Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Micro-minerals : Manganese

Micro-minerals, like minerals, are organic elements present in the soil. Plants absorb them from their growth medium. We need even smaller amounts of each micro-mineral in our diet, but they are just as essential to maintain all nerve and muscle function, teeth, bones and body cells. Micro-minerals are insoluble in water and need to be bonded with a soluble compound before they can be properly utilised. That is why foods are the very best sources.

Functions of Manganese:
  • Keeps nervous system healthy
  • Aids in formation of connective tissue
  • Metabolizes carbohydrates and lipids
  • Improves wound healing
  • Indirectly maintains blood sugar levels
  • Supports thyroid function
  • Helps prevent anemia
Sources of Manganese:
  • Beetroot
  • Blueberries
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
Deficiency symptoms:
  • Weak hair and nails
  • Weak ligaments and tendons
  • Hearing loss
  • Stunted growth
  • Sterility
  • Skeletal abnormalities

Antacids and oral contraceptives may interfere with the absorption of manganese.

Supplements are usually unnecessary provided the diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind. An excess of any vitamin, mineral or micro-mineral can have unpleasant side effects.

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