Natural Sources: Pineapple, avocados, nuts, seeds, seaweed, spinach, tea, raisins, blueberries, cooked dried beans and peas, and whole grain breads and cereals are good sources of manganese. Herbs high in manganese include: alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, parsley, peppermint, raspberry, red clover, rose hips, and yarrow.
Standardized manganese capsules, tablets and liquid supplements; multivitamins containing manganese.
Blood Pressure Control
Brain and Mental Functioning
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Heart Health Maintenance
High Blood Pressure
Mineral Deficiency (RDI=2-5mg/day)
Mood Swings and Disorders
Muscular Fatigue and Weakness
Nervous System Health
Manganese (Mn), from the Latin word “magnes” meaning “magnet”, is a gray-white metal, resembling iron, but is harder and very brittle. Manganese is widely distributed throughout the animal kingdom. It is an important trace element and may be essential for utilisation of B vitamins. Manganese is a component of several enzyme systems, including manganese-specific glycosyltransferases and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, and is essential for normal bone structure. It is also required for proper fat and protein metabolism, a healthy immune system, blood sugar regulation and normal bone growth. Energy production, reproduction and formation of cartilage and synovial fluid also require manganese. Dr. Jeanne Freeland-Graves, professor of nutrition at the University of Texas reports that animals deficient in manganese develop severe osteoporosis. She also discovered in a human study that women with osteoporosis had about one-third less manganese in their blood as healthy women. According to Phyllis Johnson, Ph.D. of the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Centre in Grand Forks, North Dakota, women in particular need to maintain adequate dietary levels of manganese. A study of fifteen young women who were on low-manganese diets for five and a half months showed that the women’s menstrual flow increased in volume by about 50 percent. They ate a mere milligram of manganese daily, about half the national average. The increased blood loss also swept away between 50 and 100 percent more iron, copper, zinc and manganese. One case of human manganese deficiency reported in the medical literature was of a person who received a purified diet containing 0.1 mg/day of manganese. He developed transient dermatitis, hypocholesterolemia, and an increase in alkaline phosphatase levels. He lost about 60% of his estimated body pool of manganese in two weeks, but no further losses occurred during an additional four weeks on the deficient diet.
Manganese, from the Latin word “magnes” meaning “magnet”, or “magnesia nigri” meaning “black magnesia” (MnO2), metal was isolated by Gahn in 1774. Manganese is present in quantity on ocean floors. It is an important component of steel. Ferro-manganese concretions have been found in many places of the seabed. A map, published in 1969 by Mc Kelvey, showed already the occurrence of nodules in all the oceans, some have been found also on the bottom of lakes (USA, Canada, etc…). However not all are of economic value because their low abundance and/or their small metal content (Mn, Ni, Cu, Co). The growth rate of the nodules is one of the slowest phenomenon (in the order of a centimeter by several millions years). The age of Pacific Ocean nodules is 2 to 3 millions years.
The Recommended Daily Intake for manganese is 2mg for adolescents and adults and optimal intake ranges between 2-5mg daily. Intake varies greatly, depending mainly on the consumption of rich sources, such as pineapple, unrefined cereals, green leafy vegetables, and tea. The usual intake of this mineral is 2-5 mg/day depending upon diet, and absorption is 5 to 10%.
There are no side effects known for manganese taken at normal dosages. However, manganese can be toxic in large dosages. Excessive dietary intake of manganese could interfere with iron absorption and result in iron-deficiency anemia. Manganese poisoning is usually limited to people who mine and refine ore; prolonged exposure causes neurologic symptoms resembling Parkinson’s or Wilson’s disease. For an acute overdose, contact your doctor or the nearest poison control center immediately. For symptoms of chronic overdose, consult a physician or other trained healthcare professional.
Berdonces JL. 2001. [Attention deficit and infantile hyperactivity]. Rev Enferm 2001 Jan; 24(1): 11-4. [Article in Spanish]
Bhattacharyya-Pakrasi M, Pakrasi HB, Ogawa T, Aurora R. 2002. Manganese transport and its regulation in bacteria. Biochem Soc Trans. 2002; 30(4): 768-70.
Carper, J. 1993. Food Your Miracle Medicine. Published by HarperCollins Books, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, New York 10103. Pp. 388; 405.
Jatoi A, Thomas CR Jr. 2002. Esophageal cancer and the esophagus: challenges and potential strategies for selective cytoprotection of the tumor-bearing organ during cancer treatment. Semin Radiat Oncol. 2002 Jan; 12(1 Suppl 1): 62-7.
Saltman PD, Strause LG. 1993. The role of trace minerals in osteoporosis. J Am Coll Nutr 1993 Aug; 12(4): 384-9.
Positive Report on The Role of Manganese in Osteoporosis:
Saltman PD, Strause LG. 1993. The role of trace minerals in osteoporosis. J Am Coll Nutr 1993 Aug; 12(4): 384-9. Dept. of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla 92093. (Abstract from Medline):
Osteoporosis is a multifactorial disease with dimensions of genetics, endocrine function, exercise and nutritional considerations. Of particular considerations are calcium (Ca) status, Vitamin D, fluoride, magnesium and other trace elements. Several trace elements, particularly copper (Cu), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn), are essential in bone metabolism as cofactors for specific enzymes. Our investigations regarding the role of Cu, Mn and Zn in bone metabolism include data from studies with animals on Cu- and Mn-deficient diets. We have also demonstrated cellular deficiencies using bone powder implants, as well as fundamental changes in organic matrix constituents. In clinical studies we have demonstrated the efficacy of Ca, Cu, Mn and Zn supplementation on spinal bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Each of these studies demonstrated the necessity of trace elements for optimal bone matrix development and bone density sustenance.