Manganese, also called the "brain mineral," is important in the utilization of all mental facilities/functions. It aids memory and other brain and nerve faculties. Though only found in trace amounts in the body, good health is impossible without it. It increases resistance and recuperative ability and, like iron, aids in oxygen transfer from lungs to cells.
Manganese strengthens tendons, tissues, ligaments, and linings in and outside of organs "If the human body is well supplied with it (manganese), various tissues, cells and nerves become more ductile, tensile, and elastic" ( The Chemistry of Man by Bernard Jensen). Manganese makes up part of a molecule known as mucopolysaccharides, which are used to form collagen, the strong fibrous connective material that builds tissue, bone, and cartilage. This mesh of collagen is the framework on which calcium, magnesium, and other bone hardening minerals are deposited. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a painful condition in which arm tendons are weak or damaged, is a sign of a manganese deficiency. Deafness, if due to damage of the cartilage of the ear, can be attributed partially to a deficiency in manganese. Manganese has a positive effect on the libido by increasing energy levels and the brains ability to receive and send messages. It also helps the reproductive organs to work properly because of its effect on tissues and nerves. Production of sex hormones is aided by manganese. It can help reduce menstrual cramps and PMS. Manganese is stored half in the bones and the remainder in the liver, pancreas, pituitary gland, and kidneys.
Some symptoms of a manganese deficiency:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Poor muscle co-ordination
Retarded growth rate
Ringing in ears (Tinnitus)
Lack of concentration
Loss of libido in both sexes
Memory loss/mental confusion
Miscarriages or still births
Natural sources: black walnuts, other raw nuts/seeds, pineapple, blueberries, avocado, cantaloupes, spinach, and the bran/germ of whole grains.
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