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 used 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), a type of “tired blood” (anemia), and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Manganese is sometimes included with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride in multi-ingredient products promoted for osteoarthritis.
Look out for manganese that is “hidden” in some supplements. Certain supplements, including those commonly used for osteoarthritis (e.g., CosaminDS), 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:
- Treating or preventing low manganese levels in the body (manganese deficiency).
Possibly effective for...
- Weak bones (osteoporosis) when used with calcium, zinc, and copper. Taking manganese orally in combination with calcium, zinc, and copper seems to help reduce spinal bone loss in older women.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Developing research suggests that taking manganese along with calcium seems to help improve symptoms of PMS including crying, loneliness, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, mood swings, depression, and tension. Researchers aren’t sure whether the improvement is due to the calcium or the manganese.
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis).
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of manganese for these uses.
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.
Manganese is LIKELY SAFE for most adults in amounts up to 11 mg per day. More than 11 mg per day might not be safe. Excess manganese can cause serious side effects, including symptoms resembling Parkinson's disease, such as shaking (tremors). 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.
The amount of manganese that is safe for children depends on their age. Talk with your healthcare professional before giving manganese to children.
Special precautions & warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Manganese is LIKELY SAFE in pregnant or breast-feeding adult women aged 19 or older when used 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 used in higher doses. Doses over 11 mg per day are more likely to be damaging.
Chronic liver disease: People with chronic 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.
Be cautious with this combination.
Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)
Manganese might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. 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. 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).
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.
There are no known interactions with foods.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For weak bones (osteoporosis): 5 mg of manganese per day combined with 1000 mg of elemental calcium, 15 mg of zinc, and 2.5 mg of copper.
- 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.
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.
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.methodology (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/methodology.html).
To see all references for the Manganese page, please go to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/182.html.
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Last reviewed - 01/06/2012
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