Derived from the Greek word for magic, manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts in the body and is found mostly in the bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas. It is essential for the normal growth of the human bone structure and is especially effective in aiding in the increase of the mineral density of spinal bone. Manganese is also needed in the production and repair of connective tissue, its specific role is in the manufacture of mucopolysaccharides which are one of the main components of all connective tissues.
Regulation of the body’s metabolism is another vital function of this mineral, with manganese activated enzymes helping in the metabolism of cholesterol, amino acids and carbohydrates. Also a powerful contributor to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, manganese is a component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) which helps to fight free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally in the body but can damage cell membranes and DNA, antioxidants such as SOD can help to neutralise free radicals.