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What is Manganese and Where Does it Come From?
Manganese is a chemical element that serves a wide range of industrial purposes as a metal alloy.
Often used in the production of stainless steel and found as a mineral with fire, manganese takes its name from the Magnesia region in Greece.
Not to be confused with magnesium, this metal is essential for a wide variety of biological functions within the human body, including regulation of the metabolism and the growth and development of cellular structures.
What Types of Manganese are There?
Manganese can be found in various forms, including Manganese Ascorbate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Citrate, and Manganese Gluconate.
That does not appear to be a great deal of variance in terms of the absorption rate and overall bioavailability of these different forms of manganese; however, if you are particularly sensitive to any of the compounds that it comes bound with in some instances then be sure to check the label of your manganese supplement prior to use.
How Does Manganese Work and What are the Benefits?
The roles that manganese plays within the body are numerous, encompassing everything from metabolic function to regulation of the antioxidant system, and the production of all manner of enzymes.
One of the enzymes that manganese acts as a cofactor to, Mn-SOD, is used to help protect the body against the potential toxicity caused by superoxide, making manganese are absolutely essential nutrient for the survival of most living organisms on the planet.
Supplementing with a manganese product can help to treat manganese deficiency, and it has also been shown to improve the growth rates in children who are suffering from low manganese levels.
There is some evidence to suggest that manganese maybe effective for the treatment of osteoporosis and arthritic symptoms, particularly in menopausal and postmenopausal women may experience a loss of bone mineral density.
Although there is little concrete evidence for this, there are almost certainly some benefits to be gained from combining manganese with other bone-strengthening nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, boron, and vitamin D.
There are numerous other benefits attributed to the supplementation of manganese, such as the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a reduction in PMS in women, and anemia.
Manganese may also elicit some minor weight loss benefits for overweight individuals, but most of these benefits have yet to be conclusively documented so you would probably be better off opting for a proven thermogenic or fat burner supplement if you are trying to lose body fat.
 Emsley, John (2001). “Manganese”. Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 249–253.
 Law, N.; Caudle, M; Pecoraro, V (1998). “Manganese Redox Enzymes and Model Systems: Properties, Structures, and Reactivity”. Advances in Inorganic Chemistry 46. p. 305.
Who Can Benefit from Using Manganese and How?
The most obvious answer to this question is people suffering from a manganese deficiency because oral supplementation has been shown quite clearly to improve symptoms associated with this.
When inserting to be the ones who are likely to benefit the most from supplementing with a manganese product because of his specific benefits in the context of menopausal and premenstrual symptoms, particularly a loss of bone mineral density and the anxiety associated with PMS.
Aside from this, if you are trying to lose weight and are looking to add as many extra nutrients into the mix as possible and it certainly can’t hurt to use a manganese supplement or a multivitamin supplement that contains manganese.
This is of course assuming that you do not suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions and are not taking any medication that a manganese supplement may interfere with.
Do Any Foods Contain Manganese? Which Ones are the best?
Food sources of manganese include:
- Brown Rice;
- Soya beans and soy products; and
Cloves appear to be a particularly rich source of manganese because of their low caloric content; however, it probably isn’t practical (or very pleasant) to be eating fistfuls of cloves every day so low-calorie foods like spinach and pineapple should provide you with more than enough manganese providing you do not have an existing deficiency.
Manganese Is an Essential Nutrient but Do I Need a Manganese Supplement?
Manganese deficiency has actually been shown to be an incredibly rare condition so the likelihood of you needing to add extra manganese to your diet is quite low.
Having said that, the is well worth investing in a multivitamin supplement, so when you do that you might want to take a quick look at the nutrient profile to ensure manganese is included.
If you are having trouble finding a multivitamin supplement that contains manganese then you might want to consider purchasing either a specific bone health formula or a multimineral supplement.
Does Manganese Have any Side Effects?
The tolerable upper limit for manganese consumption in an adult male has been established at 11 mg, with the dietary reference intake being around 2.3 mg per day. The recommended intake for women is obviously slightly less.
There appear to be some complications associated with sufferers of liver disease due to the difficulty the liver has excreting excess of manganese; anaemic individuals also seemed to absorb larger amounts of manganese in otherwise healthy adults.
For these reasons we recommend consulting your doctor or physician you have suffer from long-term liver disease or anaemia and are considering using a manganese supplement.
As with any dietary supplement, we recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their doctor or physician prior to use. This also applies to people under the age of 18 and individuals who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking any kind of prescription medication.
Note: We recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements.
How and When Should I Use Manganese?
As with many supplements, the way in which you use of manganese is going to be largely dependent upon the purpose you are hoping it will serve.
In almost all cases manganese should be taken with food rather than on an empty stomach.
The exact timing of your manganese supplementation does not appear to be a significant issue; however, we do recommend that you always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines provided with a manganese supplement the purchase.
How Much Manganese Should I Use?
For the treatment of weak bones, arthritic symptoms, or osteoporosis, a daily dose of 5 mg of manganese combined with other minerals such as calcium and zinc should be sufficient.
Aside from this, there is no established recommended dietary allowance for manganese so sure to adhere to the usage guidelines provided on a manganese supplement or multivitamin so that you use.
Choosing the Right Manganese Supplement
As we established before it doesn’t appear to be a great deal variances in the bioavailability of different forms of manganese, so just make sure you are using one provides reasonable value for money.
Your best bet will almost always be to use manganese as part of a broader spectrum of nutrients including calcium, zinc, copper, boron, vitamin D, and so on. Combining these nutrients in this fashion will ensure you reap the greatest benefits offered by the synergistic relationship that they share.
Please note: This FAQ has not been written or reviewed by a doctor or medical professional and is therefore not to be used to prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease or illness. Nor should it be used as medical reference.