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Whole blood manganese levels are considered to be a reliable measure of body manganese. Hair manganese levels also correlate well with manganese levels in other body tissues, but dark hair dyes can contain manganese and thus falsely elevate readings. In the case of extremely high manganese levels obtained from scalp hair, pubic hair should be tested as a control. Low hair manganese levels are considered reliable.
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Manganese: An essential mineral found in trace amounts in tissues of the body. Adults normally contain an average of 10 to 20mg of manganese in their bodies, most of which is contained in bone, the liver and the kidneys. Manganese is essential to several critical enzymes necessary for energy production, bone and blood formation, nerve function and protein metabolism. It is involved in the metabolism of fats and glucose, the production of cholesterol and it allows the body to use thiamine and Vitamin E. It is also involved in the building and degrading of proteins and nucleic acid, biogenic amine metabolism, which involves the transmitting of nerve impulses.