By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
What is Manganese?
Manganese is a trace mineral found in extremely small quantities in the human body, especially in the bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas
Which foods provide us with Manganese?
Oats, brown rice, spinach, pineapple, raspberries, cinnamon, swiss chard, black pepper, cloves, strawberries, kale, turmeric, summer squash, garlic, bok choy, basil, sea vegetables, pumpkin seeds, tofu, quinoa, sweet potato, walnuts, peas.
Why is it needed by the body?
It is involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar control, as well as the development of bones, connective tissues, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones.
Why is it needed by the body in relation to fertility?
Manganese is essential for healthy growth (important for the foetus) and can aid in the maintenance of a healthy reproductive system. Manganese is also beneficial to thyroid health. Manganese is needed for the production of manganese superoxide dismutase, an effective antioxidant that protects your mitochondria from harm. Mitochondria are your cells’ powerhouses, and they’re crucial because they allow your body to generate energy, which you can’t live without! Manganese also assists in the development of digestive enzymes, aids in the healing of wounds, thus supporting the immune system.
What can cause a deficiency of Manganese?
Most of the time, it’s either due to poor gut health or it’s due to a lack of minerals in your diet, or from crops which have been grown in soil which is low in minerals. It may also be caused by the contraceptive pill (which can interfere with manganese absorption) or high zinc supplementation (which can lower manganese levels in the body). Manganese deficiency can also be caused by excessive sweating or a low-calorie diet.
Overconsumption of manganese from food sources is also rare and may adversely affect the neurological system.
What are some of the symptoms of a deficiency?
Fertility problems, weak hair & nails, tiredness, anaemia, poor digestion, weak bones, regular illness (poor immune function), hormonal imbalances
Did you know?
Pineapple is in the top ten for manganese rich foods!