Manganese : The Super Mineral

Role in Health Support

Bone Production :

Whether low or marginal manganese intake is a common contributor to bone loss is not known currently. Given that U.S. diets tend to be well above total manganese needs, it appears unlikely that increasing manganese intakes is necessary or helpful in prevention or treatment of osteoporosis.

Skin integrity:

Manganese also functions as an antioxidant in skins cells and other cell types. It helps protect skin against oxygen-related damage and also against damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.

Blood Sugar Control:

In animal studies, manganese-depleted diets can lead to high blood sugars similar to those seen in diabetics. Whether this is true in humans has not been determined. Even though manganese deficiency may not directly increase risk of diseases related to blood sugar control (like diabetes), it is still likely to play a very helpful role in everyday blood sugar control.

Remineralizes teeth: 

Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.

Better sleep:

The sleep regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when Magnesium is deficient. Furthermore, Magnesium brings balance and controls stress hormones. Stress and tension are often reasons why people suffer from insomnia in the first place.

Better flexibility:

Magnesium loosens tight muscles. Without Magnesium, muscles do not relax properly and cramps occur. Magnesium is important for flexibility, because low Magnesium results in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness.

Remineralizes teeth: 

Magnesium deficiency causes an unhealthy balance of phosphorous and calcium in saliva, which damages teeth.

Alkalizes the body: 

Magnesium helps return the body’s pH balance. Magnesium reduces lactic acid, which is partly responsible for post-exercise pain (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

Hydrates:

Magnesium is a necessary electrolyte essential for proper hydration.

Helps to relieve constipation:

Magnesium can be used to cleanse the bowels of toxins.

Enzyme function:

Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.

Protection Against Free Radical Damage

Manganese is a co-factor for an enzyme called manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), which is a potent antioxidant associated with protection against free radical damage. Diets low in manganese have been linked to conditions marked by increased free radical damage to cells and tissue, including skin problems and asthma.

The Adequate Intake (AI)

Food Serving Manganese (mg)
Pineapple, raw ½ cup, chunks 0.77
Pineapple juice ½ cup (4 fl. oz.) 0.63
Pecans 1 ounce (19 halves) 1.28
Almonds 1 ounce (23 whole kernels) 0.65
Peanuts 1 ounce 0.55
Instant oatmeal (prepared with water) 1 packet 0.99
Raisin bran cereal 1 cup 0.78-3.02
Brown rice, cooked ½ cup 1.07
Whole wheat bread 1 slice 0.60
Pinto beans, cooked ½ cup 0.39
Lima beans, cooked ½ cup 0.49
Navy beans, cooked ½ cup 0.48
Spinach, cooked ½ cup 0.84
Sweet potato, cooked ½ cup, mashed 0.44
Tea (green) 1 cup (8 ounces) 0.41-1.58
Tea (black) 1 cup (8 ounces) 0.18-0.77

 

Summary of Food Sources

As noted above, the World’s Healthiest Foods contain a large number of excellent and very good sources of manganese. These represent a variety of food groups, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.

Unlike most minerals, we see foods on the list that contain close to or the entire Daily Value (DV) for manganese in a single serving. One quarter cup of dried oats, for example, provides 96% of the DV for manganese.

It’s worth pointing out that among our 85 WHFoods that rank as excellent, very good, or good sources of manganese, none are animal foods. That’s because animal foods are typically low in manganese, and provide 5% or less of the DV.

** Sources :

Oregon State University

Wikipedia