Importance of Manganese
Manganese is one of the important trace minerals in our body. This mineral is an essential nutrient required for proper functioning of our body. This trace mineral helps activate powerful antioxidant enzymes, convert fats and proteins into energy and support cartilage and bone formation. Though it plays a vital role in several metabolic processes, our observation & understanding of manganese and the role it plays is still incomplete. More research is to be conducted related to Manganese health benefits.
Although we require only a small amount of this mineral, its absence can have serious health repercussions. Manganese deficiency in the daily diet leads to a condition that develops into stunted growth and loss of bone mass in children.
Manganese deficiency may affect people who do not consume variety of grains. Due to increased consumption of processed foods low manganese levels are reported. Because processed foods contain much lower manganese than that of whole grain, the incidence of this rare deficiency may rise. Our life style and diet choice also influence the amount of manganese we absorb. Antacids, birth control pills, liver disorders, low calorie diets, gallbladder disorders, and over consumption of calcium, magnesium, iron or copper can interfere with manganese absorption and use.
The deficiency affects us by skeletal deformation, loss of muscle coordination, hearing loss, fainting, weakened ligaments and tendons and infertility.
■ We need this mineral as it is the co- factor for an enzyme to make collagen as a structural component of skin. It also functions as an antioxidant in skins cells and other cell types.
■ Manganese effects occur mainly in the respiratory tract and in the brains.
■ It is believed that the deficiency of manganese is one of the common contributors to human diabetes. Manganese is seen in efficiently controlling the level of sugar in the blood.
■ It is essential for normal growth of bone structure and very effective in aiding in the increase of the mineral density of spinal bone.
■ It is believed to be a contributing factor to slow down the progress of osteoporosis, though not complete prevention.
■ Owing to the antioxidant properties manganese is capable of monitoring the free radicals in the body.
■ Manganese help recover fast from strains, sprains and inflammation. It is seen that those who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases have an increased need for manganese.
■ Proper intake of manganese helps in proper digestion and reduces hypertension.
■It helps with metabolism, connective tissue, blood clotting, calcium absorption, blood sugar balance and brain and nerve function.
One need not take manganese supplements until and unless advised by the doctor because excess of manganese can lead to toxicity, memory problems, confusion, loss of appetite and neurological problems etc.
Brown rice, beans, pineapple, raspberries, cinnamon, squash, turmeric, spinach and the unpolished grains, seeds have high concentration of manganese. So it is healthier to choose whole grain varieties and add minerals to your regular diet.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna