7 Signs of Manganese Deficiency

Manganese, in the proper levels, is an important element to the human body. Manganese is used by the body to complete many important functions, such as the metabolism of cholesterol, carbohydrates and amino acids.

Low levels of manganese can lead to many health problems including joint pain, arthritis, inflammation and diseases such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, osteoporosis and epilepsy. Because of these dangers, you should be aware of the possible signs of a manganese deficiency and see a medical doctor immediately if you suspect that you may not be getting or absorbing the proper levels of manganese. Early recognition, treatment and prevention are key to avoiding the risks of manganese deficiency.

Below are 7 signs of manganese deficiency:

1. Ataxia

Ataxia, which is a neurological symptom that presents as lack of muscle movement coordination, can be a sign of a manganese deficiency.

2. Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be a sign of a manganese deficiency.

3. Fainting

Those with a manganese deficiency can experience fainting.

4. Diabetes

Some researchers believe that a manganese deficiency may actually lead to the onset of diabetes. The studies have shown that this is due to the fact that low levels of manganese impairs glucose metabolism and reduces the production of insulin. However, further studies need to be completed to ensure these findings are correct.

5. Myasthenia Gravis

Myastenia Gravis is an auto-immune, neuromuscular disease that causes intense muscle weakness and fatigue. Manganese activates many enzyme systems in the body that are useful in the utilization of vitamins and minerals, including choline. A manganese deficiency then causes choline to not be properly utilized which, in turn, reduces acetylcholine synthesis. This reduction in acetylcholine synthesis leads to myasthenia gravis.

6. Weak Ligaments and Tendons

Weakness in the ligaments and tendons attached to the bones of the body can be signs of a manganese deficiency.

7. Infertility

Low levels of manganese has been linked to infertility in women.

Where Can You Find Manganese?

Manganese can be taken as a supplement or it can be found in many natural foods. Some foods that contain moderate to high levels of manganese include leafy green vegetables, nuts, fruits and whole grains. There are many vitamin supplements that do not include manganese, however. So, if looking for a supplement, you need to make sure that it is an ingredient that is included. Also, be aware that studies have shown that high levels of other vitamins and nutrients, such as magnesium, iron and calcium, may actually inhibit the absorption of manganese in the body.

Cautionary Advice

Be aware that many of the signs of manganese deficiency listed above could also be a sign of another, completely unrelated health problem or disease. If you are experiencing any of the signs above, you should consult with a medical professional immediately to find out the exact cause of your symptoms. Also, just as too little manganese can pose serious health problems, so can excess manganese in the body. Excess manganese can create toxicity, confusion, impaired memory, neurological problems and loss of appetite among other things.


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