manganese

What can high-manganese foods do for you?

  • Help your body utilize several key nutrients such as biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, and choline
  • Keep your bones strong and healthy
  • Help your body synthesize fatty acids and cholestorol
  • Maintain normal blood sugar levels
  • Promote optimal function of your thyroid gland
  • Maintain the health of your nerves
  • Protect your cells from free-radical damage

What events can indicate a need for more high-manganese foods?

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Poor glucose tolerance (high blood sugar levels)
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of hair color
  • Excessive bone loss
  • Low cholesterol levels
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing loss
  • Reproductive system difficulties

    Excellent food sources of manganese include mustard greens, kale, chard, raspberries, pineapple, romaine lettuce, collard greens and maple syrup.

     

    Description

    What is manganese?

    Manganese, a trace mineral that participates in many enzyme systems in the body, was first considered an essential nutrient in 1931. Researchers discovered that experimental animals fed a diet deficient in manganese demonstrated poor growth and impaired reproduction. Manganese is found widely in nature, but occurs only in trace amounts in human tissues. The human body contains a total of 15-20 milligrams of manganese, most of which is located in the bones, with the remainder found in the kidneys, liver, pancreas, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands.

    How it Functions

    What is the function of manganese?

    In the human body, manganese functions as an enzyme activator and as a component of metalloenzymes (an enzyme that contains a metal ion in its structure).

    Enzyme activator

    Manganese activates the enzymes responsible for the utilization of several key nutrients including biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, and choline. It is a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, facilitates protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and may also participate in the production of sex hormones and maintaining reproductive health.

    In addition, manganese activates the enzymes known as glycolsyltranserferases and xylosyltransferases, which are important in the formation of bone. It has also been theorized that manganese is involved in the production of the thyroid hormone known as thyroxine and in maintaining the health of nerve tissue.

    A component of metalloenzymes

    Manganese has additional functions as a constituent of the following metalloenzymes:

    • Arginase, the enzyme in the liver responsible for creating urea, a component of urine
    • Glutamine synthetase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of glutamine
    • Phosphoenolpyruvate decarboxylase, an enzyme that participates in the metabolism of blood sugar
    • Manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase, an enzyme with antioxidant activity that protects tissues from the damaging effects of free radicals.This enzyme is found exclusively inside the body's mitochondria (oxygen-based energy factories inside most of our cells).

    Deficiency Symptoms

    What are deficiency symptoms for manganese?

    Because manganese plays a role in a variety of enzyme systems, dietary deficiency of manganese can impact many physiological processes. In experimental animals, manganese deficiency causes impaired growth, skeletal abnormalities, and defects in carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

    In addition, offspring of experimental animals fed manganese-deficient diets develop ataxia, a movement disorder characterized by lack of muscle coordination and balance. This condition is caused by poor development of the otoliths, the structures in the inner ear that are responsible for equilibrium.

    In humans, manganese deficiency is associated with nausea, vomiting, poor glucose tolerance (high blood sugar levels), skin rash, loss of hair color, excessive bone loss, low cholesterol levels, dizziness, hearing loss, and compromised function of the reproductive system. Severe manganese deficiency in infants can cause paralysis, convulsions, blindness, and deafness.

    It is important to emphasize, however, that manganese deficiency is very rare in humans, and does not usually develop unless manganese is deliberately eliminated from the diet. In addition, it has been suggested that magnesium substitutes for manganese in certain enzyme systems if manganese is deficient, thereby allowing the body to function normally despite the deficiency.

    Toxicity Symptoms

    What are toxicity symptoms for manganese?

    Most cases of manganese toxicity are seen in industrial workers who are exposed to manganese dust. These workers develop nervous system problems similar to Parkinson’s disease.

    Although symptoms of manganese toxicity do not typically appear even at high levels of dietary intake, in severe cases of excessive manganese consumption individuals can develop a syndrome called “manganese madness,” characterized by hallucinations, violent acts, and irritability. Overconsumption of manganese is also associated with impotency. Manganese toxicity is most likely to occur in people with chronic liver disease, as the liver plays an important role in eliminating excess manganese from the body.

    In 2000, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences established the following Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) for manganese:

    • Infants: not established (no supplemental manganese should be given)
    • 1-3 years: 2 milligrams
    • 4-8 years: 3 milligrams
    • 9-13 years: 6 milligrams
    • 14-18 years, including pregnant and lactating women: 9 milligrams
    • Greater than 19 years, including pregnant and lactating women: 11 milligrams

    Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing

    How do cooking, storage, or processing affect manganese?

    Significant amounts of manganese can be lost in food processing, especially in the milling of whole grains to produce flour, and in the cooking of beans. Three and one half ounces of raw navy beans, for example, start out with about 1 milligram of manganese. This amount drops by 60% to 0.4 milligrams after cooking.

    Factors that Affect Function

    What factors might contribute to a deficiency of manganese?

    Poor dietary intake of manganese appears to be the most common cause of manganese deficiency. However, other factors can contribute to a need for more manganese. Like zinc, manganese is a mineral that can be excreted in significant amounts through sweat, and invididuals who go through periods of excessive sweating may be at increased risk for manganese deficiency.

    Proper formation of bile in the liver, and proper circulation of bile through the body are also required for manganese transport. As a result, individuals with chronic liver or gallbladder disorders may need more dietary manganese.

    Drug-Nutrient Interactions

    What medications affect manganese?

    Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) and antacids (for example, Tums) may interfere with manganese absorption.

    Nutrient Interactions

    How do other nutrients interact with manganese?

    High doses of manganese may inhibit the absorption of iron, copper, and zinc. Alternatively, high intakes of magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc may inhibit the absorption of manganese.

    Health Conditions

    What health conditions require special emphasis on manganese?

    Manganese may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following medical conditions:
    • Allergies
    • Asthma
    • Diabetes
    • Epilepsy
    • Heart disease
    • Learning disabilities
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Myasthenia gravis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Premenstrual syndrome
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Schizophrenics
    • Sprains and strains

    Form in Dietary Supplements

    What forms of manganese are found in dietary supplements?

    As a dietary supplement, manganese is found in complex with sulfate, chloride, picolinate, gluconate, and amino acids. There is insufficient research on delivery forms to establish a clear preference for one form over another. Most high-quality supplement manufacturers use a form of manganese where this mineral has been hooked together (chelated) with an organic acid like gluconic acid or an amino acid like glycine or arginine.

    Food Sources

    Introduction to Nutrient Rating System Chart

    The following chart shows the foods which are either excellent, very good or good sources of this nutrient. Next to each food name you will find the following information: the serving size of the food; the number of calories in one serving; DV% (percent daily value) of the nutrient contained in one serving (similar to other information presented in the website, this DV is calculated for 25-50 year old healthy woman); the nutrient density rating; and the food's World's Healthiest Foods Rating. Underneath the chart is a table that summarizes how the ratings were devised. For more detailed information on our Nutrient Rating System, please click here.

     

    Foods Ranked as quality sources of:
    manganese
    Food Serving
    Size
    Cals Amount
    (mg)
    DV
    (%)
    Nutrient
    Density
    World's
    Healthiest
    Foods Rating
    Cloves, Ground 2 tsp 14.2 1.32 66.0 83.7 excellent
    Cinnamon, Ground 2 tsp 11.8 0.76 38.0 57.8 excellent
    Lettuce, Romaine 2 cup 15.7 0.71 35.5 40.8 excellent
    Spinach (boiled, with salt) 1 cup 41.4 1.68 84.0 36.5 excellent
    Pineapple 1 cup 76.0 2.56 128.0 30.3 excellent
    Thyme, Ground 2 tsp 7.9 0.24 12.0 27.3 excellent
    Turmeric, Ground 2 tsp 16.0 0.36 18.0 20.2 excellent
    Pepper, Black 2 tsp 10.9 0.24 12.0 19.9 excellent
    Collard Greens, Boiled, Drained 1 cup 49.4 1.07 53.5 19.5 excellent
    Raspberries, Fresh 1 cup 60.3 1.24 62.0 18.5 excellent
    Greens, Mustard, Boiled 1 cup 21.0 0.38 19.0 16.3 excellent
    Oregano, Ground 2 tsp 9.2 0.16 8.0 15.7 very good
    Greens, Turnip, Cooked 1 cup 28.8 0.49 24.5 15.3 excellent
    Peppermint Leaves, Fresh 1 oz-wt 19.9 0.33 16.5 15.0 excellent
    Chard, Boiled 1 cup 35.0 0.58 29.0 14.9 excellent
    Kale, Fresh, Boiled 1 cup 36.4 0.54 27.0 13.4 excellent
    Maple Syrup 2 tsp 34.9 0.44 22.0 11.3 excellent
    Blackstrap Cane Molasses 2 tsp 32.1 0.36 18.0 10.1 excellent
    Garlic 1 oz-wt 42.2 0.47 23.5 10.0 excellent
    Grapes, Concord 1 cup 61.6 0.66 33.0 9.6 excellent
    Basil, Ground 2 tsp 7.5 0.08 4.0 9.6 good
    Squash, Summer, All Varieties 1 cup 36.0 0.38 19.0 9.5 excellent
    Strawberries, Fresh 1 cup 43.2 0.42 21.0 8.8 excellent
    Oats, Whole Grain 1 cup 145.1 1.37 68.5 8.5 excellent
    Green Snap/String Beans, Boiled 1 cup 43.8 0.37 18.5 7.6 excellent
    Tamari (Soy Sauce) 1 tbs 10.8 0.09 4.5 7.5 good
    Rice, Long Grain Brown, Cooked 1 cup 216.4 1.76 88.0 7.3 excellent
    Coriander, Seeds 2 tsp 9.9 0.08 4.0 7.3 good
    Leeks, Boiled 0.50 cup 16.1 0.13 6.5 7.3 very good
    Tofu, Raw 4 oz-wt 86.2 0.69 34.5 7.2 very good
    Cumin, Seeds 1 tsp 7.5 0.06 3.0 7.2 good
    Broccoli (pieces, steamed) 1 cup 43.7 0.34 17.0 7.0 very good
    Beets, Boiled 1 cup 74.8 0.55 27.5 6.6 very good
    Wheat, Bulgur, Cooked 1 cup 151.1 1.11 55.5 6.6 very good
    Pepper, Cayenne, Dried 2 tsp 11.2 0.08 4.0 6.4 good
    Seeds, Flax 0.25 cup 190.6 1.28 64.0 6.0 very good
    Spelt WholeGrain Flour 2 oz-wt 189.0 1.24 62.0 5.9 very good
    Tempeh, Cooked 4 oz-wt 223.4 1.45 72.5 5.8 very good
    Mushrooms, Crimini, Raw 5 oz-wt 31.2 0.20 10.0 5.8 very good
    Beans, Garbanzo, Cooked 1 cup 269.0 1.69 84.5 5.7 excellent
    Celery, Raw 1 cup 19.2 0.12 6.0 5.6 very good
    Asparagus, Boiled 1 cup 43.2 0.27 13.5 5.6 very good
    Green Peas-Boiled 1 cup 134.4 0.84 42.0 5.6 very good
    Quinoa, Dry 0.25 cup 158.9 0.96 48.0 5.4 very good
    Dill Seed 2 tsp 13.4 0.08 4.0 5.4 good
    Cauliflower (boiled, drained) 1 cup 28.5 0.17 8.5 5.4 very good
    Fennel Bulb, Sliced, Raw 1 cup 27.0 0.16 8.0 5.3 very good
    Cucumber, Raw 1 cup 13.5 0.08 4.0 5.3 good
    Brussels Sprouts, Boiled 1 cup 60.8 0.35 17.5 5.2 very good
    Pumpkin Seeds, Dried 0.25 cup 186.7 1.04 52.0 5.0 very good
    Cabbage (shredded, boiled) 1 cup 33.0 0.18 9.0 4.9 very good
    Sweet Potato (small, baked with skin) 1 each 95.4 0.52 26.0 4.9 very good
    Squash, Winter, All Varieties 1 cup 80.0 0.43 21.5 4.8 very good
    Nuts, Walnuts 0.25 cup 163.5 0.85 42.5 4.7 very good
    Tomato, Red, Raw, Ripe 1 cup 37.8 0.19 9.5 4.5 very good
    Blueberries, Fresh 1 cup 81.2 0.40 20.0 4.4 very good
    Parsley, Fresh 1 oz-wt 10.2 0.05 2.5 4.4 good
    Soybeans, Cooked 1 cup 297.6 1.42 71.0 4.3 very good
    Eggplant, Boiled 1 cup 27.7 0.13 6.5 4.2 very good
    Beans, Lima, Cooked 1 cup 216.2 0.97 48.5 4.0 very good
    Red Bell Peppers (sliced, raw) 1 cup 24.8 0.11 5.5 4.0 very good
    Buckwheat Groats, Cooked 1 cup 154.6 0.68 34.0 4.0 very good
    Almonds 0.25 cup 205.2 0.90 45.0 3.9 very good
    Lentils, Boiled 1 cup 229.7 0.98 49.0 3.8 very good
    Seeds, Sesame 0.25 cup 206.3 0.88 44.0 3.8 very good
    Miso (Soybean) 1 oz 70.8 0.30 15.0 3.8 very good
    Beans, Pinto, Cooked 1 cup 234.3 0.95 47.5 3.6 very good
    Beans, Navy, Cooked 1 cup 258.4 1.01 50.5 3.5 very good
    Beans, Kidney, Cooked 1 cup 224.8 0.84 42.0 3.4 very good
    Onions, Raw 1 cup 60.8 0.22 11.0 3.3 good
    Sunflower Seeds, Dried 0.25 cup 205.2 0.73 36.5 3.2 good
    Peanuts, Raw 0.25 cup 207.0 0.71 35.5 3.1 good
    Seeds, Mustard 2 tsp 35.0 0.12 6.0 3.1 good
    Split Peas, Boiled 1 cup 231.3 0.78 39.0 3.0 good
    Beans, Black, Boiled 1 cup 227.0 0.76 38.0 3.0 good
    Carrots, Raw 1 cup 52.5 0.17 8.5 2.9 good
    Yam, Dioscorea species, Cubes, Cooked 1 cup 157.8 0.50 25.0 2.9 good
    Ginger Root 1 oz-wt 19.6 0.06 3.0 2.8 good
    Cranberries, raw, whole 0.50 cup 23.3 0.07 3.5 2.7 good
    Millet, Cooked 1 cup 285.6 0.66 33.0 2.1 good
    Barley 1 cup 270.0 0.62 31.0 2.1 good
    Potato, Baked, with Skin 1 cup 133.0 0.28 14.0 1.9 good
    Corn, Yellow, Boiled 1 cup 177.1 0.32 16.0 1.6 good
    Figs, Fresh 8 oz-wt 167.8 0.29 14.5 1.6 good
    Kiwifruit 1 each 46.4 0.08 4.0 1.6 good
    Banana 1 each 108.6 0.18 9.0 1.5 good
    World's Healthiest
    Foods Rating
    Rule
    excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
    very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
    good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

    Public Health Recommendations

    What are current public health recommendations for manganese?

    The Adequate Intake (AI) levels for manganese, set in 2000 by the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences, are as follows:

    • 0-6 months: 3 micrograms
    • 7-12 months: 600 micrograms
    • 1-3 years: 1.2 milligrams
    • 4-8 years: 1.5 milligrams
    • Boys 9-13 years: 1.9 milligrams
    • Boys 14-18 years: 2.2 milligrams
    • Girls 9-13 years: 1.6 milligrams
    • Girls 14-18 years: 1.6 milligrams
    • Men 19-70 years: 2.3 milligrams
    • Men greater than 70 years: 2.3 milligrams
    • Women 19-70 years: 1.8 milligrams
    • Women greater than 70 years: 1.8 milligrams
    • Pregnant women 14-50 years: 2 milligrams
    • Lactating women 14-50 years: 2 milligrams

    References

    • Aschner M. Manganese: brain transport and emerging research needs. Environ Health Perspect 2000 Jun;108 Suppl 3:429-32.
    • Baquer NZ, Sinclair M, Kunjara S et al. Regulation of glucose utilization and lipogenesis in adipose tissue of diabetic and fat fed animals: Effects of insulin and manganese. J Biosci 2003 Mar;28(2):215-21.
    • Crowley JD, Traynor DA, Weatherburn DC. Enzymes and proteins containing manganese: an overview. Met Ions Biol Syst 2000;37:209-78.
    • Groff JL, Gropper SS, Hunt SM. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. West Publishing Company, New York, 1995.
    • Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. National Academy Press: Washington DC, 2001.
    • Keen CL, Ensunsa JL, Clegg MS. Manganese metabolism in animals and humans including the toxicity of manganese. Met Ions Biol Syst 2000;37:89-121.
    • Lininger SW, et al. A-Z guide to drug-herb-vitamin interactions. Prima Health, Rocklin, CA, 2000.
    • Yoder DW, Hwang J, Penner-Hahn JE. Manganese catalases. Met Ions Biol Syst 2000;37:527-57.

    This page was updated on: 2004-11-21 11:36:38
    © 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation