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Manganese – an important mineral for the growing years.

The nutritional importance of manganese was discovered in 1936-37. Manganese (MN) is an essential trace mineral that plays and important part in normal brain functioning. Manganese is found in body as a trace element and is essential for life. The human body contains 10 to 20 mg of this element which is widely distributed throughout the tissues. It is found in high concentration in the mitochondria of cells.
Manganese is a hard, brittle, grayish-white metallic element. It is readily oxidized and forms an important component of certain alloys. If manganese is breathed in excess, in the form of dust or fumes, it can lead to a condition very much like Parkinson’s disease wherein tremors develop in the hands and fingers.
Only 3 to 4 percent of the manganese present in the diet is absorbed from the intestine and reaches the blood. It is stored in the blood and liver. Serum manganese levels are almost always elevated following a myocardial infraction. Manganese is excreted in the feces. The urine contains only traces of this element.

FUNCTIONS OF MANGANESE IN BODY

– Necessary for the functioning of the brain.
– An antioxidant.
– Required for the metabolism of energy.
– Involved in the metabolism of calcium.
– In combination with choline, it helps in digestion and utilization of fat.
– Manganese helps to nourish the nerves.
– Manganese is involved in normal reproduction and the function of mammary glands.
– Manganese is necessary for building proteins and nucleic acid.
– Manganese is necessary for normal bone structure.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS OF MANGANESE IN BODY

– Retarded growth.
– Digestive disorders.
– Abnormal bone development and deformities.
– Male and female sterility.
– Sexual impotence in men.
– Poor memory.
– Dermatitis.
– Fatigue.
– Menstrual problems.

FOOD SOURCES OF MANGANESE

– Nuts
– Whole grains
– Dried legumes
– Green leafy vegetables.
– Whole wheat breads.
– Cereals.

Manganese is used in the following conditions epilepsy, alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, myasthenia gravis, anemia, diabetes, heart disease, atherosclerosis and arthritis.

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