Manganese: Trace Mineral Important to Metabolism

Manganese is an essential nutrient found in the greatest concentrations in seeds, and whole grains. Dietary sources also include peas and beans, which contain lower amounts of this mineral. Often confused with magnesium, manganese is a trace mineral that is important in many enzyme systems in your body. Most of the manganese in your body is found in your glands.

Here are some key functions of manganese:

  • Activates many enzymes in cell metabolism.

  • Helps your body utilize a number of vitamins, such as thiamine, choline, and vitamin C.

  • Helps with protein and amino acid digestion and utilization.

Manganese is used therapeutically to correct deficiency and to balance zinc and copper. The mineral may help blood sugar levels in diabetes and may improve neurological disorders.

Although there is no official recommended daily allowance (RDA), about 3–5 mg of manganese is a safe daily dose. Taking from 10–20 mg corrects any deficiency and causes no side effects.

Neither deficiency nor excess of manganese poses much of a problem. It is non-toxic in doses below 50 mg, and deficiency is extremely uncommon. People do need this nutrient for bone maintenance, particularly during menopause.

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