Manganese activates many enzymes and is a constituent of several metallo-enzymes; the manganese super oxide dismutase is useful in free radical scavenging and important to our health.

Manganese deficiency is not common because the body needs a small amount to carry on its processes. Signs of deficiency are, impaired growth, skeletal abnormalities, disturbed or depressed reproductive function and effects in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Low blood and tissue manganese has been associated with osteoporosis, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular diseases and impaired wound healing.

It was thought for a long time that manganese is least toxic but recent studies reveal that it is more toxic. Inhalations of manganese by welding workers, consumption of high concentration of manganese from polluted drinking water and any other product with lot of manganese prove to be toxic. This can produce profound neurological damage. It is because the mineral goes to the brain bypassing the normal route through the liver which would otherwise remove the toxin from the body.

The recommended daily intake of manganese is as follows:

AGE                              DAILY INTAKE [mg]

0 to 12 months          1 t0 2

1 to 3 years                 1 - 2
4 to 6 years                1 - 2
7 to 9 years                1 - 2
10 to 12 years                 1 - 2

13 to 14 years            1 - 2
15 to 18 years            2 - 5

Above 19 years         2 - 5

Pregnant:                 +0
Breastfeeding:      +0

Foods rich in Manganese include:

• Brown rice
• Whole grains
• Nuts
• Leafy vegetables
• Tea
• Egg yolk
• Sunflower seeds

Refined grains, meat and dairy products contain only a small amount of manganese.