Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Manganese v IQ.

Prof Maryse F Bouchard has found that the highest levels of manganese in drinking water are linked to lower IQ in Canadian children.

8 municipalities across Quebec were selected to give groundwater levels of manganese from near zero to very high, and 362 children were recruited to the study.

Tap water was drawn from each home. Water consumption was estimated by each child. Manganese from other dietary sources was estimated. Hair was taken from each child and the concentration of manganese within it was counted.

Those exposed to the highest manganese in water had an average IQ of 6.2 less than those with almost no exposure. There was no link between manganese from other dietary sources and IQ, despite the fact that much more manganese was consumed this way than from water.

Manganese levels in hair were linked to manganese in water, but not to other dietary sources.

The results suggest that manganese in water is metabolised in a different way to that from other sources.

The findings held true when adjusted for socio-economic status and other metals in the water.

The study repeats similar findings on manganese in water v IQ of He (1994, China) and Wasserman (Bangladesh, 2006).

In Quebec, the IQ difference was found in water at around 200 micrograms of manganese per litre. A US Geological Survey in 2009 found 5% of domestic household wells have levels of manganese 50% higher than this.


September 20, 2010 - Posted by | Brain, Canada, Child Health, Health, Learning, Maryse F Bouchard, Success

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