Description Manganese is an essential trace mineral.
Function/ Used for Manganese activates  some enzymes  so they begin to work. It is also essential for the formation of certain enzymes, one of which is superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant enzyme that neutralises potentially damaging free radicals.

Manganese also helps contribute to normal energy metabolism, normal bones and the formation of connective tissue.

Intake Recommended intake

EU NRV: 2mg


UK average daily intake

Intake of manganese is not routinely tracked by government data. The UK, average daily adult intake from food sources in 2000/01 was 3mg per day.1

As a supplement Not generally available as a single supplement. Commonly available as part of a multivitamin and mineral formula.

Different multivitamin and minerals products will vary in the percentage NRVs they include. People should always check the label for information about a specific product.

Found in (dietary sources) Nuts, pulses, wholemeal bread and cereals and green vegetables. Tea is a rich source of manganese and possibly the biggest source of manganese for many people in the UK.
Deficiency Manganese deficiency in individuals consuming mixed diets is very rare. Symptoms thought to be associated with deficiency include weight loss, dermatitis, hypocholesterolaemia (low levels of cholesterol in the blood), depressed growth of hair and nails and reddening of black hair2.
Precautions and contraindications Safe Upper Level:

General  population: 4mg/day3

Older people: 0.5mg/day (older people may be more sensitive to manganese)

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding There is no evidence of adverse effects in pregnancy.
Interactions e.g. with other medications Oral contraceptives may interfere with the absorption of manganese.

Manganese can reduce the absorption of Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.2,4

Adverse effects Long term intakes of daily doses of 4mg and over of manganese may lead to muscle pain and fatigue2.
References 1.     Manual of Nutrition 12th Ed., Dept. of Health, June 2012.

2.     Mason, P. Dietary Supplements. Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2001.

3.     Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals, 2003.

4.     Gaby, A. R. A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions. HealthNotes 2006.