December 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Elements

Keywords: superoxide dismutase (SOD)


  • Component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase
  • Involved in calcium metabolism
  • Involved in many enzymes in energy metabolism
  • Involved in the building and degrading of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Involved in urea production
  • Required for connective tissue and bone function
  • Required for dopamine production
  • Required for fatty acid synthesis
  • Required for melanin production

Good food sources

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Nuts (especially pecans)
  • Pulses
  • Tea
  • Whole grains

Deficiency symptoms

  • Bone fragility
  • Dermatitis
  • Disturbed carbohydrate metabolism
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Hypocholesterolaemia
  • Impaired blood sugar control
  • Joint and spinal cartilage degeneration
  • Lower seizure threshold in epileptics
  • Possible impairment of sex hormones
  • Some types of schizophrenia

Preventing deficiency

Milling removes manganese from whole grains. Diets high in refined flour, sugar and milk can easily be manganese deficient, especially for non tea-drinkers. In the UK the major source of manganese is from tea.

A daily intake of manganese-rich foods is important as manganese is readily excreted. Its intestinal absorption is hindered by calcium, phosphate, iron and phytate (found in bran). Some spices (ginger, black pepper, cloves, bay leaves) are rich in manganese, although the amounts involved are too small to provide a significant intake.

Information compiled by Linda Lazarides
Naturopathic Nutritionist, Author, Educator

Linda Lazarides is Course Director of the School of Modern Naturopathy and author of eight books on health, nutrition and naturopathy.

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