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What is manganese?

Similar to zinc, manganese is also involved in the proper functioning of numerous enzymes. However, manganese still struggles for recognition.


What foods provide manganese?

Whole-grain cereals, fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, tea, and leafy vegetables are good food sources of manganese. Animal foods are generally poor contributors of manganese. Additional substances in plants, such as fiber, phytate, and oxalate along with excessive calcium, phosphorus, and iron, can decrease manganese absorption.


What are current recommendations for manganese intake?

The AI for manganese is 1.8 and 2.3 mg for adult women and men daily. However during pregnancy and lactation the AI increases to 2.0 and 2.6 mg daily.


What does manganese do in the body?

Manganese is involved with several general functions in the cells. First, manganese can interact with specific enzymes to increase their activity. These manganese-activated enzymes are involved in many operations, including protein digestion and the making of glucose from certain amino acids and lactate (gluconeogenesis). Second, manganese is a component of many enzymes. These enzymes are engaged in many activities including urea formation, glucose formation, and antioxidation. Lastly, manganese may be involved in the activity of some hormones.


What happens if too little manganese is consumed?

Manganese deficiency in humans is rare. However, nausea, vomiting, dermatitis, decreased growth of hair and nails, and changes in hair color can result from a deficiency. Manganese toxicity is also rare, although miners inhaling manganese-rich dust can experience Parkinson’s-like symptoms.



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