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What makes Manganese so crucial to our body?

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Manganese is an essential trace element that plays several important roles in the human body. It is required in relatively small amounts, but its functions are crucial for various physiological processes.


Here are key reasons why manganese is important:
  1. Antioxidant Defense: Manganese is a cofactor for manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), an antioxidant enzyme. MnSOD helps neutralize harmful free radicals generated during cellular processes and helps protect cells from oxidative stress.
  2. Bone Formation and Maintenance: Manganese is involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones. It plays a role in the synthesis of connective tissues, including bone and cartilage. Manganese is a component of enzymes that contribute to the formation of bone matrix and the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, which are important for joint health.
  3. Collagen Formation: Manganese is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein that provides strength and flexibility to connective tissues, skin, and blood vessels. Collagen is important for wound healing and maintaining the integrity of various tissues.
  4. Carbohydrate Metabolism: Manganese participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is a cofactor for enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates for energy production.
  5. Neurotransmitter Function: Manganese is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, including serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play a role in mood regulation and overall neurological function.
  6. Blood Clotting: Manganese contributes to the proper function of blood clotting factors. It is involved in the activation of certain coagulation proteins that help control bleeding.
Dietary sources of manganese include:
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes (beans and lentils)
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Tea
  • Pineapple
Manganese deficiency is rare, as the mineral is found in a variety of foods. However, certain medical conditions or dietary factors may affect manganese status. Excessive intake of manganese, particularly from supplements or occupational exposure, can lead to toxicity and cause neurological symptoms.

Maintaining a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is generally sufficient to meet the body's manganese needs. As with any nutrient, it's important to seek personalized advice from healthcare professionals if there are concerns about manganese intake.

-- Written by Hala, founder of Dietapplements

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