This is an important trace element naturally present in many foods and available as dietary supplements. Most manganese is stored in the bones although its traces are present in the liver, pancreas, kidney, and brain.
This mineral is found in air, food, soil, manganese supplements, and drinking water. However, the main source of manganese mineral is in food products rich in the mineral.
Manganese Rich Foods
Foods rich in manganese mineral include;
- Fruits; pineapple and pineapple juice,
- Leafy vegetables; spinach, cabbage
- Nuts; almond, peanuts
- Navy beans, lima beans, sweet potato, brown rice, and tea.
Most supplements provide 5 to 20 mg of manganese. Supplements contain the manganese mineral in different forms such as; amino acid chelates, manganese gluconate, manganese sulfate, and manganese chloride.
Is Manganese Toxic?
It becomes toxic when one is exposed through inhalation of manganese dust or taking water containing high levels of the mineral. Toxicity may result in;
- Delinquent and violent behavior.
- Children who have been exposed to high levels of manganese in water have their brain development negatively affected.
- May result in mood changes and slowed reaction to time.
This is a rare but possible condition caused by low manganese content in the body. Deficiency is characterized by the following symptoms;
- Poor bone growth
- Slow or impaired growth
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- Abnormal metabolism of carbohydrate and fat
- Skeletal abnormalities
Manganese deficiency is mostly due to specific medical conditions such as; diabetes, epilepsy, osteoporosis, children with Perthes and phenylketonuria diseases.
Supplements prescription and increased ingestion of manganese-rich diets are used to treat manganese deficiency.
It holds key health and nutritional benefits such as;
Health Benefits of Manganese
- Reduces the damage on body cells thus suppressing the risk of diseases.
- It reduces inflammation and body pains.
- Manganese helps with healthy brain functioning.
- It helps with the wound healing process.
- May help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
- Its strong antioxidant properties help reduce the risk of diseases.
Nutritional Benefits of Manganese
- When combined with other nutrients such as calcium, it helps strengthen bones.
- It helps in regulating blood sugar.
Manganese In Water
This mineral occurs naturally in the earth, air, and water. Long-term exposure to high concentrations of manganese in drinking water may result in toxicity to the nervous system. Water that contains manganese ion is often colored and has the following effects;
- May harm brain development in infants and children.
- It may stain clothes when used for laundry.
- Results in neurological symptoms such as muscle tremors and rigidity.
- Manganese deposits may collect in pipelines reducing water pressure in these pipes.
Treatment of Manganese toxic water
Different factors determine what method to use in removing manganese in drinking water like, water hardness, alkalinity, and the presence of other contaminators.
Some of the methods used in manganese water treatment include;
- Oxidation using potassium permanganate, chlorine, and ozone.
- Reverse osmosis.
- Ion exchange.
Manganese vs Magnesium
Manganese and magnesium are essential minerals required by the body for optimum functioning. However, they have different functions in the body which are;
- Manganese is required for the metabolism of protein, bone formation, and improvement of the immune system. Magnesium also helps in the structure and maintenance of bones and controlling muscle and nerve transmission.
- The human body requires much less manganese than magnesium because manganese is a trace mineral, unlike magnesium.
- The human body absorbs about 1 to 5% of dietary manganese from food while it absorbs about 30 to 40 percent of the dietary magnesium.