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Manganese : Much needed for bone health

Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts in the body. It is found mostly in bones, the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function.

Rich dietary sources of manganese include nuts and seeds, wheat germ and whole grains (including unrefined cereals, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, and oats), legumes, and pineapple. Manganese is available in a wide variety of forms, including manganese salts (sulfate and amino acid gluconate). Manganese supplements can be taken as tablets or capsules, usually for other vitamins and minerals in the form of a multivitamin.

Manganese (Mn) plays an important role in a number of physiologic processes as a constituent of multiple enzymes and an activator of other enzymes.

Manganese plays an important role in a number of physiologic processes as a constituent of multiple enzymes and an activator of other enzymes. It plays a role as an antioxidant. A number of manganese-activated enzymes play important roles in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. It also plays a major role in bone development, as manganese deficiency results in abnormal skeletal development in a number of animal species.

It is a preferred cofactor of enzymes called glycosyltransferase; these enzymes are required for the synthesis of proteoglycans that are needed for the formation of healthy cartilage and bone. Wound healing, it is a complex process that requires increased production of collagen.

Manganese is required for the activation of prolidase, an enzyme that functions to provide the amino acid, proline, for collagen formation in human skin cells. A genetic disorder known as prolidase deficiency results in abnormal wound healing among other problems and is characterized by abnormal manganese metabolism.

Although manganese is a nutritionally essential mineral, it is potentially toxic; thus it is important for the body to tightly regulate manganese homeostasis. While the exact mechanisms that govern the manganese homeostasis are not completely understood. systemic regulation is achieved through intestinal control of manganese absorption and hepatic excretion of manganese into bile at the cellular level, influx of manganese into cells is regulated by several different transport proteins, including the transferrin receptor.

Supplements and dietary intake of manganese together should not exceed 10milligrams per day because of the risk of nervous system side effects. Too much manganese in the diet could lead to high levels of manganese in the body tissues. Abnormal concentration of manganese in the brain, especially in the basal ganglia, are associated with neurological disorders similar to Parkinson's disease. Elevated manganese is also associated with poor cognitive performance in school children.

RDA for adults in relation with manganese consumption is males 19 years and older, 2.3mg; females 19 years and older, 1.8 mg; pregnant women 2.6 mg and breastfeeding. Manganese may help in conditions like osteoporosis,arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetes and Epilepsy.

In osteoporosis, manganese is one of the several trace elements that are necessary for bone health. There is no specific evidence that manganese can prevent osteoporosis, but one study found that taking a combination of calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese helped lessen spinal bone loss in a group of post menopausal women. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

People with arthritis tend to have low levels of SOD ( an antioxidant that helps protect the joints from damage during inflammation). Some experts theorize that manganese may increase SOD levels, but there is no proof that it helps treat arthritis. A few clinical studies of people with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis suggest that manganese taken along with glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce pain. However, some studies have found no effect. Other studies have found that women with fibromyalgia have lower levels of calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese in their blood than those without PMS.

Some studies seem to show that people with diabetes have low levels of manganese in their blood. But researchers don’t know if having diabetes causes levels to drop, or whether low levels of manganese contribute to developing diabetes. One study found that people with diabetes who had higher blood levels of manganese were more protected from LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol than those with lower levels of manganese.

In several clinical studies it is suggested that people who have seizure disorders have lower levels of manganese in their blood. But researchers don't know if having seizures causes low levels of manganese that contribute to having seizures. At least one animal study suggests that manganese supplementation does not reduce the severity or frequency of seizures in rats. More clinical studies are needed

Thanks Giving

This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.

We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.

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