is advised for a diet rich in in manganese to alleviate premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea.
Some studies have found association of diabetes with low manganese levels in blood. Research is being carried out on correlation of low manganese levels and diabetes. Another clinical study found that people with diabetes who had higher blood levels of manganese were more protected from LDL or “bad” cholesterol than those with lower levels of manganese. Manganese is believed to be crucial for treating blood sugar and insulin issues.
Tissue mineral analysis studies have revealed low manganese levels in hypothyroid patients. Manganese has been reported to improve thyroid function and any deficiency may result in hypothyroidism.