Updated November 2, 2022
Manganese (Mn) is an obscure trace mineral that is essential for proper mitochondrial and other functions. It is an part of the enzyme SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase) which is involved in many oxidative reactions in the mitochondria and elsewhere.
Repletion of Mn remains a challenge–doses as high as 80 mg of nutitional manganese have not produced adequate levels on serial blood testing. Whether this represents malnutrition, malabsorption, testing issues, increased utilization or a combination of all of these factors remains unknown.
For many chronic conditions, Mn is essential for sulfur-based processes, including detoxification, production of thyroid hormone and energy metabolism. In addition as stated above, Mn comes into play in any process involving Super Oxide Dismutase SOD, a ubiquitous enzyme which itself has numerous roles. Therefore monitoring intake, symptoms and levels remains the safest and most effective clinical approach. Measurement in blood, 24 hour urine, hair, and stool is available with various degrees of cost, convenience and applicability. Mn testing as a part of a challenged toxic and essential minerals test has proven helpful in suggesting available levels and reserve. Clinical response to Mn is difficult to isolate since it is often prescribed with other critical mineral and non-mineral nutrients in a healing protocol.