Manganese is a chemical element that features a chemical abbreviation of Mn and an atomic number of 25. It has a silvery, metallic appearance and is most often found in substances that also contain iron.
People should consume between 1.8 mg and 2.3 mg of this mineral per day. Its discovery as a chemical element dates back to the 16th century. However, archaeologists have also discovered that this mineral was used in cave paintings that are as old as 30,000 years old. It also is an important mineral to include in one's daily diet. Foods that contain manganese include wheat germ, spices, nuts, oysters, mussels, and cocoa.

Signs of a Manganese Deficiency

Manganese is tied to a number of important biological functions. It acts as an antioxidant and helps skin and hair growth. It also promotes wound healing and proper metabolism rates.

Someone who is deficient in this mineral can suffer from skeletal abnormalities and also experience reproductive issues like irregular periods or infertility. Children who fail to consume enough manganese are at risk of stunted growth, as well as bone deformities like spinal curvature. Adults likewise need this mineral to help them maintain proper cholesterol levels in their bloodstreams.

Manganese Excess

While an important dietary component, it is possible to consume too much manganese. Toxic levels of this mineral can cause symptoms that range from mild to very serious that warrant immediate medical attention. Milder symptoms include muscle and facial spasms. More serious complications include difficulty walking, memory impairment, hallucinations, and respiratory issues. People who take in too much of the mineral can develop acute bronchitis and require the use of oxygen to breathe better. Toxicity is also linked to Parkinson's Disease.

Treatment of manganese toxicity can require that people be hospitalized. Ingestion of too much of this element can be fatal to newborns and to people who have compromised health.