Manganese

Optimal Result: 0.08 - 0.6 µg/g.

Manganese (Mn) is an essential element which is involved in the activation of many important enzymes. However, Mn excess is postulated to result in glutathionyl radical formation, reduction of the free glutathione pool, and increased exposure of adrenal catecholamines (e.g. dopamine) to free radical damage.

Hair Manganese (Mn) levels generally reflect actual body stores, and external contamination can influence hair Mn. Since particulate manganese-containing dust is the most common source of Mn toxicity, hair is considered to be an excellent tissue for the assessment of Mn exposure.

However, high hair Mn can be an artifact of contamination from hair treatments/products or well water (containing high Mn). These possibilities should definitely be considered and ruled out before proceeding with therapies to alleviate an apparent excess Mn.

Excess Mn causes degeneration of myelin pigmented dopaminergic neurons which results in abnormally low levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This is hypothesized to be a reason behind the neurotoxic effects attributed to Mn overload.

The brain is particularly affected by Mn excess.

Conditions predisposing to Mn excess are: iron or calcium deficiency, chronic infection, and impaired liver function.

Mn excess is occasionally associated with alcoholism (hepatic dysfunction), and biliary cirrhosis/ obstruction. A confirmatory test for Mn excess is packed red blood cell elements analysis. Dithiol chelators are relatively weak with regard to enhancing Mn excretion.

Symptoms:

Symptoms or conditions consistent with excessive Mn include: lethargy, disorientation, memory loss, anxiety, emotional instability, and bipolar-like behaviors (laughing and crying), aberrant or violent behaviors, and tremor or Parkinson-like symptoms.

Sources of exposure:
Occupationally, the greatest sources of exposure to Mn dust and fumes occurs in mining of the element, and in the production and fabrication of iron and steel. In addition, various Mn compounds are widely used in fertilizers, animal feeds, pharmaceutical products, dyes, paint dryers, catalysts, wood preservatives, and ceramic production. Mn is also an air pollutant derived from the gasoline additive MMT. Other sources of exposure include contaminated teas, contaminated drinking water, some street drugs, and smoking.

What does it mean if your Manganese result is too low?

Hair Manganese (Mn) levels correlate well with Mn levels in other body tissues. Hair Mn levels are commonly low, in part due to low dietary Mn intake and the interaction of Mn with phosphates in the gut. Intestinal malabsorption also limits Mn uptake.

Mn is an essential element that is involved in energy metabolism, and bone and cartilage formation. Mn is an activator of many important enzymes including: mitochondrial superoxide dismutase, arginase, and pyruvate carboxylase.

Symptoms associated with Mn deficiency include: fatigue, lack of physical endurance, slow growth of fingernails and hair, impaired metabolism of bone and cartilage, dermatitis, weight loss, and reduced fertility. Increased allergic sensitivities and inflammation are often associated with low Mn. Seizures are occasionally reported to be associated with severe Mn deficiency.

An appropriate laboratory test to confirm Mn deficiency is whole blood elements analysis.

What does it mean if your Manganese result is too high?

Hair Manganese (Manganese) levels generally reflect exposure to Manganese, but external contamination can influence hair Manganese. High hair Manganese can be an artifact of contamination from: permanent solutions, dyes, bleaches, and well water (containing high Manganese). These possibilities should be considered and ruled out before proceeding with therapies to alleviate excess Manganese.

Manganese is an essential element which is involved in the activation of many important enzymes.

However, Manganese excess is postulated to result in glutathionyl radical formation, reduction of the free glutathione pool, and increased exposure of adrenal catecholamines (e.g. dopamine) to free radical damage. Excess Manganese causes degeneration of melanin-pitmented dopaminergic neurons which results in abnormally low levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This is hypothesized to be a reason behind the neurotoxic effects attributed to Manganese overload.

The brain is particularly affected by Manganese excess. Symptoms or conditions consistent with excessive Manganese include: disorientation, memory loss, anxiety, hypotonia, abnormal gait, emotional instability, and bipolar-like behaviors (laughing and crying), aberrant or violent behaviors, and tremor or Parkinson-like symptoms.

Causes of Manganese excess include: occupational or environmental exposures, contaminated teas, MMT (gasoline additive), coal-fired power plants,contaminated drinking water, some street drugs (cocaine products), and smoking. Conditions predisposing to Manganese excess are: iron or calcium deficiency, chronic infection, and impaired liver function (e.g. biliary obstruction) or disease. Manganese excess is occasionally associated with alcoholism.

Confirmatory tests for Manganese excess include whole blood and a comparison of urine Manganese pre- and post Ca-EDTA.

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