Manganese and the Thymus Gland Manganese and the thymus gland are the keys to the development and treatment of myasthenia gravis. Numerous enzymes are activated by manganese and it is essential for the production of energy from glucose. It is equally important for the growth of bones, the development of the skeleton and the formation of cartilage. It is essential for the development and functioning of nerves and muscles, specifically it is involved with muscular contraction. When muscles are damaged, manganese leaches into the blood stream and causes its level to rise.
Manganese deficiency causes defective growth, muscular weakness, lack of coordination and balance, reproductive abnormalities and disorders of the central nervous system. Manganese is required for a healthy immune system and it is also involved in the synthesis of acetylcholine.
While the thymus gland is best known for its importance in the development and functioning of the immune system, it has also other, less known functions which to some degree are similar to those of manganese.
The thymus is an endocrine gland situated behind the upper part of the breastbone. It increases in size until puberty and then gradually shrinks again. Severe stress, including infection, causes the thymus to shrink excessively and prematurely, especially if there are deficiencies of the anti-stress vitamins. The experimental removal of the thymus in animals resulted ina 60% reduction in the contractibility of muscles, while the capacity to work was reduced by 42%.
In MG, the thymus is generally abnormal, usually much enlarged (hyperplasia) and not infrequently containing tumors (thymomas) .Administration of high doses of manganese reportedly causes the thymus to shrink to its normal size in a very short time and thymomas and symptoms of MG to disappear.
This manganese therapy for MG was discovered and tested in the 1940'sand 50's in the U.S. by E. K. Josephson (A-albionic Research1961).
The report of his first MG case with this new method is quite instructive. A43-year-old female developed the symptoms of MG in1932. She had intermittent X-ray treatments for thymoma over many years. Drug treatment was started later but gave only a slight transient improvement and after some months she failed to respond completely. Nutritional therapy was started in 1937with high doses of vitamins A, B, and C, along with a high salt intake because of severe adrenal weakness, and glycine, an amino acid important for the muscles. Within three weeks the patient was much improved. The later substitution of part of the salt with potassium chloride caused acute glaucoma and had to be stopped.
After a year the therapy started to become ineffective and the condition deteriorated again. Now vitamin E was added in the form of wheat germ oil. The condition rapidly improved and symptoms of MG disappeared except for occasional mild relapses. However, after two years MG reappeared without relief from the treatment.