July 24, 2024

Dietary Nutrient Manganese May Have Potential to Remove Blood Vessel Plaques, Study Finds

Researchers have conducted a study suggesting that a common nutrient found in many foods, manganese, may have the ability to eliminate established plaque build-ups in blood vessels. Although statin drugs are effective at controlling plaques, they are unable to eliminate them entirely. Manganese, an essential metallic element with an atomic number of 25, is important for various bodily functions, including carbohydrate and fat metabolism, the proper functioning of nerves and brains, and the formation of connective tissue, sex hormones, and bones.

Manganese is readily available in the diet, with abundant sources including whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, shellfish, black pepper, coffee, and tea. Deficiency in manganese can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness, infertility, bone malformation, and seizures.

The study, which involved researchers from multiple Chinese universities, utilized mouse models to investigate the effects of manganese. The researchers discovered that the element significantly reduced the presence of lipids in the bloodstream, which contribute to plaque formation, and effectively removed existing plaques from the walls of blood vessels.

Xiao Wang, one of the lead authors of the study, highlighted that manganese is often considered the least understood essential element, predominantly playing supporting roles in enzymatic reactions. However, the researchers uncovered an active signaling role of the manganese ion in controlling lipid delivery into the blood.

Through their investigation, Wang and his colleagues found that manganese can bind to a crucial complex called the coat protein complex II (COPII), which is necessary for the movement of lipids, including cholesterol and triglycerides, into the bloodstream. By disrupting the precise chemical balance of this complex, manganese reduced blood lipid concentrations and removed established plaques in the mice that were studied.

If the findings from this study can be replicated in humans, it could open up new possibilities for clearing blood vessels of plaques, which are major contributors to cardiovascular disease. Current treatments focus on stabilizing plaques and preventing their growth, but the potential of manganese to actively remove these plaques provides an alternative pathway.

Xiao-Wei Chen, the senior author of the study, expressed enthusiasm about manganese’s potential in both preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. The researchers are excited to further investigate its efficacy and safety, as well as develop more efficient methods for utilizing this novel signaling function of manganese.

As more research is conducted, the potential role of manganese in improving cardiovascular health may become clearer. In the meantime, individuals can ensure an adequate intake of manganese by consuming foods rich in this essential nutrient, promoting their overall well-being and possibly reducing the risk of plaque formation in blood vessels.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it