Manganese is a metal that is widespread on the earth. It occurs naturally, as a grayish metal found in ore deposits. The spelling of this mineral can be somewhat confusing because it is so close to magnesium. The two are entirely different minerals.
Manganese has been used since early history as an alloy in making iron. Some experts speculate that the extreme hardness of Spartan swords was due to the naturally occurring manganese in the iron. When manganese is used as an alloy, it tends to harden the metal without making a brittle.
More recently, steelmakers included manganese in their recipes for making some of the hardest steel known to man. It is also a good conductor of electricity, so battery manufacturers have a use for this mineral as well.
There is a lot of speculation about the exact amount of manganese needed for properly functioning cells. Scientists know that manganese is very important in the production of digestive enzymes. Manganese plays a role in the formation of the substance called super oxide dismutase. Called SOD for short, this compound is a powerful antioxidant that fights inflammation. Perhaps that is why some people believe that manganese is important in healing injuries and inflammation.
In the body, manganese has some functions that closely resemble antioxidants. This may hint that the mineral is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system.
The body does not have large amounts of manganese stored. The organs that seemed to need it most and therefore store it are the liver, pancreas, bones, and kidneys. A deficiency of manganese is known to lead to increase levels of iron.
Uses for Hair Loss
I was unable to find much information in relation to manganese and its uses in fighting hair loss. Some research indicates that manganese deficiency can lead to hair loss. This may result from the lowered ability to absorb minerals in general.
Another possibility for manganese and hair loss may be that the mineral supports healthy thyroid function. Apparently, iodine and manganese are bold needed for the thyroid gland to work properly. In a diet deficient in manganese, the gland may not produce enough thyroid hormone causing slow hair growth and hair loss.
Some people claim that manganese helps prevent slow hair growth. I was unable to find any credible research backing this up. If the mineral does prevent slow hair growth, then it could indeed be valuable for healthy hair.
What I Like
I like the fact that manganese is a mineral that is needed for healthy cell function. I like the fact that you can buy it in a vitamin/mineral supplement at a low cost. You will not be harmed if you use any hair product that contains this mineral. However, you need to be careful if you choose to supplement with it because too much can be toxic.
Many hair care and hair loss products contain manganese. I am unable to find much research that backs up the claims that this mineral is worthwhile in the fight against hair loss. However, since it does not cause any harm when used externally, I see no problem with using products that contain it.