Manganese is a chemical element with the atomic number 25. It is highly reactive, so manganese doesn’t exist as a pure metal in nature. However, it can be found in many minerals, often in combination with iron. Manganese is also an essential nutrient for all life forms.
Manganese is named after a region in Greece called Magnesia, where manganese minerals such as pyrolusite are relatively abundant. The Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm knew that pyrolusite contained a new element by the middle of the 18th century, but was unable to separate it from iron due to the chemical similarity between the two metals. The Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele finally isolated manganese in 1774, by reducing pyrolusite with carbon.
Manganese is a trace nutrient, meaning that only small amounts are needed to maintain optimum health. Adult humans have no more than 20 milligrams (mg) in their bodies, which is concentrated in the bones, kidney, liver and pancreas. Manganese is used in many cofactors for a range of enzymes such as hydrolases, isomerases, lyases, oxidoreductases and transferases.
The most significant dietary sources of manganese include leafy, green vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Health supplements also provide manganese in several biologically available forms, including manganese citrate.
The primary use of manganese citrate is to provide a bioavailable source of manganese. The most significant benefits of manganese include bone health support, antioxidant activity, healthy blood sugar level management and metabolic support.
Manganese has significant antioxidant activity, which can protect cells from damage by free radicals. Antioxidants can help to manage many chronic conditions, especially those related to aging.
Manganese citrate may be able to help support the body’s ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The mechanism for this benefit is manganese’s role in the synthesis and secretion of insulin.
Manganese cofactors help to regulate the body’s metabolism, including the digestion of amino acids and carbohydrates.
Manganese citrate may help to maintain normal bone density, especially in spinal bone. This benefit is most useful for post-menopausal women.
People who live in areas with low manganese levels have the greatest need for manganese supplements, and post-menopausal women may also be deficient in this nutrient. The most common signs that you may need manganese citrate supplements include unhealthy blood pressure, involuntary muscular contractions and bone malformations.
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