Manganese in Whole Blood or Urine

Clinical Information

Manganese is a mineral that is essential to human health but exposure to high levels either thru ingestion or inhalation is toxic1.

The importance of manganese to human health is attributed to being an essential component of many enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, gluconeogenesis, amino acids, and cholesterol2,3. Also, it has some antioxidant properties4; and helps in the synthesis of proteoglycans that are needed by the bones and cartilages2.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency or Toxicity

Manganese deficiency as a result of inadequate dietary intake is rare5. However, long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN) lacking manganese may induce a deficiency in the nutrient2.

Manganese deficiency symptoms observed in long-term TPN were impaired growth and bone demineralization2.

Toxicological effects of exposure to high levels of manganese include behavioral changes, slow and clumsy movements, loss of sex drive and sperm damage1.

Supplementation Guide

No published guidelines for supplementation for the general public.

Following are frequently used dosages of supplemental manganese for the prevention of a deficiency8.

  • For adults and teenagers: 2 to 5 mg/day
  • Children:
    • 7-10 y.o.: 2 to 3 mg/day
    • 4-6 y.o.: 1.5 to 2 mg/day

There are no established upper limits for manganese for the Philippine population. However, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IDSA) suggests 10 mg for tolerable upper intake level from supplements (ULS)9.

Manganese may interact with iron since they share absorption and transport mechanisms. Supplemental magnesium and calcium can potentially decrease manganese absorption in healthy adults2.

Food Sources

In general, food from plants contain more manganese than those from animals5.

Food sources of include brown rice, oatmeal, spinach, pineapples, almonds, pecans, molasses, whole-wheat bread, sesameseeds, peanuts, beans, sweet potatoes, and tea10.

(1) Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. (September 2012). Public Health Statement for Manganese. Retrieved from
(2) Higdon J, Drake VJ. (March 2010). Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Manganese. Retrieved from
(3) Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M. The role of vitamins and mineral in energy metabolism and well-being. The Journal of International Medical Research 2007; 35: 277-289
(4) Bansal AK. Manganese: A potent antioxidant in semen. Iranian Journal of Applied Animal Science 2013; 3(2):217-221.
(5) Aschner M, Erickson K. Advances in Nutrition 2017; 8:520-521. doi: 10.3945/an.117.015305.
(6) Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories. (n.d.) Test Catalog. Manganese, Blood. Retrieved from
(7) Ge X, Wang F, Zhong Y, Lv Y, Jiang C, Zhou Y, Li D, Xia B, Su C, Cheng H, Ma Y, Xiong F, Shen Y, Zou Y, Yang X. Manganese in blood cells as an exposure biomarker in manganese-exposed workers healthy cohort. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 2018; 45:41-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2017.09.016.
(8) Micromedex. (n.d.). Drugs and Supplements. Manganese Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route). Retrieved from
(9) Hathcock , John H. Safety of Vitamin and Minral Supplements. Safe Levels Identified by Risk Assessment. April 2004.
(10) Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University. (n.d.). Micronutrients for Health. Retrieved from