Manganese

General Info

Absorption

Manganese absorption takes place in the small intestine. Intestinal absorption is hindered by ingestion of calcium, phosphate, iron, and phytate.

Dietary Origins

Manganese is largely distributed in foods of plant and animal origin. Best food sources include dried beans and peas, nuts, pineapple, raisins, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals.

Overview

Manganese is a trace element that acts as a co-factor, which aids in the activation of a wide variety of enzymes. Manganese-containing enzymes influence many biological activities, including the cholesterol, complex proteins, fatty acids, protein, and the synthesis of collagen. Proper manganese levels may contribute to preserving increasing bone density in osteoporosis. In addition to its role in bone formation, manganese is also known to be involved in the production of cartilage. Manganese it thought to be involved in the body's natural defenses for decreasing the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The average human body contains approximately 20mg of manganese, which is stored mainly in the bones. Smaller amounts concentrate in the pituitary, liver, pancreas, and intestinal mucosa. Absorption occurs throughout the entire small intestine.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

Manganese is nontoxic for most people. Manganese toxicity has occurred in miners due to the inhalation of manganese dust. Toxicity can produce dementia, psychiatric disorders resembling schizophrenia, and neurologic disorders resembling Parkinson's disease.

Functions in the Body

Antioxidant

It is essential for optimal functioning of the body's important antioxidant enzymes.

Bone Growth and Development

Influences the activity of normal bone growth and development.

Connective Tissue and Cartilage

It is necessary for the growth and maintenance of connective tissue and cartilage.

Fatty Acid Synthesis

Involved with the production of dopamine and insoluble pigments found in all forms of life and in the synthesis of fatty acids.

Regulation of Blood Clotting

Working with vitamin K, manganese plays a role in the regulation of blood clotting.

Thyroid

It is necessary in the synthesis of thyroxine, the principal hormone of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

Although widely involved in biological activities, manganese deficiency in humans is uncommon. The mineral magnesium is capable of substituting for manganese in many of manganese's various enzyme-related functions. The most notable symptoms of manganese deficiency are skeletal abnormalities, such as loss of muscle coordination, sprains, strains, and weak ligaments. These problems develop due to reduced synthesis of collagen and complex proteins.