Manganese: What It Is Used For

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In fact, manganese is considered an activator of numerous enzymes - demonstration in vitro - as well as being an integral part of some metallo-enzymes: not surprisingly, many enzymatic classes contain manganese as a cofactor - among all, superoxide dismutase stands out) .

Until recently, in medicine, the use of manganese as a curative element was scarcely recognized: it was necessary to wait until the first decade of the twentieth century to see its importance in the medical field demonstrated.

Manganese represents one of the most abundant trace elements in the soil, where it occurs, in particular, in the form of oxides and peroxides. Mainly, manganese is found under the guise of MnO2, less frequently as MnCO3; it has been observed in all oxidation states between +1 and +7, although +1 and +5 are quite rare. When the mineral is in the +7 oxidation state, manganese is transformed into a powerful oxidant. In nature, manganese is a gray-white metal, hard, brittle and easily oxidized.

, thyroid activity, fertility, immune system, cholesterol, blood sugar, bone formation etc. Moreover, the biological role of manganese in some systems of the organism deserves to be investigated.

As mentioned, manganese seems to positively intervene in the immune system, in order to promote the synthesis of numerous antibodies; even the mechanisms of reproduction seem to be, in some way, closely related to the quantity of manganese in the blood: the lack of this mineral, in fact, seems to be responsible for a hypothetical decrease in fertility. Furthermore, manganese deficiency during pregnancy could have negative effects on the development of the unborn child's bones, increasing the risk of bone malformations and / or abnormalities.

A correct blood level of manganese is very useful to keep epileptic attacks under control: it is not by chance that minimal quantities of manganese are often observed in the blood of patients - especially infants - suffering from epilepsy; this suggests that a correct intake of manganese is useful for preventing epilepsy or decreasing the frequency and intensity of epileptic seizures.

, growth retardation, ulcers, kidney failure, heart attack (especially of the myocardium) and even tumors.

, thanks to its deoxygenated, binding and exfoliating properties. Not surprisingly, manganese is a metal widely used for the production of aluminum, copper, titanium and stainless steel alloys. Furthermore, manganese can be part of zinc, gold, silver and bismuth alloys in general for particular applications in the electronics sector.

In addition to this, manganese is used for the discoloration of the glass or - at high concentrations - to give it a strong violet color. With manganese (precisely, with its oxide) it is also possible to create a brown pigment, used for natural earths or paints.

In the clinical setting, potassium permanganate KMnO4 is used as a disinfectant, thanks to its strong oxidizing properties: in this regard, it is used in the purification of water and in the control of odors - for example, deodorization of drains. Numerous agricultural fungicides are also formulated with manganese, in particular for the treatment of diseases of cereals, banana trees and vines.

The most important application of manganese in the non-metallurgical field certainly leads to the production of dry batteries: manganese dioxide is used as a depolarizer.

colored based on manganese dioxide: in any case, it is clear that the use of this mineral in ancient times was certainly not addressed to medicinal purposes. The "revolutionary discovery" of manganese dates back to 1774, thanks to Johann Gahn , who isolated the mineral in pure form.

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