What is it?
Manganese is used for manganese deficiency. It is also used for weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis), osteoarthritis, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for MANGANESE are as follows:
- Manganese deficiency. Taking manganese by mouth or giving manganese intravenously (by IV) helps to treat or prevent low manganese levels in the body. Also, taking manganese by mouth along with other vitamins and minerals can promote growth in children who have low levels of manganese in developing countries.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
- Hay fever. Using a salt-water nasal spray with added manganese seems to reduce episodes of acute hay fever, but a plain salt-water spray may work just as well.
- A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Early research shows that giving manganese, selenium, and zinc intravenously (by IV) may help people with worsened COPD to breathe on their own without help from a machine sooner.
- Infants born weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces). Some research has found that women with manganese levels that are too high or too low might have a higher chance of delivering male infants with a low birth weight. This was not the case for female infants. It's unclear if taking a manganese supplement while pregnant can help prevent low birth weight in males.
- Obesity. Early research shows that taking a specific product containing manganese, 7-oxo-DHEA, L-tyrosine, asparagus root extract, choline bitartrate, inositol, copper gluconate, and potassium iodide by mouth for 8 weeks can slightly reduce weight in overweight people. It is unclear if taking manganese alone has an effect on weight.
- Osteoarthritis. Taking a specific product containing manganese, glucosamine hydrochloride, and chondroitin sulfate by mouth for 4 months improves pain and the ability to do normal activities in people with osteoarthritis of the knee and the lower back. However, many studies show that taking glucosamine plus chondroitin without manganese might help treat osteoarthritis. Therefore, the effects of manganese are unclear.
- Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Taking manganese by mouth in combination with calcium, zinc, and copper reduces spinal bone loss in older women. Also, taking a specific product containing manganese, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, copper, and boron for one year seems to improve bone mass in women with weak bones. However, many studies show that taking calcium plus vitamin D without manganese can help treat osteoporosis. Therefore, the effects of manganese are unclear.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Early research shows that taking manganese along with calcium helps improve symptoms of PMS, including pain, crying, loneliness, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, mood swings, depression, and tension. Researchers aren't sure whether the improvement is due to the calcium, manganese, or the combination.
- Infants with birth weight below the 10th percentile. Some research has found that women with manganese levels that are too high or too low might have a higher chance of delivering male infants with birth weights below the 10th percentile. This was not the case for female infants. It's unclear if taking a manganese supplement while pregnant can help prevent low birth weight in males.
- Wound healing. Early research shows that applying a dressing containing manganese, calcium, and zinc to chronic skin wounds for 12 weeks may improve wound healing.
- Other conditions.
How does it work?
Are there safety concerns?
When given by IV: Manganese is LIKELY SAFE when given by IV as part of parenteral nutrition under the supervision of a health care provider. It's generally recommended that parenteral nutrition provides no more than 55 mcg of manganese per day, especially when used long-term. Receiving more than 55 mcg of manganese per day by IV as part of parenteral nutrition is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most adults.
When inhaled: Manganese is LIKELY UNSAFE when inhaled by adults for long periods of time. Excess manganese in the body can cause serious side effects, including poor bone health and symptoms resembling Parkinson disease, such as shaking (tremors).
Special precautions & warnings:Children: Taking manganese by mouth is LIKELY SAFE for children 1 to 3 years in amounts less than 2 mg per day; for children 4 to 8 years in amounts less than 3 mg per day; for children 9 to 13 years in amounts less than 6 mg per day; and for children 14 to 18 years in amounts less than 9 mg per day. Manganese in higher doses than described is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Talk with your health care provider before giving manganese to children. High doses of manganese might cause serious side effects. Manganese is LIKELY UNSAFE when inhaled by children.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Manganese is LIKELY SAFE in pregnant or breast-feeding adult women aged 19 or older when taken by mouth in doses of less than 11 mg per day. However, pregnant and lactating women under age 19 should limit doses to less than 9 mg per day. Manganese is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in higher doses. Doses over 11 mg per day are more likely to cause serious side effects. Taking too much manganese might also decrease the birth size of male infants. Manganese is LIKELY UNSAFE when inhaled by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Long-term liver disease: People with long-term liver disease have trouble getting rid of manganese. Manganese can build up in these people and cause shaking, mental problems such as psychosis, and other side effects. If you have liver disease, be careful not to get too much manganese.
Iron-deficiency anemia: People with iron-deficiency anemia seem to absorb more manganese than other people. If you have this condition, be careful not to get too much manganese.
Nutrition that is given intravenously (by IV). People who receive nutrition intravenously (by IV) are at an increased risk of side effects due to manganese.
Are there interactions with medications?
- Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)
- Manganese can attach to quinolones in the stomach. This decreases the amount of quinolones that can be absorbed by the body. Taking manganese along with some quinolones might decrease their effectiveness. To avoid this interaction, take manganese supplements at least one hour after quinolone antibiotics.
Some quinolones include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), and others.
- Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)
- Manganese can attach to tetracyclines in the stomach. This decreases the amount of tetracyclines that can be absorbed by the body. Taking manganese with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction, take manganese two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.
Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).
- Medications for mental conditions (Antipsychotic drugs)
- Antipsychotic drugs are taken by some people to treat mental illnesses. Some researchers believe that taking certain antipsychotic drugs along with manganese might worsen side effects of manganese in some people.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?
- Taking calcium along with manganese can decrease the amount of manganese that the body can take in.
- IP-6 (Phytic acid)
- IP-6 found in foods, such as cereals, nuts, and beans, and in supplements can decrease the amount of manganese that the body takes in. Take manganese at least two hours before or two hours after eating foods that contain IP-6.
- Taking iron along with manganese can decrease the amount of manganese that the body can take in.
- Taking zinc along with manganese can increase the amount of manganese that the body can take in. This may increase the side effects of manganese.
Are there interactions with foods?
- Eating low amounts of fat might decrease how much manganese the body can absorb.
- Milk protein
- Adding milk protein to the diet might increase the amount of manganese the body can absorb.
What dose is used?
- General: No recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for manganese have been established. When there are no RDAs for a nutrient, the Adequate Intake (AI) is used as a guide. The AI is the estimated amount of the nutrient that is used by a group of healthy people and assumed to be adequate. The daily Adequate Intake (AI) levels for manganese are: men age 19 and older, 2.3 mg; women 19 and older, 1.8 mg; pregnant women age 14 to 50, 2 mg; breastfeeding women, 2.6 mg.
- Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL), the highest level of intake at which unwanted side effects are not expected, for manganese have been established. The daily ULs for manganese are: for adults 19 years and older (including pregnant and breast-feeding women), 11 mg.
- For low manganese levels in the body (manganese deficiency): For preventing manganese deficiency in adults, total parenteral nutrition containing up to 200 mcg of elemental manganese per day has been used. The recommended daily dose of manganese in long-term use of total parenteral nutrition is ≤ 55 mcg per day.
- General: No recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for manganese have been established. When there are no RDAs for a nutrient, the Adequate Intake (AI) is used as a guide. The AI is the estimated amount of the nutrient that is used by a group of healthy people and assumed to be adequate. In infants and children, the daily Adequate Intake (AI) levels for manganese are: infants birth to 6 months, 3 mcg; 7 to 12 months, 600 mcg; children 1 to 3 years, 1.2 mg; 4 to 8 years 1.5 mg; boys 9 to 13 years, 1.9 mg; boys 14 to 18 years, 2.2 mg; and girls 9 to 18 years, 1.6 mg. Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL), the highest level of intake at which unwanted side effects are not expected, for manganese have been established. The daily ULs for manganese for children are: children 1 to 3 years, 2 mg; 4 to 8 years, 3 mg; 9 to 13 years, 6 mg; and 14 to 18 years (including pregnant and breastfeeding women), 9 mg.
- For low manganese levels in the body (manganese deficiency): For preventing manganese deficiency in children, total parenteral nutrition containing 2-10 mcg or up to 50 mcg of elemental manganese per day has been used.
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
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