‘Mighty’ Manganese as may be called for various health benefits which manganese provides to the body. It was found in late 1930 that manganese is important for human body. Later studies established health benefits of manganese for growth, bone development, functioning of reproductive and nervous system.
Human body contains only about 10-20 mg of manganese distributed in body tissues. Mitochondria the energy centre of the cell has high concentration of manganese. Our diet may contain adequate manganese; however our intestine is able to absorb only a fraction of it in blood. Hence it is stored in tissues of liver, kidney, blood and pancreas.
Health benefits of Manganese
What are the health benefits of manganese? Manganese may be trace mineral required for body, however it has medicinal benefits on disease like allergy, asthma, diabetes, heart diseases, osteoporosis, Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, learning disabilities, Schizophrenics, etc. Health benefits of manganese are many and deficiency of manganese may result in bone malformation, infertility, weakness. Some of the health benefits of manganese are listed below:
Manganese functions as Enzyme activator: We may eat a lot of nutrients, however they are of no use if we are not able to utilize them. Body contains many enzymes which has diverse functions in body, including metabolism of nutrients. Manganese is important component of this enzyme system. Various health benefits of manganese are outcome of this key function of manganese. Manganese activates the enzymes responsible for Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and utilization of several key nutrients including biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, and choline. Manganese participates in production of sex hormones and maintaining reproductive health. It also activates enzyme required for formation of bone. Manganese is thought to be involved in production of thyroxine hormone in thyroid glands. It is also essential for proper iron metabolism, thereby helping to prevent anemia. Manganese is further involved in blood clotting, increasing effectiveness of vitamin E and Vitamin B1 and absorption of calcium.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Around half of the magnesium in body is found in bone, while remaining is predominantly found in body tissues and organs including liver, brain and kidney. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood.
Magnesium is part of over 300 biochemical reactions in body and is essential for good health. Magnesium is vital for normal muscle and nerve function. Magnesium is often regarded as balm or smoothie material, due to its ability to relax muscles and nerves. Magnesium also plays important role in prevention of hypertension, regulating blood sugar.
Sources of magnesium
Chlorophyll molecule in green vegetables contains magnesium. Thus green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium. Legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium. Magnesium is also found in water, especially hard water.
Copper is the third most prevalent mineral in the body. The first conclusive evidence to show that copper was an essential element, emerged from studies of E. B. Hart and his associates in 1928.
There is approximately 75-150 mg of copper in human body. Newborn infants have higher concentration of copper in body than adults. The liver, brain, kidney, hearth and hair have relatively higher concentration. In body copper is a constituent of several enzymes and is found in combination with several proteins in the blood. In order to enjoy health benefits of copper, it must be included in diet of an individual. Copper is mostly absorbed at the level of duodenum in the intestine. Approximately one third of copper in diet is absorbed, excess copper is excreted in bile.
Sources of Copper:
The health benefits of copper are crucial for healthy existence, as it enables normal metabolic process in association with amino acids and vitamins. Copper cannot be produced within the body and hence body needs to rely on dietary sources for copper. Molluscs, oysters and shellfish are rich sources of copper, as are betel leaves, arecanuts and other nuts. Copper is present in various food sources such as liver, meat, seafood, beans, whole grains soy flour, wheat bran, almonds, avocados, barley, garlic, nuts, oats, beets and lentils. Drinking water also provides human body with Copper.
Chromium is present in traces in all organic matter and is one of the essential minerals for human body. Chromium levels are higher in infants than in adults. The total body content of chromium in adults is about 5-10 mg. Chromium is present throughout our body, however concentrated in the liver, kidney, spleen, bone, brain and muscle. Chromium plays important role in body functions. Taken in the right quantity, chromium has immense health benefits. Chromium is need for maintenance of proper sugar and fat metabolism.
Sources of chromium:
Some of the sources of chromium are brewer’s yeast, meat, potatos, cheese, whole grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. Betel nut leaves, green mangoes, bottle gourd , arecanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts are rich sources of chromium. Body also receives chromium by drinking hard water which contains chromium salts. Modern cooking in stainless steel utensils adds chromium in foods.
Chromium supplements are available in various forms including chromium picolinate, niacin-bound chromium (also called chromium polynicotinate), and chromium-enriched yeast. Brewer's yeast is considered the most biologically active and absorbable form of chromium. Chromium picolinate and polynicotinate are widely available dietary supplements marketed for many afflictions, and gaining popularity among those seeking a weight-loss program
Human body requires more calcium than any other mineral. Body of infant at birth contains about 30 gram of calcium, while adult human body contains more than 1 kg of calcium, most of which is found in bones and teeth. Calcium is responsible for strength and rigidity of bones and teeth. About 1% of calcium in body is present in blood, muscles and nerves, which is essential in regulating physiological functions. Calcium is responsible for muscle movement and transfer of electrical signal through nerves from brain to various body parts. Calcium is required by blood vessels for circulation of blood in body and release of various hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body. Calcium plays pivotal role in many physiological activities like blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, and cell membrane function.
When dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain normal blood levels of calcium, the body will draw on calcium stores in the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations, which, after many years, can lead to osteoporosis.
Boron was considered to be an essential mineral for plants as far back as 1910. Its exact role in human nutrition is not well documented. Boron has important influence metabolism of essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. Boron is concentrated in the bone, spleen, and thyroid, thus suggesting potential role of boron in body functions like bone and hormone metabolism. According to the USDA, boron is a trace mineral that helps bones develop and grow normally. In body, boron is found only in combination with other chemicals. More of the intake of boron through the diet is absorbed from intestine. Excess boron is excreted from urine.
Sources of boron:
Fruits and vegetables, especially apples, pears, and carrots are good food sources of boron. Dried fruits, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, applesauce, grape juice, and cooked dried beans and peas, Meat and fish are poor dietary sources of boron. Dried prunes are a good source of boron.
Deficiency of Boron:
Deficiency symptoms of boron are not fully understood. Deficiency in boron has been shown to contribute to abnormal embryo development, decreased sperm count, Ovarian deterioration, and damage in reproductive function. Boron deficiency have also shown decrease in electrical activity in the brain, Sub optimal mineral metabolism, poor manual dexterity, impaired hand-eye coordination in various control group studies. A severe deficiency of boron with the body may be partially responsible for tumours, cysts and other abnormal growth.