As athletes, many of us are aware of the importance of amino acids for muscle tissue repair and growth, of essential fatty acids to transport vital minerals to the muscles, and of magnesium to help relax our contracted muscles. A little known, yet very important nutrient to help mobilize our muscles and stabilize our joints is Manganese. This essential mineral’s principal use is in the treatment of sprains, strains and inflammation, for it’s supportive properties to cartilage and tendons. Upon an injury, athletes should take up to 200 mg per day in divided dosages for a two week period. Then decrease to 15-30mg per day for the duration of healing. Natural food sources to include in your diet to ensure adequate stores of manganese include nuts, whole grains, dried fruit, and green leafy vegetables.
Other great benefits to Manganese: It plays a significant role in cerebral function because it’s critical for glucose utilization in neurotransmitter control. Hence, the link between low manganese and epilepsy. Manganese is also an important co-factor in glucose metabolism and research suggests supplementation can have a positive effect in diabetes.
Need to know: Antacids may inhibit the absorption of manganese.
By Yvette Styner, C.H.N.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist ™
* source: Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Michael T. Murray N.D.