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BrianMDelaney

Manganese

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Hi everyone,

 

I tweak my diet from time to time, but basically, it's a fairly standard mostly vegan version of CR: a lot of vegetables and legumes (mostly for protein), and some nuts and fruit. (One non-typical CR food is oats, which I like for breakfast.) My diet hasn't changed much for a while now.

 

One thing that's always bugged me about my diet is the HUGE amount of manganese (Mn) I consume. Many of us, not just me, consume more than the 11 mg/day "Tolerable Upper Intake Level" (UL) recommended by many government scientists. My daily consumption -- NOT including what I get in tea and spices -- is 14-15 mg/day.

 

I've generally felt convinced that 14 or 15 mg (or even 17 or 18 mg, if my guess about how much I'm getting in spices is correct) in (solid) food is nothing to worry about, and I'm still mostly convinced of that. But thinking about the amount I'm getting in tea got me to reconsider the Mn question.

 

Mn in food seems not to be well absorbed, but Mn in water is indeed fairly well absorbed, and the amount in tea (a few mgs? -- there's not a lot of data on this), especially if consumed on an empty stomach, may also be well absorbed (even if the tannins in tea might limit its absorption somewhat).

 

It may suffice for me simply to stop drinking tea. But before I make any changes at all to my diet, I'm wondering: is there anyone out there who's looked into the Mn question closely, and has some thoughts they'd like to share?

 

Here, by the way, is a summary of information about Mn that seems to square with what I've so far learned:

 

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/manganese/

 

Brian

 

PS

By the way, does anyone know why ground ginger would have proportionally MUCH more Mn than ginger root?

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I share your concern, and don't have a brilliant solution to it, aside from using reverse osmosis water.

 

As to your question on why "ground ginger would have proportionally MUCH more Mn than ginger root:" I would imagine this is just a mixture of annual and geographical variation in the material they sampled for establishing the numbers for the two products, not something about the processing of dried ground root. If you look on the USDA nutrient database pages from which the entries are drawn, the Mn value for both "Spices, ginger, ground " and "Ginger root, raw" were based on a single sample of each.

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Hi Brian,

 

I have a similar diet to yours, and recently I've made a change from drinking tea to drinking boiled water with a pinch of saffron stamen (aka hong hua in chinese herbs) with dried goji berries (vitamin C) and a dried apricot (just to live a little and have fun). The calories are minimal, but the flavor is acceptable, and as a bonus you can eat the fruit at the end. The net reduction in manganese is substantial.

 

The saffron has been show in studies to be as effective as the drug aricept in halting the progression of Alzheimer's and the saffron has no side effects.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/9242p73231001055/

 

My net Mn intake is now down to 10.7 mg per day because of this change.

 

Cheers,

Keith

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I share your concern, and don't have a brilliant solution to it, aside from using reverse osmosis water.

 

I think it's time for me to do the same. I've been so nomadic I haven't felt like making the investment, but it's time.

 

As to your question on why "ground ginger would have proportionally MUCH more Mn than ginger root:" I would imagine this is just a mixture of annual and geographical variation in the material they sampled for establishing the numbers for the two products, not something about the processing of dried ground root. If you look on the USDA nutrient database pages from which the entries are drawn, the Mn value for both "Spices, ginger, ground " and "Ginger root, raw" were based on a single sample of each.

 

You're probably right. I should try to find out the actual location of the samples.

 

I'm still reading up on the Mn question. I keep learning more and more things that cause me concern. For ex.: Mn (and other minerals) is much more available to plants the lower the pH of the soil. Much organic food (esp. legumes and spices) in Stockholm comes from China. And China has, on average, has extremely low pH soil....

 

And dietary iron reduces Mn absorption, and many of us (myself included) don't get a lot of iron.

 

Frustrating!

 

Hi Brian,

 

I have a similar diet to yours, and recently I've made a change from drinking tea to drinking boiled water with a pinch of saffron stamen (aka hong hua in chinese herbs) with dried goji berries (vitamin C) and a dried apricot (just to live a little and have fun). The calories are minimal, but the flavor is acceptable, and as a bonus you can eat the fruit at the end. The net reduction in manganese is substantial.

 

The saffron has been show in studies to be as effective as the drug aricept in halting the progression of Alzheimer's and the saffron has no side effects.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/9242p73231001055/

 

My net Mn intake is now down to 10.7 mg per day because of this change.

 

Cheers,

Keith

 

Keith, thanks for the tip! I'll try it -- though there are distinct benefits to camellia sinensis I don't want to lose.

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Interesting post , Brian. A whole lot of manganese would probably affect the other elements close to it in the periodic table: iron and chromium. If you are tired for no obvious reason, you might want to check the levels of iron. Chromium displacement might affect certain things like glucose control.

 

Good to see your posts here!

 

Paul

 

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I have a similar diet to yours, and recently I've made a change from drinking tea to drinking boiled water with a pinch of saffron stamen ... with dried goji berries (vitamin C) ... The net reduction in manganese is substantial.

 

The saffron has been show in studies to be as effective as the drug aricept in halting the progression of Alzheimer's and the saffron has no side effects.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/9242p73231001055/

 

This study certainly showed nothing about halting disease progression: even if we take the result of this short, tiny Iranian trial seriously, Aricept is a purely symptomatic treatment, not a disease-modifying agent. And a 22-week study in 54 subjects is really not adequate to show that it has no side effects.

 

And Brian doesn't have Alzheimer's ;) .

 

There is a great deal of rather good evidence that Japanese green tea, in sufficient quantities (upward of 10 x 150 mL cups/d) is protective against total and cardiovascular mortality; there is no such, afaik, for saffron. And goji berries are just a scam.

 

Actually, it occurs to me that one simple step might be to test how much Mn I have in my body. If it's not excessive, then whatever I'm eating and drinking isn't excessive either.

 

There really aren't any good functional or body-burden tests for Mn, as with most minerals, unfortunately.

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Just wanted to point to Al's recent post (2015-07-23; 22:03 ET) to the Community list about Manganese:

 

Manganese Is Essential for Neuronal Health.
Horning KJ, Caito SW, Tipps KG, Bowman AB, Aschner M.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2015 Jul 17;35:71-108. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071714-034419. Epub 2015 May 13.
PMID: 25974698

 

Nothing new, but a good summary of the known functions and toxicity of Mn. I still don't like the fact that I'm often getting well over 11 mg of Mn per day (as are many of us). I'm not too worried, but it's irritating, because it's affecting my dietary choices profoundly (I'm limiting certain nuts and berries because of it).

 

Brian

 

 

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Brian,

 

I still don't like the fact that I'm often getting well over 11 mg of Mn per day (as are many of us). I'm not too worried, but it's irritating, because it's affecting my dietary choices profoundly (I'm limiting certain nuts and berries because of it).

 

Would you mind sharing which nuts and berries you're limiting in order to reduce intake of manganese?

 

I hope its not blackberries. I've been foraging ~5 lbs of fresh wild blackberries per day from a patch near my house for the last couple weeks, most of which I've been freezing and vacuum sealing to eat over the next year.

 

--Dean

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I would also be curious to see what sorts of foods are adding up to a considerable amount of Manganese.  I feel like I eat a substantial amount of fruits / nuts / seeds, but on cronometer, my monthly average comes out to around 4.3mg of Mn at 1800-2000kcal.  (Perhaps cronometer isn't accurately tracking my intake with missing data, or herbs/spices/teas are adding a considerable amount to my diet?  I do drink a lot of matcha / herbal tea.)

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Hi Dean,

 

Blackberries are pretty high in Mn (well, according the data we have, the reliability of which I haven't looked into fully, but I typically didn't eat blackberries anyway). Mainly I've cut way back on blueberries, which are loaded with Mn (per calorie). As for nuts, most have a lot, but hazelnuts are particular heavy in Mn. And tea I don't trust for lots of reasons, not just the high Mn, though I still drink white tea occasionally.

 

Sirtuin, when I talk about getting over 11 mg / day of Mn (on avg.), I'm not even including missing data (like from obscure berries I sometimes eat), and not including tea (though I've mostly stopped drinking that). In my case, these days, it's mostly the huge quantity of walnuts I'm eating that's contributing to my Mn load. Partly because of cost, I've shifted my fruit consumption from berries to more oranges, so my avg. daily Mn consumption is actually a bit below 11 now, esp. on days when I have more low-Mn nuts.

Edited by BrianMDelaney

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If you're using CRON-O-Meter, you can hover your cursor over the %RDA for each nutrient, you can see in order which foods are contributing most to least to your total intake. The only snag there is that any foods that you have entered in your daily diary as predefined recipes will list as the recipe, rather than the specific ingredients in that recipe that are making the greatest contribution to the recipe's Mn. In mine today, for instance, my #1 contributor is the ful medames I'm having for lunch, but it doesn't tell me which ingredients are driving the Mn up. (The next contributors down the day's list are Quorn tenders, MegaMuffins (another recipe), Standard Breakfast (recipe!), Brussels sprouts, and green tea.

 

A workaround to this is to use the "Explode Recipe" function to break open the recipe and see which ingrediets are driving up the Mn, and also how they contribute individually to your overall intake. In the case of my ful medames, this reveals some "usual suspects": hazelnuts and fava beans. The favas then appear below the MegaMuffins as overall contributors for my day.

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Sirtuin: matcha, being powdered green tea, is extremely high in Mn, since you drink both the infusion and the tea powder. There is unfortunately no matcha entry in the USDA or other major food databases; someone has made a custom food for COM that has gotten entered into the CRDB, but it has what I am quite certain is an artifactual zero in the Mn column. Try entering in the equivalent amount of green tea (not brewed green tea — just green tea) from the NCCDB database in COM.

 

In general, any zero entries for foods that aren't in the USDA or NCCDB databases should be considered suspect; anything from the ESHA database only has those nutrients on the "Nutrition Facts" box for packaged foods.

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Sirtuin: matcha, being powdered green tea, is extremely high in Mn, since you drink both the infusion and the tea powder. There is unfortunately no matcha entry in the USDA or other major food databases; someone has made a custom food for COM that has gotten entered into the CRDB, but it has what I am quite certain is an artifactual zero in the Mn column. Try entering in the equivalent amount of green tea (not brewed green tea — just green tea) from the NCCDB database in COM.

 

Very interesting.  Looking up "NCCDB" I'm not seeing a database that I'm able to search through (it looks like it's only available under paid licensing?)  On Cronometer, I see "Green tea", but the measurements are listed in cups, which would be brewed green tea.  When I drink matcha, I whisk in 1/8th to 1/4 of a teaspoon of organic japanese powder, then when I finish the glass, there's what looks like a 1/4 tsp of green tea sludge at the bottom of the glass that I don't consume.  I wonder how much manganese I would be consuming there?

 

Looking at a random day on my cronometer tracking, I see something like 25 almonds (0.7mg), an avocado (0.2mg), 10 hazelnuts (0.9mg), 20g dark chocolate (0.4mg), 1.5 cups of blueberries (0.7mg), a couple eggs, a date (0.1mg), some tomatoes (0.1mg), squash (0.9mg), kiwi (0.1mg), and some dairy (listed at 0 -- suspect) / seafood (listed at 0 -- suspect) where it seems to add up to around 4.2mg Mn at 1600kcal while filling all of my bars but zinc and omega-6 to green.  Although, on higher nut days where I'm also eating lots of pistachio / cashew / brazil nuts / walnuts / macadamia nuts with light nutritional ketosis, it looks closer to 6.5mg.

Edited by sirtuin

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Sirtuin: are you using the online version, the app version, or the desktop version? It's not in the desktop version; the app version has fewer bells & whistles by necessity. But in the online version, any time you click to "add food," the options are listed with the database whence they come. Do you see that? Do you not see entries listed there from NCCDB?

 

Assuming that you do, another feature is to be able to search exclusively in particular databases: after you click to "add food," there is a little gear icon to the right of the search field, and if you click that you can select the database in which to look. Can yo do that?

 

(I should add that my previous comments about incompleteness of databases does not refer to NUTTAB, which is the excellent Australia & NZ database; I would be suprised if it applied to the UKCoF and Canadian databases, but haven't looked into them enough to say).

 

You don't drink the powder; well, that's "wrong" ;) , but in this case good practice. I have to imagine you're swallowing some, however. I take it you don't have a scale with sub-gram measurements ...? A Google search gives wildly varying estimates of the amount of matcha per (fraction of a) teaspoon.

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Michael,

 

I'm using the free, online version, and while I do see NUTTAB and UKCoF as available databases to select while searching for foods, they're empty for me. Are they available (non-empty) in the paid version?

 

Thanks,

Brian

 

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I click on "Add food", and select, under "Source", NUTTAB (or UKCoF), and nothing appears under "description" (of the food). With the other databases, there's a long list of food items that gets narrowed down as I type the food I'm looking for ("search type-ahead", or whatever it's called).

 

Also, when I type any normal food that should be in NUTTAB or UKCoF -- "banana", "milk", etc. -- there are zero results.

 

Brian

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Aha! OK, got it. No, it's not a question of subscription status: I can't 'see' it either! Now that I think about it, I don't recall ever having actually selected any foods from NUTTAB in COM: I've just used it online. NUTTAB is a useful database, so I'd be surprised if I had truly never chosen a food presented from its selection, or if a food from its selection had never been presented to me as a highly-ranked option. I now see from the CRON-O-Meter User Guide that neither NUTTAB nor UKCoF are actually listed as data sources; my guess is that these were put in to facilitate a future upgrade to include these sources.

 

I'll ask :) . Even absent NUTTAB and UKCoF, COM still has a much broader range of authoritative food info than (nearly?) all its competitors, most of whom use only USDA and user-submitted foods (many of the latter of which are garbage IAC).

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OK, thanks.

 

By the way, look at what NUTTAB says about Mn in hazelnuts: 100 g has 3.5 mg Mn. USDA's database (I'm getting this via COM) says 6.2 mg.

 

Looking at other nuts I eat, I see there many other huge discrepancies. Irritating. Obviously, different soil conditions might explain most of this, but that means programs like COM should have different entries for items from diff. parts of the planet. Otherwise the user would have to create custom foods, or switch databases (when possible) to have the right nutrient values for added items.

 

Edit: Wait, looking at USDA's source (See footnote 1), I see it's Hazelnut Marketing Board Nutrient Content of Hazelnuts, 1999  Aurora OR. Maybe reliable, but maybe not.... NUTTAB, on the other hand, bases its number on several analyses, it would appear.

 

Excellent! Maybe I'll start eating more hazelnuts!

 

One really needs to look into one's stapes carefully....

Edited by BrianMDelaney

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look at what NUTTAB says about Mn in hazelnuts: 100 g has 3.5 mg Mn. USDA's database (I'm getting this via COM) says 6.2 mg.

 

Looking at other nuts I eat, I see there many other huge discrepancies. Irritating. Obviously, different soil conditions might explain most of this, but that means programs like COM should have different entries for items from diff. parts of the planet.

 

Well, in a sernse, of course, it already does: the different databases are from different countries, and usually represent what's available to local consumers. And if you know you have Aussie hazelnuts, you can (or hopefully will be able to) select NUTTAb

 

Otherwise the user would have to create custom foods, or switch databases (when possible) to have the right nutrient values for added items.

 

Well, in most cases, there's nowhere to get the underlying info for the custom food other than these databases. From some slightly blushingly-admitted experience, I can tell you that contacting a supplier of some food and asking for the content of some nutrient other than the ones req'd for the 'nutrition facts' is almost always a fool's errand — and when they have info, it's almost always jst taken from an existing database (usually the FDA). At best, they might have done one independent test on one batch of something, which is unlikely to be representative.

 

Edit: Wait, looking at USDA's source (See footnote 1), I see it's Hazelnut Marketing Board Maybe reliable, but maybe not.... NUTTAB, on the other hand, bases its number on several analyses, it would appear.

 

The NUTTAB link you give just goes to their homepage; you want this link for NUTTAB's detailed info on raw hazelnuts. Good point — but (a) the Hazelnut Marketing Board may itself have multiple sources (the USDA detail page says they have 4 data points, which might be from different years or regions of the USA), and (b) note that the 6 NUTTAB samples are all from supermarkets in the province of South Australia, which aren't necessarily more likely to represent what you're buying in the USA than the (American, USDA-affiliated) Hazelnut Marketing Board.

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Sorry about the imperfect link; still getting used to this system.

 

Yes, the Marketing Board would appear to have 4 data points, but something about a group called a Marketing Board made me slightly (though only slightly) doubtful about their competence. But on reflection I think that's probably unfair.

 

About what's representative: quite right. While I'm here in Europe, I should probably use a European food database.

 

For ex., the Danish National Food Institute has 7.2 mg Mn / 100 g Hazelnuts (variation 4.90 - 10.0). Ouch.

 

 

Brian

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It's interesting, on Cronometer, if I add 16fl oz of Hibiscus tea, it counts this as 0.2mg of manganese (NCCDB:11096)

 

Watching this video -- http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-hibiscus-tea-is-too-much/ there's an article cited: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23561167 which lists the average concentration of manganese in hibiscus tea at 17.377mg/L +/- 1.101mg.   That's a pretty wide spread between maybe drinking 0.2mg and possibly drinking 8.7mg.  If the range is this wide on other foods in my diet, I see the potential for a large amount of hidden manganese.

Edited by sirtuin

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Hibiscus, too? Yikes.

 

I'm more worried about Mn in liquids than in food, because of the way the (adult, esp.) body can get rid of a good deal of excess Mn, when it's liberated (relatively) gradually from solid food. This is why I still eat hazelnuts. When I drink tea, it's never on an empty stomach (note: there's a lot of guesswork involved in the "Mn in liquids (even with the tannins in a lot of teas) on an empty stomach is worse" idea -- I still haven't looked into it closely, and I'm not sure looking into it closely would yield much: my sense is that not enough is known about how the body deals with Mn).

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