Manganese is an essential chemical element found in trace amounts in the human body and mainly concentrated in the liver, kidneys, bones and pancreas. It is estimated that in the body of an adult man of about 70 kg there is about 20 mg of manganese. However, even if manganese is present in such small quantities, its presence is essential, so let's see in which vital processes it is involved, the daily requirement and the food sources of manganese.
Manganese, what is it for?
In the body, manganese is purifying, limits the accumulation of fat, plays a hypoglycemic function, regulates the immune and endocrine system but also the absorption of calcium. In addition, manganese is also involved in the synthesis and activation of different enzymes that participate, for example, in energy production and in the defense against free radicals (Longman Li et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2018).
Manganese, daily requirement and food sources
Although manganese is present in small traces in the body and is accumulated, its dietary intake has always to be guaranteed. In general, a varied diet ensures the daily requirement of manganese, which in the adult is between 2.5 and 5 mg. And what are the dietary sources of manganese? This essential element is mainly taken with water and with foods such as whole grains, seeds and nuts (30 mg of manganese per kg of product), black tea (up to 1.3 mg of manganese per cup) but also legumes, such as beans, and pineapple (Aschner et al, Mol Aspects Med, 2018).
Manganese, excess, risks and supplements
A manganese deficiency is rare but an excess, even if also rare, can occur in case of occupational exposure, as is the case with miners, or in case of incorrect intake of supplements, so always avoid DIY and follow doctor's instructions. An excess of manganese can be harmful since it can accumulate in the brain and cause neurological disorders (Bowman et al, J Trace Elem Med Biol, 2012). In addition, manganese can interact with certain drugs for hypertension or anticoagulants.