Manganese (Mn)

Manganese (Mn) levels in the hair are a good indicator of Mn in the body. Mn is commonly confused with magnesium, primarily because the word are so similar. Mn, like Mg, is an essential element but it is more involved with energy metabolism, and bone and cartilage formation. Mn is an activator of many important enzymes, and is important for effective digestion.

Symptoms associated with Mn deficiencies are:

  1. fatigue
  2. lack of physical endurance
  3. slow growth of fingernails and hair
  4. impaired metabolism of bone and cartilage
  5. dermatitis
  6. weight loss
  7. reduced fertility
  8. allergic sensitivities
  9. inflammation
  10. seizures (with severe Mn deficiency)

Excess Mn can cause the degeneration of myelin pigmented dopaminergic neurons, and a loss of dopamine neurons has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and ADD. This results in low levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. The brain is particularly affected by an excess of Mn.

Symptoms of Mn excess include:

  1. lethargy
  2. disorientation
  3. memory loss
  4. anxiety
  5. emotional instability
  6. bipolar behaviors
  7. excessive laughing or crying
  8. violent behaviors
  9. tremors/Parkinson-like symptoms

Sources of Mn:

  1. hair treatments/products
  2. well water (with high levels of Mn)
  3. occupational and environmental exposures
  4. contaminated teas
  5. contaminated drinking water
  6. street drugs (cocaine products)
  7. smoking
  8. alcoholism

Predispositions to Mn toxicity effects are an impaired liver or kidney function, chronic infection, iron deficiency and calcium deficiency.

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About Dr. Janet Starr Hull

Janet Starr Hull, PhD, CN has been offering the hair analysis service since 1995. She is the leading expert in environmental toxicology and holistic health and nutrition. Dr. Hull is the first nutritionist to offer the hair analysis through the internet. Connect with Dr. Hull on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.