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Manganese is a trace mineral that helps the body convert protein and fat to energy. It also promotes normal bone growth, helps maintain healthy reproductive, nervous, and immune systems, and is involved in blood sugar regulation. In addition, manganese is involved in blood clotting and the formation of cartilage and lubricating fluid in the joints.
Manganese not only increases the effectiveness of vitamin E and B vitamins, but supplements have been shown to increase the effectiveness of glucosamine supplements, which have been helpful to some people suffering from arthritis.
Manganese as a co-factor is needed for many biochemical reactions and is especially necessary for proper brain and nervous system function. The body contains between 15 to 20 mg of manganese. It is mainly stored in the bones, however there is a portion stored in the pituitary gland. In a study published in the “American Journal of Neuroradiology,” researchers report the pituitary gland has a natural liking for manganese. The antioxidant properties of manganese protect the nervous system and enhance the function of the pituitary gland.
Good natural sources of manganese include avocados, nuts and seeds, seaweed, tea, raisins, pineapple, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, oranges, beans, whole grains, blueberries, and green leafy vegetables.