Manganese is a trace mineral required by the body in very minimal amounts for normal bodily processes and enzyme reactions. The human body cannot produce manganese but stores about 12-20 mg of manganese in various organs such as kidneys, liver, pancreas and bones. Also Read: 5 Super-Rich Antioxidant Foods You Should Include In Your Daily Diet - Infographic
This trace mineral plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and regulates blood sugar levels. It is actively involved in bone and cartilage formation when combined with other nutrients like calcium and vitamins. It is required for the optimal functioning of the brain and nerves. It also aids in blood clotting and helps to lessen inflammation.
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Manganese makes a potent antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD) which functions to protect the cells from free radical damage and lowers the risk of chronic diseases.
The deficiency of manganese is very rare as the trace mineral is found abundantly in natural food sources. People with certain disease conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, osteoporosis, and children with a rare inherited disorder may be deficient in manganese.
However, if an individual has manganese deficiency, they may experience the following symptoms which include poor bone formation and development, skeletal abnormalities, infertility and impaired carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
The recommended dietary allowance of manganese for adults is 1.8-2.3 mg/d and this trace mineral is abundant in several dietary sources such as nuts, legumes, cereals, green leafy vegetable and certain fruits to mention a few.
Check this infographic to know more about food sources rich in manganese.