Manganese is an essential, trace mineral. It functions to increase the activity of enzymes such as liver arginase, mitochondrial superoxide dimutase and glycosyl transferases. However, there is no clearly defined clinical syndrome associated with manganese deficiency.
Most dietary manganese is not absorbed but instead passes directly on to faeces; there it joins absorbed manganese which has been excreted in bile. Manganese levels can be assayed from sources such as erythrocytes, whole blood and urine.
Manganese poisoning, usually due to inhalation of manganese dust in miners, may cause parkinsonism and/or inflammation of the respiratory tract.
Last reviewed 01/2018