PictureManganese is an essential mineral, found in nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is involved in protein and fat metabolism, promotes a nervous system health, is needed for digestive function, bone growth, and proper immune function. Manganese is also supports the action of super oxide dismutase (SOD) which is an enzyme that acts as an anti-oxidant to prevent cell damage.

Supplemental manganese is used primarily to treat manganese deficiency arising from dietary insufficiency or poor absorption.  It may also be prescribed for arthritis (in conjunction with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride), osteoporosis, anemia and PMS symptoms.

Manganese deficiency is rare.  Because manganese is included as an ingredient in off-the-shelf products for osteoarthritis, it is possible to have an excessive intake of manganese, resulting in symptoms of toxicity.  These symptoms include:

  • nervous system problems similar to Parkinson’s disease
  • hallucinations, irritability
  • impotence

Manganese can interact with the following medications:

  • Quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar)
  • Tetracycline antibiotics including demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin)

Manganese also interacts with other nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus and zinc.

Direct supplementation with manganese should only occur under the supervision of a health care practitioner.