A new study suggests that, if consumed in excess, dietary manganese may cause an infection of the heart with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which is also known as “golden staph.”
Manganese is an essential mineral that, if consumed excessively, can be toxic. The mineral can be found in abundance in leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as in tea, pineapple, and nuts.
A new study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe suggests that excessive dietary manganese may even lead to a fatal infection of the heart. The infection in question is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which is also known as “staph” or “golden staph.”
Staph is the leading cause of skin infections such as boils and furuncles, and sometimes, the bacterium can cause potentially fatal bloodstream infections or pneumonia.
Staph is also the leading cause of infective, or bacterial, endocarditis. This occurs when S. aureus, having entered the bloodstream, is carried to the heart and settles in a heart valve or in the inner lining of the heart chamber.
The senior author of the new study is Eric Skaar, Ph.D., who is the Ernest W. Goodpasture Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.
Manganese may lead to heart infection
Prof. Skaar told Medical News Today that he and his colleagues analyzed “the impact of multiple metal deficiencies and excess on S. aureus infection” in mice.