Last updated: August 15, 2021

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Nowadays, taking additional supplements such as calcium, iron, zinc or magnesium has become quite common. Among the well-known vitamins, other less researched agents are also used. Among them also manganese.

The lesser known manganese is an important component for the function in the human body, but controversial regarding the additional intake as a dietary supplement. We have carried out the manganese test 2021 to shed some light on the product and all its advantages and disadvantages.




The most important facts

  • Manganese is an essential nutritional element for mammals and performs significant functions in the human body.
  • Manganese is found in many different foods as well as in the air and drinking water, but can also be taken through additional supplements in capsule or tablet form.
  • Manganese is associated with many different side effects. Whether manganese can help with diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer or diabetes mellitus has not yet been researched.

The Best Manganese: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for manganese preparations

When buying and consuming manganese, you should pay attention to various aspects, such as:

Always inform yourself carefully about the different products and their quality before buying food supplements. To make it easier for you to choose a suitable product, we have listed the most important purchase criteria.

Ingredients

The most important thing about dietary supplements is the ingredients of the products. Whether in tablet or capsule form, they should be well tolerated. Manufacturers should avoid the following ingredients:

  • Gluten
  • Fructose
  • Lactose
  • Colourings
  • Flavourings
  • Flavourings
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Preservatives
  • Genetic engineering

Many suppliers exclude other ingredients for better tolerability.

Always look at the product description for the ingredients and find out which ones you do not want included.

For vegans and vegetarians, it would also be important to note that the ingredients are 100 percent vegan.

Dosage

You should clarify in advance which dosage is optimal for your needs.

The dosage also depends on age and gender.

The dosage also depends on age and gender. Most manganese tablets and capsules are found with a dosage of 10 milligrams per tablet/capsule.

However, you can also get lower-dose tablets with about 4 milligrams per capsule, or higher-dose tablets with 20 milligrams per tablet.

Stock up

To find the best value for money, you should not only pay attention to the dosage, but also to the amount of content. You can usually get by with manganese capsules for about 3 months if you take them daily.

Manganese tablets are usually offered in larger quantities per package. These will last you exactly 1 year if you take them daily.

Quality

Of course, the quality of the food supplements must not be neglected.

When choosing manganese, be sure to check the quality claims of the manufacturer.

Many already state in the description of the product that it is tested by several institutes and produced according to certain German specifications.

It is best to look for certificates such as ISO 9001 to ensure quality.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about manganese answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of manganese and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is manganese and how does it work?

Manganese is an essential nutritional element for mammals because it performs significant functions in the body. Intestinal uptake of manganese is very low (<10 per cent), but it is a component of some enzymes in the body (superoxide dismutase, pyruvate carboxylase, arginase and glycosyl transferases).(1)

Manganese is involved in amino acid, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism.(1)

It ensures proper immune function, regulation of blood sugar and cellular energy, reproduction, digestion, bone growth and is also required for blood clotting. (2)

A deficiency of manganese in the blood and tissues in humans has been consistently linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and cancer.

However, research is not so far advanced as to be able to scientifically prove these claims. Accordingly, it is increasingly being discussed whether an inadequate amount of manganese can lead to a worsening of existing clinical pictures. (4)

In various animal species with signs of manganese deficiency, it was observed that including growth disorders, impaired reproductive function, impaired glucose tolerance and changes in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism were present.

In addition, manganese deficiency impairs normal skeletal development in several animal species. (3)

When and what dosage of manganese is useful?

For both women and men, an average daily intake of about 3 milligrams of manganese is recommended, according to EFSA. For infants aged 7 to 11 months, however, only an amount of about 0.02 - 0.6 milligrams per day is recommended. The value for children and adolescents can be determined on the isometric scale and body weight.(5)

Mangan

Manganese comes in different forms. The best-known forms are manganese tablets and manganese capsules (Image source: James Yarema / unsplash.com)

It is important to note, however, that there is little evidence on what daily amount of manganese is really suitable for humans. Manganese is a little-researched substance so far.(5)

How can I absorb manganese?

Manganese can be absorbed into the human body in different ways.

type Description
foods, supplements The primary way to absorb manganese into the body is through foods or supplements containing manganese. Vegetarians who eat manganese-rich foods such as grains, beans and nuts, or heavy tea drinkers, may have a higher intake of manganese than an average person. (6, 7)
Workplace Certain occupational activities, such as welding or steel work, can increase the chances of being exposed to high concentrations of manganese. (6)
Environment Because manganese is a natural component of the environment and is found in water, air and soil, humans are automatically exposed to low levels of it at all times. (6, 7)
Air Our air also contains a small amount of manganese. Manganese is released into the air by industries that use or manufacture products containing manganese, mining operations and car exhausts.
Cigarette smokers and passive smokers are also exposed to higher concentrations of manganese. (6, 7)

What foods contain manganese?

Manganese levels in foods vary considerably. Good foods that have a relatively high manganese content are: (4)

  • Grains such as wheat bran, wheat germ, brown rice or quinoa
  • Cocoa
  • Legumes (chickpeas, lentils)
  • Vegetables (spinach, Brussels sprouts or carrots)
  • Berries (cranberries, strawberries, blackberries)
  • Black tea
  • Nuts and seeds

What are the side effects of manganese?

Manganese is a very controversial topic. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the additional intake of manganese should be avoided. The reason for this assumption is that many negative effects have already been observed with the intake of manganese and it has therefore been assigned to the highest risk category.(8)

In order to be able to make clear statements about the supplementation of manganese, there is a lack of considerable knowledge and meaningful studies on the basic research of manganese.(8)

What types of manganese are there?

Manganese usually comes in the two forms of tablets and capsules mentioned above. However, manganese is not just a product that is used for humans.
We have listed the different types of manganese for you.

Type Description
Manganese tablets Manganese tablets contain an average of 10 milligrams of manganese and offer a high number per pack. This means that one pack of manganese tablets lasts for 1 year. High-dose tablets are available with 20 milligrams of manganese.
Manganese capsules Manganese capsules contain about 4 milligrams of manganese and are found in a much smaller quantity per pack. High-dose capsules contain 10 milligrams. Capsules are particularly well tolerated.
Manganese complex There are tablets or capsules that offer a combination of different vitamins such as zinc, magnesium, manganese and the like. However, these are in lower doses than individual manganese tablets or capsules.
Manganese for horses Manganese is not only a dietary supplement for humans. It is also often used for horses. It supports the mobility of a horse's locomotor system and can be used in sport, breeding or growth as a cure.

Does manganese help against exhaustion and fatigue?

A study by the EFSA determined whether a lack of manganese can lead to fatigue and exhaustion or whether an additional dose can reduce this. (9) It was found that the additional intake of manganese as a food supplement did not lead to a reduction in fatigue.(9)

Mangan

It was proven that manganese does not improve fatigue and exhaustion (Image source: Doğukan Şahin / unsplash)

Accordingly, no cause-and-effect relationship was found between the intake of manganese and the reduction of fatigue.(9)

Does manganese help in the formation of bones and connective tissue?

Manganese is a cofactor of glycosyltransferases, which are needed for the formation of proteoglycans. These proteoglycans are important for the formation of cartilage and bone. Several studies in animals have shown a link between manganese deficiency and skeletal abnormalities. (10, 3) This is one reason why manganese is often used as a dietary supplement for horses.

Manganese is also needed for the activation of prolidase, which provides proline for collagen formation. A genetically determined deficiency of prolidase leads to disturbances in wound healing and is accompanied by an impairment of the manganese metabolism.(10)

EFSA has also confirmed that manganese contributes to the normal formation of connective tissue in humans. (9)

Image source: Uvarov / 123rf

References (10)

1. EFSA: Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for manganese. EFSA Journal 2013;11(11):3419
Source

2. Horning, Kyle J.; Caito, Samuel W.; Tipps, K. Grace; Bowman, Aaron B.; Aschner, Michael (2015): Manganese Is Essential for Neuronal Health. In: Annual review of nutrition 35, S. 71–108. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071714-034419
Source

3. National Academies Press (US) (2001): Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC). DOI: 10.17226/10026
Source

4. Schuchardt, J. P. & Hahn, A. (2011). Bedeutung der Spurenelemente Chrom, Mangan und Molybdän in der Ernährung des Menschen. Schweizer Zeitrschrift für Ernährungsmedizin. 1 (11).
Source

5. Weißenborn A. et al. (2018): Höchstmengen für Vitamine und Mineralstoffe in Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln. Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety 13: 25ff
Source

6. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2012): TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR MANGANESE.
Source

7. WHO.(2011).Manganese in Drinking-water. Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.
Source

8. Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung: Verwendung von Mineralstoffen in Lebensmitteln. Toxikologische und ernährungsphysiologische Aspekte Teil II, BfR-Wissenschaft 04/2004, S. 293 ff
Source

9. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to manganese and reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 312), contribution to normal formation of connective tissue (ID 404) and contribution to normal energy yielding metabolism (ID 405). EFSA Journal 2010;8(10): 1808
Source

10. Ekmekcioglu, C. (2006): Mangan (Mn). In: Cem Ekmekcioglu und Wolfgang Marktl (Hg.): Essenzielle Spurenelemente: Klinik und Ernährungsmedizin. Vienna: Springer Vienna, S. 145–157. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/3-211-35107-8_8
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
EFSA: Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for manganese. EFSA Journal 2013;11(11):3419
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Horning, Kyle J.; Caito, Samuel W.; Tipps, K. Grace; Bowman, Aaron B.; Aschner, Michael (2015): Manganese Is Essential for Neuronal Health. In: Annual review of nutrition 35, S. 71–108. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071714-034419
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
National Academies Press (US) (2001): Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC). DOI: 10.17226/10026
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schuchardt, J. P. & Hahn, A. (2011). Bedeutung der Spurenelemente Chrom, Mangan und Molybdän in der Ernährung des Menschen. Schweizer Zeitrschrift für Ernährungsmedizin. 1 (11).
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Weißenborn A. et al. (2018): Höchstmengen für Vitamine und Mineralstoffe in Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln. Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety 13: 25ff
Go to source
Wissentschaftlicher Artikel
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2012): TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR MANGANESE.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
WHO.(2011).Manganese in Drinking-water. Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung: Verwendung von Mineralstoffen in Lebensmitteln. Toxikologische und ernährungsphysiologische Aspekte Teil II, BfR-Wissenschaft 04/2004, S. 293 ff
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchung
Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to manganese and reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 312), contribution to normal formation of connective tissue (ID 404) and contribution to normal energy yielding metabolism (ID 405). EFSA Journal 2010;8(10): 1808
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Ekmekcioglu, C. (2006): Mangan (Mn). In: Cem Ekmekcioglu und Wolfgang Marktl (Hg.): Essenzielle Spurenelemente: Klinik und Ernährungsmedizin. Vienna: Springer Vienna, S. 145–157. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/3-211-35107-8_8
Go to source
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