Manganese • Effect and prevent manganese deficiency

The vital trace element activates numerous enzymes in the body. Manganese thus determines a number of important functions. How much manganese you need and what affects its intake.

The trace element is essential, the body cannot produce it itself. Manganese must therefore be supplied through the diet.

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What is the effect of manganese in the body?

Although humans only need small amounts of manganese every day, the trace element is vital for the body. Because manganese influences the activity of various enzymes in the human body and is involved in metabolic processes:

  • Build up of connective tissue, cartilage and bones
  • Involved in carbohydrate metabolism (ensuring balance between glucose and insulin)
  • Involved in the amino acid metabolism
  • Involved in the formation of urea
  • Protection against free radicals and oxidative stress

An adult’s body has an average of 10 to 20 milligrams of manganese stored in it. The bones mainly store the trace element, as do the kidneys and liver.

Daily manganese requirement

According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the estimated daily requirement of adolescents and adults is around two to five milligrams of manganese. Children need a little less, the DGE estimates their need for the trace element at one to three milligrams per day.

Some minerals and phytochemicals make it difficult or even prevent the absorption of manganese in the small intestine:

  • Tannins
  • Requirements
  • calcium (especially from high-dose calcium supplements)

Which foods contain manganese

A balanced diet usually provides the body with sufficient amounts of manganese. The trace element is mainly found in plant-based foods, i.e. in cereals, legumes, nuts, vegetables such as salsify, potatoes, carrots, beetroot and artichokes, and fruits such as blueberries, raspberries or bananas. Drinks like black tea and coffee can also help meet your manganese needs.

The following foods contain a particularly large amount of manganese:

  • Nuts and kernels such as flaxseed: 5 mg / 100 g
  • Cereals and cereal products: 3.5-4.9 mg / 100 g
  • Oatmeal: 4.9 mg / 100 g
  • Coconut: 2.3 mg / 100 g
  • Rice: 1.1 mg / 100 g
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils: 0.7 mg / 100 g
  • Green leafy vegetables, types of cabbage: 0.5 mg / 100 g
  • Coffee: 80 µg / 100 ml drink
  • Black tea: 690 µg / 100 ml drink

In general, foods of animal origin are less manganese, i.e. meat, milk and dairy products. Only oysters contain 0.6 milligrams of manganese per 100 grams of meat.

Manganese deficiency and its consequences

A lack of manganese is extremely rare, as sufficient manganese is absorbed through the diet. Manganese deficiency is possible in people with certain genetic diseases or parenteral nutrition. In these cases, growth disorders, changes in bone substance and infertility occur. This is also known from animal experiments. It is also assumed that a lack of manganese makes the cells less responsive to insulin (insulin resistance).

Manganese overdose possible?

Overdosing manganese through a normal diet is practically impossible. Because an overdose is only noticeable if more than 50 milligrams of manganese are consumed daily. Neurological disorders that lead to symptoms similar to Parkinson’s are typical. This is mostly the case with chronic manganese poisoning or manganism.

Acute manganese poisoning is also known from occupational medicine. It occurs when you have inhaled manganese dust at work or when your skin comes into contact with it. In addition to Parkinson’s-like convulsions and hallucinations, those affected often suffer from severe pneumonia.

Although many nutritional supplements and multivitamin preparations also contain manganese, there is usually no need to fear an overdose.

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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by

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