Did you know that, in the United States, as many as 44 million adults aged 50 and older suffer from osteoporosis? Or that 5.1% of men 65 years and older have osteoporosis affecting their femur neck/lumbar spine? It’s worse for women in the same age bracket, with 24.5% of them suffering from this condition?
The bad news about bone health doesn’t end there. As many as 91 million people in the US have arthritis.
All these numbers highlight the value and benefits of taking a high-quality manganese supplement.
But how exactly does manganese fit into your health? What are the manganese benefits and qualities that help prevent osteoporosis and inflammation?
We’ll take a closer look at all these and more in this post. So, be sure to read on from start to finish, especially if you are at risk of manganese deficiency!
What is Manganese in the First Place?
You may be aware that Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system. You’ve also probably heard that vitamin B-12 ensures you have healthy nerves and blood cells. You might know how medium chain tryglicerides (MCT) helps boost energy levels.
How much do you know when it comes to manganese?
Manganese is a type of metal naturally found in many different minerals. It possesses a very hard quality, but at the same time, brittleness. It’s mostly found in a gray-white, silvery color.
The earth’s crust contains this metal in abundance. In fact, it’s one of the most common elements found on the surface of the planet.
In industrial applications, this metal plays a lot of major roles, varying from the production of steel to making of glass. Its uses go well beyond that: humans and animals need it for a long list of bodily functions.
You may not encounter the term “manganese” a lot when it comes to diet, but it’s actually a vital part of a healthy and well balanced diet. In fact, it’s as crucial to your health as iron and potassium. In people who have osteoporosis or arthritis, it’s even more important.
Your body only needs trace amounts of it. However, it’s because of this that people tend to suffer from manganese deficiency or inadequacy. It’s easier to measure the latter, and according to studies, as many as 68% of Americans fail to consume the recommended amounts of manganese.
The Simple Reasons You Need Manganese
Your body needs manganese to successfully carry out vital processes and reactions. For starters, it ensures optimal brain, muscle, and nerve functions. Manganese keeps your immune system, heart, and blood glucose levels healthy.
It also keeps the skin clear and healthy. In fact, a study shows that lack of this mineral can lead to skin problems, including rashes and blisters.
In regards to osteoporosis, another of its critical roles is keeping your bones and joints strong. This is one of the primary reasons many professionals recommend taking manganese supplements. If you suffer from poor skeletal health, you need to build your meals around good sources of manganese.
Understanding Manganese Deficiency and Inadequacy
To help you better understand the crucial role and benefits of manganese, it pays to know what happens when your body lacks it.
As mentioned above, 37% of the US population doesn’t consume the recommended amount of manganese. This roughly translates to 120.5 million people. These are the individuals who suffer from manganese inadequacy.
It’s important to note that manganese inadequacy is far more common than deficiency. If your health is in otherwise good condition, you most likely belong to the group that lacks rather than being deficient in it.
Keep in mind though that some groups of individuals are at higher risk of deficiency.
On the other hand, people who have the habit of severe low consumption of this mineral are more likely to suffer from deficiency. The same holds true for people with epilepsy, diabetes, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
In any case, you neither want to have insufficiency or inadequacy. Either one affects your overall health and well-being. There’s another reason to ensure you have enough manganese: It helps you strengthen your bones and keep inflammation problems at bay.
Manganese and Osteoporosis
Manganese may not be associated with bone health as often as calcium is, but it’s still integral. That’s why taking a high quality manganese supplement can help you lessen your risks for osteoporosis. How does it help?
This mineral contributes to the process of bone cartilage and collagen formation. It also plays a crucial role in bone mineralization.
That’s how it can keep osteoporosis development at bay. When you don’t have enough manganese in your body, you are one of the millions of people who are at risk of getting osteoporosis.
This is especially true when most of your diet revolves around processed foods.
Keep in mind, manganese and calcium work hand in hand. As such, you want to make sure you have the right balance of both minerals in order for either to remain effective.
Another thing to remember is that recommended manganese intake depends on age and gender. For adult men, this is 2.3 mg every day. For women, the amount drops to 1.8 mg daily.
Manganese and Inflammation
Not a lot of people are aware of this, but lack of manganese can actually be the culprit behind their joint pain.
As mentioned previously, manganese is critical to muscle and nerve health. When your body lacks this integral mineral, you can suffer from joint pain, not to mention twitching and sore muscles. You’re also at risk of back pain, neck pain, and even chronic headaches.
Many patients suffering from joint pain conditions, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have low manganese levels in their body. As such, allowing your body to go on without enough manganese can raise your risks of arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
Always remember that chronic pain conditions are a leading cause of disability throughout the world. This is especially true for lower back pain. In general, musculoskeletal conditions lead to a whopping $240 billion expenditure yearly for medical care alone.
All of these statistics should tell you how vital this mineral is to your diet. This is why you should consider investing in a quality manganese supplement. This is especially true if you can’t commit to building your meals around foods high in manganese at all times.
Tips to Get the Right Manganese Supply into Your Body
There are several ways to increase the supply of this essential mineral into your body. One of the most important remains the consumption of manganese-rich foods though.
Some examples of great food sources high in manganese include the following:
- Nuts, particularly macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, and almonds
- Seeds, including chia, sesame, flaxseed, and pumpkin
- Seafood, such as mussels and clams
- Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables like beet greens and Swiss chard
- Sweet Potatoes
These are just a few of the many other manganese-packed foods that you should include in your diet. Make it a habit to incorporate these into your meals, and you’ll see a significant improvement in your health. Especially when it comes to conditions that cause pain.
Manganese Supplement: Choosing the Right One
In terms of supplementation, you’ll find several forms of this mineral in supplements. These include manganese ascorbate, gluconate, sulfate. You’ll also find it in the form of amino acid chelates.
Take note that supplement manufacturers make this available in stand-alone products or as a part of a mixture. When taking combination supplements, make sure you consider the proper ratio of each vitamin or mineral they also contain.
This way, you can avoid taking manganese in excess or keep supplementing but still not achieve the recommended dosage.
Manganese: Small in Size, Massive in Power
All in all, manganese is a mineral that requires a balance: you don’t want to have too much or too little. However, you are most likely at risk of having too little of it. With the correct combination of manganese-rich foods in your diet and a quality manganese supplement, you can prevent osteoporosis, inflammation, and many other health problems from setting in.