Intake of vitamins and minerals in right amount is highly essential for the body. However, when there is an excess of manganese intake it can have a negative effect especially on the heart.
A new research has found that higher intake of dietary manganese, an essential mineral found especially in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts could lead to infection of the heart.
Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") is the leading cause of bacterial endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart chamber and heart valves) and the second most frequent cause of bloodstream infections.
The study which was conducted on mice found that most of the mice that consumed a high manganese diet, about three times more manganese than normal died after infection with staph.
The researchers, led by Eric Skaar, professor at the Vanderbilt University in the US, found that excess manganese inactivates a key line of defence against pathogens: the innate immune system's reactive oxygen burst.
Normally, in response to staph, "neutrophils pour into the site of infection and blast the bacteria with reactive oxygen species," Skaar explained. However, the excess manganese counters this blast.
"It's striking that a single dietary change can inactivate one of the most powerful branches of innate immune defence and lead to fatal infection," Skaar said.
The study was recently reported in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.
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