February 14, 2015
Manganese is an important transition metal for optimal human health. Recent research shows that it is also a key mineral for the Borrelia (Lyme disease) organism. Published reports suggest that manganese is sequestered by the spirochete and may be used to neutralize the reactive oxygen species generated by the host’s immune system.
The actual manganese transporter involved in the intracellular accumulation of manganese is BmtA (Borrelia manganese transporter A.) Spirochete mutants that do not contain BmtA have reduced virulence.
Based on this recent research, some patients have understandably tried to restrict manganese intake. Most clinicians do not advise this strategy as the spirochete is likely able to selectively accumulate the needed manganese even in the strictest regimens and the exact role for manganese is still to be elucidated.
Ouyang Z, He M, Oman T, et al, 2009