Mineral Spotlight: Manganese


Mineral Spotlight: Manganese

Manganese is one of the 14 naturally-occurring dissolved minerals found in the geothermal waters at Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Manganese (Mn), No. 25 on the Periodic Table (not to be confused with magnesium), is the fifth most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, always found combined with other elements in such ores as are pyrolusite, manganite, psilomelane, and rhodochrosite. The prehistoric Lascaux cave painters used pyrolusite for a black pigment in their artwork. A liter of Iron Mountain Hot Springs water contains about .11 milligrams of manganese.

Manganese is an essential nutrient for life and a key factor in many enzymes and enzyme activations. One manganese compound is the principal antioxidant enzyme in the cells’ mitochondria. Others are involved in in metabolizing carbohydrates, amino acids and cholesterol, producing glucose and converting glutamate to glutamine in the brain. Manganese is important for the formation of cartilage and bone and for wound healing. Manganese deficiency may be related to osteoporosis and epilepsy.

Your body contains about 12 milligrams of manganese. Men need to eat 2.3 milligrams a day, women 1.8 milligrams (more if pregnant or nursing). Leading sources of manganese, in addition to drinking water (with a safe limit of .05 milligrams per liter), are brown rice, whole grains, nuts, pineapples, oatmeal, beans, spinach, sweet potatoes and tea. Small amounts of manganese in liquid form are able to be absorbed by the skin and soaking in the geothermal waters at Iron Mountain Hot Springs is an ideal way to get a safe daily dose of the vital mineral.

Learn more about wellness and the healing benefits of soaking in geothermal springs at

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.

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