The Minerals Section
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Manganese has been reported to improve thyroid function (thyroid function is dependent on a balance of manganese and iodine, and a shortage of either could cause hypothyroidism). Manganese has also been reported to reduce heavy menstrual flows in women.
Good natural sources of manganese include avocados, nuts and seeds, seaweed, tea, raisins, pineapple, spinach, broccoli, oranges, beans, whole grains, blueberries, egg yolks, dried peas, and green leafy vegetables.
Many herbs also contain manganese, such as alfalfa, burdock root, chamomile, dandelion, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, parsley, peppermint, wild yam, and raspberry.
There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for manganese, but 2.5 to 5.0 milligrams is safe and recommended for all those 11 years and older.
What are the dangers of not getting enough manganese? Manganese deficiency had been linked to infertility, bone malformation, weakness, seizures, atherosclerosis, confusion, convulsions, eye problems, hearing problems, heart disorders, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, irritability, memory loss, muscle contractions, pancreatic damage, profuse perspiration, rapid pulse, tooth-grinding, tremors, and osteoporosis.
Special Note: Manganese is also linked to decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in white blood cells, which leaves the body more vulnerable to the damaging effects of free-radicals.
Manganese not only increases the effectiveness of vitamin E and B vitamins, but supplements have been shown to increase the effectiveness of glucosamine supplements, which have been helpful to some people suffering from arthritis.
One combination product used for bone/joint health contains chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and manganese ascorbate. There are also several stand-alone forms of supplementary manganese to choose from, including manganese gluconate, manganese sulfate, manganese ascorbate and manganese amino acid chelates.
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