Manganese is a trace mineral that is essential for many important functions of the body. It is a chemical element with symbol Mn and atomic number 25.
Blueberries contain significant amounts of manganese. Eating 100 g will give you 500 micrograms of manganese, that is 25% of your RDI. Othe rich sources of manganese include whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, and teas. The current Adequate Intake (AI) for manganese for women and men ages 19 and up are 1.8 and 2.3 mg/day, respectively. AI for pregnancy is 2.0 mg/day. AI for lactation is 2.6 μg/day. For children ages 1–18 years the AI increases with age from 1.2 to 2.2 mg/day for males, to 1.6 mg/day for females.
Take note that, foods high in phytic acid, such as beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and soy products, or foods high in oxalic acid, such as cabbage, spinach, and sweet potatoes, may slightly inhibit manganese absorption. Also, after absorption in the human body manganese will be transported through the blood to the liver, the kidneys, the pancreas and the endocrine glands. Manganese effects occur mainly in the respiratory tract and in the brains.
Blueberry intake helps in,
- It helps in the formation of bones and connective tissue: Taking manganese by mouth in combination with calcium, zinc, and copper seems to help reduce spinal bone loss in older women. Also, taking a specific product (Vitrum osteomag) containing manganese, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, copper, and boron for one year seems to improve bone mass in women with weak bones.
- Manganese is needed for the production of clotting factors and hormones: Early research suggests that applying a dressing containing manganese, calcium, and zinc to chronic wounds for 12 weeks may improve wound healing.
- Manganese is needed for fat and carbohydrate metabolism: It helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Manganese is also necessary for the proper functioning of the brain.
As manganese is an essential element for human health shortages of manganese can also cause health effects. These are the following effects:
- Skin problems
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Birth defects
- Changes of hair colour
- Neurological symptoms
Chronic Manganese poisoning may result from prolonged inhalation of dust and fume. The central nervous system is the chief site of damage from the disease, which may result in permanent disability. Symptoms include languor, sleepiness, weakness, emotional disturbances, spastic gait, recurring leg cramps, and paralysis. A high incidence of pneumonia and other upper respiratory infections has been found in workers exposed to dust or fume of Manganese compounds. Manganese compounds are experimental equivocal tumorigenic agents.