What’s a Manganese?

Per my past posts, many of you know that I’ve been experiencing severe fatigue. So bad. It’s been chronic fatigue. Kind of like kill me now fatigue.

After my DNA test, I found out I was deficient in manganese, so I began supplementing for it. I could not BELIEVE the amount of energy I had! It was like WHAAAATTT! I mean people HAVE this kind of energy? THAT’S AMAZING! I had even more energy, more focus, and more drive than I have had in the past 5 years. I cleaned my room, my bathroom, and the kitchen; wrote a 7 page paper; went grocery shopping; and read nearly 80 pages of material for one of my classes in one day.

Can you believe I did ALL of that in one day? I KNOW! It’s amazing! And for those of you thinking “Uh, so what?” Psh, well, back up there. You probably have no idea what it’s like to experience fatigue like I’ve had.

But, it got me to thinking.. What exactly is manganese? The simple answer is a mineral, but I wanted to know more. And! Here we are. Discussing manganese, of course.

What is it?

Found mostly in bones, the liver, kidneys, and the pancreas, manganese is a trace mineral in the body.

What does it do?

According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, manganese “helps the body form connective tissues, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function.” In addition, manganese can help protect against free radicals (free radicals destroy DNA and other cells in your body).

What about the dosage?

According to WebMD, the dosages are widespread depending on the age group. There is no recommended daily allowance for manganese, so it is best to follow the adequate intake and keep below the upper intake level of your age group. For me, this means no  more than 11mg a day.

What foods does it come from?

You can get manganese from nuts, seeds, pineapple, beans, spinach, and sweet potatoes. The typical American diet lacks a lot of these whole food sources of manganese because a processed foods diet is typically followed.

What are some deficiency symptoms?

Deficiency symptoms include impaired glucose tolerance, altered carbohydrate and fat metabolism, stunted growth, elevated blood calcium, infertility, weakness, nausea, dizziness, hearing loss, iron-deficiency anemia, weak hair and nails, and convulsions.

What happens if I take too much?

According to Oregon State, Ingested manganese has been associated with neurological symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. However, this was found in people who had high manganese intakes from drinking water. One case included a person who had been taking large amounts of manganese supplements for years.

So, what’s the verdict?

While everyone is different, manganese is an important mineral to include in your diet. The best place to get manganese is from whole food sources including nuts and seeds, as well as the foods listed above. It’s important to remember that vitamins and minerals play a role with each other in the body. It may be that my manganese levels were causing some other vitamin or mineral to be off (actually, in my case, I had extremely elevated blood calcium). There’s no need to supplement for it if you’re not deficient, and there is certainly no reason to supplement if you’re not experiencing any deficiency symptoms.

A Vlog Update — DNA Testing

I decided to try a vlog for an update. Let me tell you people, this was incredibly difficult. Maybe it looks like I did this in one take (probably not), but it was actually like the 200th take before I was OK with it.

Also, I realize that magnesium and manganese are a MINERAL deficiency, not a vitamin. I have no idea what possessed me to say “vitamin.” In order to up my intake of manganese and magnesium, I added pumpkin seeds to my diet because they are very nutrient dense.

Some things that didn’t get mentioned (even though I had notes up on my screen), I am deficient in vitamin B6 and the amino acid methionine, both of which I am supplementing for.

I’ve actually been asked a lot: where did I get this test done? I ordered this test through a site called PNC Science. Doctor Tefft, who (from my understanding) does not do the test but interprets the results, is amazing. He spent an hour on the phone with me going over the comparison tests and what each test meant for me. The test is a little pricey at about $250, but it is worth every penny. Of course, you’re supposed to retest 3-4 months after the initial test, which is about $100, but I believe that’s completely optional.

The adrenal fatigue supplement by Gaia Herbs has helped me overcome some of my fatigue (I think — it feels like it, anyway). The adrenal glands are important because they regulate stress. In turn, they control hormones in the body. So, if the adrenals are out of wack, you’re most likely experiencing side effects such as fatigue. (More about adrenal fatigue here.)

The vlog was quite a learning experience. It’s difficult to talk about things on the spot, but I actually had a lot of fun doing it. It made me realize how much I don’t want to be a newscaster. Those people do things on the fly are amazing! Hope you enjoy the update (whoever’s actually reading!)