What is Manganese? An Overlooked mineral of Critical Importance
When it comes to mineral balancing, we tend to pay more attention to the big players in the game: magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium. Rarely do we talk about the “other” minerals but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important.
Manganese is one of these such nutrients. It’s more important than you think! Manganese is actually involved in the detox enzyme superoxide dismutase, which involves copper and zinc as well!) and it is extremely important for adrenals and thyroid health.
Manganese helps us to retain sodium. Many people with advanced adrenal fatigue will notice that they have a hard time retaining sodium because they are literally salt wasting (have you ever had a pet lick your legs often? You may be wasting salt!) Manganese and magnesium can be used interchangeably in many enzymes as cofactors.
This mineral is also very important for fertility, joint and muscle health, blood sugar regulation, energy production and brain health. Animals that have low levels of manganese tend to ignore their children- that is why manganese is known as the “maternal mineral”. Manganese deficiency can cause a slight detachment from reality as well.
Manganese is antagonist to copper so taking a supplement or eating manganese rich foods can induce a copper dump. Magnesium actually lowers manganese levels when taken in doses over 200mg at a time, and calcium supplementation can also interfere with manganese absorption.
How to replenish manganese levels
I don’t recommended manganese supplementation as there are many foods you can obtain this mineral from. Supplementing isolated nutrients especially without knowing your levels from and HTMA can shift the balance of your other minerals.
- A quarter cup of oats has almost 2mg of manganese which is almost 100% daily value.
- 1 cup of pineapple has about 77% daily value of manganese
- 1 cup of brown rice or garbanzo beans has about 87% of your daily value of manganese
- Cinnamon, cloves, raspberries, spinach, nettles and red raspberry leaf are also great sources of this under-appreciated mineral!
Manganese on the HTMA
High manganese levels are associated with schizophrenia and neurological disorders but most manganese poisoning happens from inhalation off its dust- welders and smelters have a risk for this. Inhaled manganese goes straight to the brain and by-passes the liver. It is very rare to get manganese toxicity from dietary sources. High hair manganese levels can be due to high manganese in the water supply. Low levels correlate with adrenal fatigue and slow oxidation.
So don’t forget to appreciate the micro minerals like manganese! A hair tissue mineral analysis can show you whether you are lacking in this awesome mineral.