Hypermineralosis – Part 1: Widespread Manganese Toxicity?

Hypermineralosis - Part 1: Widespread Manganese Toxicity?

Manganese hypermineralosis is a real possibility with most of the multivitamin supplements on the market today.

Manganese deficiency even in the poor standard American diet is extremely rare, most people get more than the two mg daily they need for optimal functioning. Dietary sources can be found in brown rice, pineapples, pecans, almonds, beans, spinach, and sweet potatoes. 1 In addition, if you drink well or even tap water, manganese is concentrated in most water sources and can add to your total daily intake of the mineral. 2

Adequate manganese intake is important for the body; it is mainly used in the production of manganese superoxide dismutase a principal mitochondrial antioxidant. Manganese is important for proper metabolism, bone development, and wound healing. 3 4

Manganese is important for the production of many crucial enzymes in the body. Manganese is used to produce the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) which is important for proper gluconeogenesis. Manganese is also important for reducing glutamate excitability in the brain through the production of the enzyme glutamine synthetase that converts it into safer glutamine. Finally, it is required for the activation of prolidase, and enzyme that provides proline for proper collagen formation. 5

Manganese in large doses, on the other hand, is harmful and is a potent neurotoxin. Manganese poisoning causes many neurologic and physical problems that resemble diseases including Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. A study from Greece concluded that people who ingested water with natural manganese levels as low as 2.3 mg a liter might show adverse neurological symptoms. Another study showed that children who ingested rich natural manganese water experienced cognitive and behavioral deficits. The EPA even limits concentrations in drinking water to 0.05 mg/ liter. 6 7

Toxicity from inhaling manganese dust (known as manganism) can be an occupational hazard, and cause a more rapid onset of neurological symptoms including tremors, irritability, aggressiveness, hallucinations difficulty walking, and facial muscle spasms. 8 9

People who have chronic liver disease (manganese is excreted through bile,) newborns, children, if you are female, or people who are iron deficient are at greater risks for manganese toxicity. 10 11

My recommended daily supplementation limit of manganese is two milligrams. Even though, I recommend most of the Thorne Research multivitamins, they usually have too much  in their vitamins and I suggest reducing the dosage till it is at or around two milligrams.

If you believe that you are suffering for manganese hyperminerlosis supplementing with magnesium (at least 200 mg) and calcium citrate (500 mg) may help increase its excretion or blunt its absorption leading to decreased bioavailability. 12

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2 Comments
  1. The recommended two capsule serving of Thorne Heavy Metal Support contains 15mg of manganese, exceeding the upper limit of 11mg, and they suggest up to 3 servings a day in combination with their multivitamin (in total exceeding the UL by 40mg)!

  2. Thorne Basic Nutrients 2/day has “only” 3mg manganese, but their 6+/daily multis (including, ironically, their Basic Detox Nutrients) contain twice that. Pure Encapsulation’s Nutrient 950 similarly includes 5mg manganese (aspartate), although some of their other multis contain levels at or below the RDA (and their Multi t/d lists no manganese, or copper, at all).

    Any idea why such thoughtful supplement companies include high doses of this mineral?

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