Wonderful Health Benefits of Adequate Manganese Intake

Manganese is a trace mineral. It is vital for the human body, but people only need it in small amounts. Manganese contributes to many bodily functions, including the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrates. It also plays a role in bone formation, blood clotting, and reducing inflammation.

The human body cannot produce manganese, but it can store it in the liver, pancreas, bones, kidneys, and brain. A person usually obtains manganese from their diet.

The potential health benefits of manganese include:

Providing antioxidants

Small amounts of manganese are present in raw pineapple, pinto beans, and pecans.

Manganese helps form an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD). Antioxidants shield the body from free radicals, which are molecules that destroy or damage cells in the body.

The authors of a 2011 study found that SOD helps break down one of the more dangerous free radicals, called superoxide, into smaller components that are not harmful.

In laboratory and animal models, this process could reduce inflammation related to lung pleurisy, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis.

More research is necessary to prove the benefits of these antioxidants in the human body, however.

Supporting bone health

Manganese may help promote strong, dense bones when combined with other nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D.

Although some earlier studies have suggested that manganese could make bones denser, more recent research has noted that calcium and vitamin D are the most significant promoters of good bone health.

Reducing blood sugar

For people with diabetes, manganese may help lower blood sugar levels.

The authors of a 2014 study that took place in South Korea found that people with diabetes had lower levels of manganese in their bodies. What is not clear, however, is whether this is a causal factor or a result of diabetes.

Another study, this time in mice, indicated that manganese helps the pancreas create insulin. Insulin is what the body uses to help regulate blood sugar.

Taking manganese supplements may help a person with diabetes produce more insulin naturally, but more research in humans is necessary to confirm these effects.

Healing wounds

Along with vitamin K, manganese aids the formation of blood clots. Blood clotting, which keeps the blood in a damaged blood vessel, is the first stage of wound healing.

So, having adequate levels of manganese in the body may help stop blood loss when a person has an open wound.

Drinking water can also contain small amounts of manganese. However, too much manganese in the water supply can be toxic.

A person can take manganese supplements if their doctor believes that they have a deficiency.

There is no daily recommended intake of manganese, but the Adequate Intake (AI) is 2.3 milligrams (mg) per day for adult men and 1.8 mg per day for adult women.

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