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 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.
- 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.
Possibly Effective for:
- 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 (Vitrum osteomag) containing manganese, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, copper, and boron for one year seems to improve bone mass in women with weak bones.
- 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 (Cosamin DS from Nutramax Laboratories) 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.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Early research suggests 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 or the manganese.
- Weight loss. Early research suggests that taking a specific product (7-Keto Naturalean) 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 suggests that applying a dressing containing manganese, calcium, and zinc to chronic wounds for 12 weeks may improve wound healing.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
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.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) interacts with MANGANESE
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) interacts with MANGANESE
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).
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.