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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Manganese Deficiency and Toxicity: Are High Or Low Dietary Amounts of Manganese Cause for Concerns?

Authors
item Finley, John
item Davis, Cindy

Submitted to: Biofactors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Manganese (Mn) is a trace element that is essential for animal life because of its function in numerous enzymes. Although many accounts of Mn deficiency in animals have been reported, there are only three accounts of Mn deficiency in humans. Given the paucity of reports of human deficiency, and the severe conditions needed to create it, Mn deficiency in humans apparently should not be considered a priority research topic. There are a few reports relating Mn enzyme activity with cancer protection which may be an area worthy of further research. In contrast to deficiency, there are numerous reported cases of Mn toxicity in humans. Although most of these reports involve subjects who inhaled large amounts of Mn-laden dust, there may be some dietary and metabolic conditions that greatly increase the amount of Mn in the body. There are no studies determining whether such amounts of Mn can be harmful; thus, studies are necessary to determine whether there is danger in environmental exposure to Mn.

Technical Abstract: Manganese (Mn) is a trace element that is essential for animal life because of its function in numerous enzymes. Although many accounts of Mn deficiency in animals have been reported, there are only three accounts of Mn deficiency in humans. Given the paucity of reports of human deficiency, and the severe conditions needed to create it, Mn deficiency in humans apparently should not be considered a priority research topic. There are a few reports relating Mn enzyme activity with cancer protection which may be an area worthy of further research. In contrast to deficiency, there are numerous reported cases of Mn toxicity in humans. Although most of these reports involve subjects who inhaled large amounts of Mn-laden dust, there may be some dietary and metabolic conditions that greatly increase the amount of Mn in the body. There are no studies determining whether such amounts of Mn can be harmful; thus, studies are necessary to determine whether there is danger in environmental exposure to Mn.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014