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MINERALS: Manganese

Overview of Minerals | Calcium | Chromium | Copper | Iodine | Iron | Magnesium | Zinc | Manganese | Molybdenum | Phosphorus | Potassium | Selenium | Other Trace Elements



Functions of Manganese

  • Is an antioxidant nutrient.
  • Is important in the blood breakdown of amino acids and the production of energy.
  • is necessary for the metabolism of Vitamin B-1 & Vitamin E.
  • Activates various enzymes which are important for proper digestion & utilization of foods.
  • Is a catalyst in the breakdown of fats & cholesterol.
  • Helps nourish the nerves and brain.
  • Is necessary for normal skeletal development.
  • Maintains sex hormone production.

Deficiencies of Manganese

Paralysis, convulsions, dizziness, ataxia, loss of hearing, digestive problems, blindness and deafness in infants.

Recommended dietary allowance for Manganese

See Recommended dietary allowances for minerals.

Recent research suggest that recommendations for formula-fed infants are 0.005 mg/day and 0.030 mg/day for breast-fed infants.

Food sources of Manganese

  • Excellent sources of manganese (>1 mg/serving) include pecans, peanuts, pineapple fruit and juice, oatmeal, shredded wheat and raisin bran cereal.
  • Good sources (> 0.5 mg/serving) are beans (pinto, lima, navy), rice, spinach, sweet potato, and whole wheat bread.
  • Very little Mn is found in meat, poultry, fish, milk, dairy products or sugary and refined foods.

Dietary components that may adversely affect manganese absorption, retention or excretion include iron, phosphorus, phytates, fiber, calcium, copper, and polyphenolic compounds.

Toxicity of Manganese

Toxicity has occurred from industrial exposure, such as miners breathing manganese dust and drinking contaminated well water. Symptoms of toxicity are the development of a schizophrenia with nervous disorders resembling Parkinson's disease.