Manganese: An essential trace mineral

  John Arts
Abundant Living

Manganese is often confused with magnesium. Magnesium is a major mineral needed in larger amounts while manganese is an essential trace mineral needed in tiny amounts – about 3mg daily.

We get manganese from whole grains, nuts, legumes, shellfish and tea. Every good multi-vitamin should include chelated manganese in its mineral complex. Somewhere between 1mg and 2mg per day is ideal along with copper and zinc.

The most important role of manganese is in the creation of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase – known as SOD –needed to combat the superoxide radical produced from energy metabolism. If left unchecked, superoxide leads to cell damage and the formation of disease.

One example is osteoarthritis. If manganese superoxide dismutase – with zinc and copper – are low, insufficient SOD is formed in joint tissue, leading to higher levels of superoxide. This can damage chondrocyte cells that secrete and maintain cartilage. SOD dismantles these free radicals before they can cause cartilage damage. This is why taking a good multi-mineral/multi-antioxidant formula is important for joint health.

Our mitochondria are our tiny cell engines that change food energy into the energy our bodies need. By doing so, superoxide is constantly being produced. Many experts believe the unchecked damage from superoxide in mitochondria is central to many diseases and premature aging. If we have sufficient SOD this dismantles superoxide to prevent free radical damage to mitochondria.

People take supplements for all sorts of reasons. To me, the number one reason is to protect our cells from free radical damage. This is why a well formulated multi-vitamin should have the trace minerals including manganese. Let’s face it, aging is bad enough. Even worse is premature aging. For more information, give me a call or email: You can read back issues at:

John Arts is a qualified nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. Contact John on 0800 423 559. To read more, go to:


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