Manganese is an essential mineral that is required in small amounts by the human body to maintain good health. It is involved in a variety of physiological processes, including bone formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and antioxidant defense. There is some evidence to suggest that manganese may also play a role in thyroid function.
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism and growth in the body. Manganese is thought to be involved in the synthesis of these hormones, as it is a component of the enzyme thyroxine oxidase, which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. This enzyme specifically oxidizes iodide ions to form iodine atoms to add onto tyrosine residues on thyroglobulin for the production of thyroxine (T4) or triiodothyronine (T3), the thyroid hormones.
Animal studies have suggested that manganese deficiency can lead to decreased thyroid hormone levels, and that supplementation with manganese can increase thyroid hormone production.
It's interesting to note manganese isn't a forefront mineral when looking to thyroid function, but the main reason for this is because it's catalyst to enzymatic reactions that directly influence certain processes to occur for thyroid hormone to be produced. Unlike some core minerals that directly influence the thyroid gland like selenium, iodine, zinc, magnesium, or even copper, manganese is sort of a cheerleader to the team of minerals working on thyroid.
This isn't to say it's not as important, everything is important. The connection to thyroid and manganese is cool because the most abundant places manganese resides in the body are the liver, thyroid, pituitary, kidneys and bones. Why is this important? Because all of these organs work synergistically to communicating how manganese should be managed and utilized.
Its main function as a mineral is that it helps with carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, but also plays a role in the destruction of free radicals. This is when the support for the thyroid comes in. Our thyroid is a fatty tissue that is very sensitive to oxidants, and manganese acts similarly to an antioxidant, thus helping protect the thyroid.
Conversely, the liver is where we process a lot of toxins, thus manganese is required to help neutralize any oxidants so we can safely remove them out of the body. Liver function is vital for the conversion of thyroid hormone from T4 to T3.
Everything is connected!
Symptoms of low manganese include allergies, hypoglycemia, myasthenia gravis, dizziness, ringing in the ears, fatigue, weakness, osteoporosis, weak ligaments and tendons and low immune system. To learn more about deficiency, click here.
If you're looking to see if you're manganese deficient, definitely consider ordering an HTMA kit with us and then booking a consult with our nutritionists to get the reading here!