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Manganese

What is it?

Manganese is a mineral that is found in several foods including nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is considered an essential nutrient, because the body requires it to function properly. People use manganese as medicine.

Manganese is taken by mouth for prevention and treatment of manganese deficiency, a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough manganese. It is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), painful joints (osteoarthritis), a type of “tired blood” (anemia), weight loss, and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Manganese is used by IV for manganese deficiency, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and as a trace element in total parenteral nutrition (TPN) preparations.

Manganese is applied to the skin for wound healing.

Look out for manganese that is “hidden” in some supplements. Certain supplements, including those commonly used for osteoarthritis (e.g., Cosamin DS), contain manganese. When using these products, it’s important to follow label directions carefully. At doses slightly higher than the recommended dose, these products provide more than the Tolerable Upper Limit (UL) for adults, 11 mg of manganese per day. Consuming more than 11 mg per day of manganese could cause serious and harmful side effects.

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:

Effective for...

  • Low manganese levels in the body (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.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

  • Complications of lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD). Early research suggests 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.
  • 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 can help treat osteoarthritis. Therefore, the effects of manganese are unclear.
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis). Taking manganese by mouth in combination with calcium, zinc, and copper seems to help reduce 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.
  • Weight loss. 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.
  • Wound healing. Early research shows that applying a dressing containing manganese, calcium, and zinc to chronic wounds for 12 weeks may improve wound healing.
  • Anemia.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of manganese for these uses.

How does it work?

Manganese is an essential nutrient involved in many chemical processes in the body, including processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates, and protein. It might also be involved in bone formation.

Are there safety concerns?

Manganese is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts up to 11 mg per day. However, people who have trouble getting rid of manganese from the body, such as people with liver disease, may experience side effects when taking less than 11 mg per day.

Taking more than 11 mg per day by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most adults.

Manganese is LIKELY UNSAFE when inhaled by adults for long periods of time. Excess manganese in the body can cause serious side effects, including symptoms resembling Parkinson's 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; in children 9 to 13 years, less than 6 mg per day; and in children 14 to 18 years, less than 9 mg per day. Manganese in higher doses than described is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Talk with your healthcare professional 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. Manganese is LIKELY UNSAFE when inhaled for long periods of time.

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?

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
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 antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. To avoid this interaction, take manganese supplements at least one hour after antibiotics.

Some of these antibiotics that might interact with manganese include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).
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 magnesium might worsen side effects of magnesium in some people.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Calcium, iron, zinc
Taking calcium along with any of these minerals 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.

Are there interactions with foods?

Fat
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?

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS
BY MOUTH:
  • 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: 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; girls 9 to 18 years, 1.6 mg; 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: children 1 to 3 years, 2 mg; 4 to 8 years, 3 mg; 9 to 13 years, 6 mg; 14 to 18 years (including pregnant and breastfeeding women), 9 mg; for adults 19 years and older (including pregnant and breast-feeding women), 11 mg.
BY IV:
  • For low manganese levels in the body (manganese deficiency): For preventing manganese deficiency in adults, total parenteral nutrition containing 200 mcg of elemental manganese per day has been used.
CHILDREN
BY MOUTH:
  • 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.
BY IV:
  • For low manganese levels in the body (manganese deficiency): For preventing manganese deficiency in children, total parenteral nutrition containing 2-10 mcg of elemental manganese per day has been used.

Other names

Aminoate de Manganèse, Ascorbate de Manganèse, Chlorure de Manganèse, Citrate de Manganèse, Complexe Aspartate de Manganèse, Dioxyde de Manganèse, Gluconate de Manganèse, Glycérophosphate de Manganèse, Manganèse, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Aminoate, Manganese Ascorbate, Manganese Aspartate Complex, Manganese Chloride, Manganese Chloridetetrahydrate, Manganese Citrate, Manganese Dioxide, Manganese Gluconate, Manganese Glycerophosphate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate Monohydrate, Manganese Sulfate Tetrahydrate, Manganeso, Manganum, Mn, Monohydrate de Sulfate de Manganèse, Sulfate de Manganèse.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

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Last reviewed - 03/20/2018