is a mineral found in large quantities in both plant and
animal matter. Only trace amounts of this element can be
found in human tissue, however. Manganese is predominantly
stored in the bones, liver, kidney, and pancreas. It aids in
the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting
factors, and sex hormones and plays a role in fat and
carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar
regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and
Rich dietary sources of manganese include nuts and seeds,
wheat germ and whole grains (including unrefined cereals,
buckwheat, bulgur wheat, and oats), legumes, and pineapples.
Low levels of
manganese in the body can contribute to infertility, bone
malformation, weakness, and seizures. Manganese deficiencies
are considered rare, however, since it is relatively easy to
obtain adequate amounts of manganese through the diet.
Interestingly, though, some experts estimate that as many as
37% of Americans do not get the recommended daily amounts of
manganese in their diet. This many be true of other western
countries who follow a similar diet of refined flours and
consume little whole grains.