Manganese isn't spoken of enough when compared to other minerals. Sure, when looking to an HTMA test, we primarily want to focus on our 4 core minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium), but manganese influences a series of actions in the body and is hypothesized to be deficient in many people nowadays due to our poor farming practices.
So what's it good for?
Well, for starters, manganese is an alkalizing forming mineral meaning it helps maintain the alkalinity levels in our bodies. It's considered a "regulator", very similarly to calcium. If you haven't read that blog post all on calcium, check it out here. It's primarily found in the liver, thyroid, pituitary gland, pancreas, kidneys and bones- all in which it plays majors roles in.
It's located largely in our mitochondria for it plays a role in energy production and metabolism. There is a specific enzyme called manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) which is the main enzyme that acts similarly to an antioxidant within the cells. With this enzyme, our cells are able to protect themselves from things like oxidative stress, also known as reactive oxygen species.
In addition, manganese activates many enzymes that support metabolic function such as the processing and utilization of carbohydrates, proteins and even cholesterol. An example of this would be the activation of the pyruvate carboxylase enzyme which is important for gluconeogenesis, a process in which the body makes carbohydrates from non-carbohydrate precursors. Another would be that the brain requires manganese to help convert glutamate through an enzyme called glutamine synthetase to glutamine. This is important for without the conversion we cannot produce adequate GABA and end up feeling overly agitated or excited considering glutamate is an excitotoxic neurotransmitter.
A third benefit to manganese is that it helps maintain the integrity of our ligaments, tendons and even bones. It's a precursor to glycosyltransferases, a series of enzymes that are necessary for the synthesis of proteoglycans (a type of proteins) that are needed for the formation and protection of cartilage, bones, tendons, etc. With this role, it also plays a role in the activation of prolidase, an enzyme that helps the body utilize proline, which is important for the formation of collagen, hence manganese also aids in skin repair and wound healing.
Lastly, manganese is required for normal thyroid function and is involved in the production of T4. Without proper thyroid function, there is trickle down affect which can harp on fertility, energy production, weight, temperature regulation and more.
Sounds like a pretty important mineral, right? So how would we know if we're deficient?
Symptoms include as follows:
- Low thyroid function
- Hair loss
- Low body temperature
- Poor wound healing
- Ringing in the ears
The best way to figure out if you have any manganese dysregulation is to run an HTMA test with us by clicking here. However, if you already suspect you may need extra support and want to jump into supplementing, we have our Upgraded Manganese right here!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach