Manganese May Clear Up Psoriasis

In July of 1922 The British Medical Journal published a short article by James Moore F.R.C.S.Edin who described the treatment of psoriasis with collosol manganese (colloidal manganese) injections.

Moore’s article is about how he cleared up the psoriasis in 43 years old men that was plaguing him for 16 years with collosol manganese injections. He prescribed weekly injections of collosol manganese and patient completely cleared up after 13 intramuscular injections.[1] By that time Moore treated successfully already 35 patients with psoriasis.

The question is how exactly manganese disrupted the psoriasis pathophysiology?

Manganese as cholinergic modulator and antioxidant

Most people are aware of zinc and selenium as important chemical elements needed for detoxification but not so many people know the extremely important role of manganese in detoxification and as antioxidant.

Manganese is a chemical element that is needed by the body to run many essential processes. However keep in mind that you don’t want to take excessive amounts of it because similarly like iron also manganese is toxic and specifically neurodegenerative in high doses. Symptoms of manganese toxicity may resemble parkinsonism.

The first two mechanisms that came to my mind in relation to manganese are: MnSOD (manganese superoxide dismutase) and possible involvement of manganese in acetylcholine production or degradation.

There are some scientific data about manganese and its acetylcholinesterase (AChE) blocking properties, however the dosage used in that rat study was extremely high (25mg of MnCl2 per kg). The study also concluded enhanced neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in the rat brain.[2]

Moreover the other study tested the effects of 50mg/kg per day of manganese chloride and concluded “increase in AChE activity” in the rat brain.[3] So there is no conclusive result on manganese effects on acetylcholinesterase enzyme.

Role of manganese as part of the enzyme called manganese superoxide dismutase – MnSOD – is essential. Manganese superoxide dismutase is extremely important detoxification enzyme found in mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy generating factories found in most types of eukaryotic cells and they consume about 90% of all oxygen intake. That fact predisposes them to high oxidative stress caused by superoxide radicals that form during the normal metabolic processes.

Manganese superoxide dismutase – MnSOD – converts superoxides to hydrogen peroxide and this chemical compound normally should be further detoxified by other antioxidant enzymes. Actually one of the suspected causes of vitiligo is damage to melanocytes done by hydrogen peroxide. Well it is possible that people with vitiligo lack those hydrogen peroxide detoxifying enzymes.

There are also reports from people with rheumatoid arthritis that manganese supplement helped them somehow with the symptoms. Since rheumatoid arthritis usually affects body symmetrically similarly like psoriasis I suspect that the way manganese supplement may help in rheumatoid arthritis is the same as in case of psoriasis.

Actually at this point it is hard for me to say the exact mechanism how actually manganese alleviate the symptoms of autoimmune diseases like psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis in some people. It may be the combination of its effects on cholinergic system as well as its antioxidant capabilities (Mn-SOD) or even involvement in cartilage synthesis (in case of arthritis).

Supplementing with manganese

The recommended daily intake of manganese is about 1.5 – 2.5 mg for average adult person and the upper limit is 11 mg daily. However supplementing with manganese may significantly increase its levels in the body so it is not recommended to take high doses for longer periods of time.

It is unlikely that manganese would cure your psoriasis forever without the additional regimen but there is a good chance of significant alleviation of symptoms. Human body stores about 20mg of manganese and most of it is found in the liver. Also liver is the main organ of elimination the excess amounts of this element and that is taken care of via bile. Therefore those with liver problems should pay even higher attention to possible manganese toxicity when taking the manganese supplement.

I would try to take maybe 10mg – 20mg daily for one month (if there are no negative effects) and see the results. The most intriguing fact that supports taking the manganese as supplement is its antioxidant role in mitochondria as part of the manganese superoxide dismutase.

And don’t forget to provide your body some good sources of fats – salmon oil (omega 3) as well as some sources of omega 6 and 9 (essential) fatty acids – flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil, black seed oil, olive oil. Also consider lecithin as source of choline. If you don’t tolerate well soy lecithin you can try sunflower lecithin or egg yolk lecithin.

The above mentioned fats are needed to repair the mitochondria membranes and cell walls damaged by free radicals.

Still keep in mind that repairing the liver is TOP priority. Researching the various mechanisms that may help to speed up the process of clearing up the skin is interesting but never bet your health just on one supplement.

One of the causes why chronic diseases are chronic is because damaged liver can’t produce enough bile acids and bile to digest good fats (and fat soluble vitamins) found in standard diet that are needed to rebuild the liver cells. That makes the vicious circle when liver can not repair because it can not digest the nutrients needed for own repairing process.

2.) Santos D, Milatovic D, Andrade V, Batoreu MC, Aschner M, Marreilha dos Santos AP. The inhibitory effect of manganese on acetylcholinesterase activity enhances oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in the rat brain. Toxicology. 2012 Feb 26;292(2-3):90-8.
3.) Liapi C, Zarros A, Galanopoulou P, Theocharis S, Skandali N, Al-Humadi H, Anifantaki F, Gkrouzman E, Mellios Z, Tsakiris S. Effects of short-term exposure to manganese on the adult rat brain antioxidant status and the activities of acetylcholinesterase, (Na,K)-ATPase and Mg-ATPase: modulation by L-cysteine. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2008 Aug;103(2):171-5.

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