Home » Plankton Nutrients » Minerals » Symptoms Manganese Deficiency?


Manganese is an essential trace element nutrient that contains a lot of antioxidant properties. Manganese also helps to process various enzymes, like carbohydrates, cholesterol, and amino acids. It’s also present in an enzyme that create proline, a substance that helps to form collagen: what your skin is made of. This helps to speed up wound recovery.

Magnganese is a important trace elemnt to the human body. Since our body is unable to create this trace element itself, we need to get manganese from our foods. While an overdose of manganese can be toxic, a deficiency also brings about several negative effects on your health. Luckily, manganese naturally appears in various food sources, like legumes, nuts, beans, whole wheat, leafy greens, dark chocolate and plankton.

Manganese is fairly unknown and is therefore not mentioned in the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), and the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). However, men should consume about 2.3mg per day, while women should consume 1.8mg per day (1).

There are certain groups of people that have a higher risk of creating a manganese deficiency. Those people may benefit from using manganese supplements next to their daily meals. It is, however, important to note that if you suspect you have a shortage of manganese, you should always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.

People with more risk of getting a manganese deficiency are:

- People following a vegetarian or vegan diet (2).
- People with diabetes,
- People with dialyzes or kidney dialyzes, ,
- People with osteoporosis,
- Children with Perthes disease (hip disorder),
- Breast feeding women.

A shortage of manganese can be recognized by the following symptoms. If you recognize one or more, please consult your physician.


Manganese helps to form cartilage, one of the substances from of which your bones are made up from. A 2013 study with chicks found that a deficiency in manganese caused the obstruction of the metabolism within the bones as well as disordered regulatory hormones (3). Another study found that inadequate intake of nutrients like manganese increases the chances of bone loss, and brittle bones. Especially in people with osteoporosis (4).

A 2004 study with 334 postmenopausal women found that taking supplements containing manganese and other nutrients helped to increase the bone mass (5). However, some other studies claim that supplements with only vitamin D and calcium achieved the same results, so the exact impact of manganese has yet to be fully researched (6).

In short: a shortage of manganese can cause bone loss, disordered hormones, and an obstructed metabolism within the bones. Supplements may increase the bone mass, but there is no full proof of that yet.


A study at the University of Buffalo with 259 ovulating women found that women with a lower-than-average intake of manganese had higher chances of anovulation (7). Anovulation means that the ovaries do not release an egg.

Manganese accumulates in the brain, specifically in the hypothalamus: the part of the brain that controls the reproductive hormones. A shortage of manganese makes it harder for the hypothalamus to function, leading to a loss of emission of those hormones (8). However, this may only occur in severe cases as manganese is also stored in other parts of the body, making a short-term deficiency relatively harmless.

In short: a severe lack of manganese may cause fertility issues within women as their ovaries won’t release eggs anymore.


There are increased occurrences of metabolic syndrome within people of the US (9). On overall, this brings higher chances of obesity, reduced HDL-cholesterol, higher blood pressures, higher triglycerides, and higher glucose levels which can lead to diabetes type 2 (10).

In various studies in and around Asia, a connection between manganese and metabolic syndrome was found (11,12). Since manganese has antioxidant properties and helps to improve the metabolism, regular intake of manganese may help to prevent metabolic syndrome (13).

However, there is still a lack of research on manganese and metabolic syndrome, so in order to give a fully objective cause, manganese needs to be researched more.

In short: manganese has a positive effect on our metabolism and also has antioxidant properties. Therefore, it could help to decrease the chances of developing metabolic syndrome.


A study consisting of seven men between the ages of 19-22 researched whether a manganese-deficient diet would have any effects on the overall health of the men. At the end of the 39-day depletion period, 5 out of the 7 men had developed Miliaria crystallina, a skin rash which is often found in babies. However, as soon as the repletion began, the rash disappeared (14).

This research shows that a depletion of manganese can cause a lightly irritable rash and decreased cholesterol levels. However, since the rash disappeared soon after repletion, supplements may help to stop the deficiency soon enough. You could also choose to eat more manganese-rich foods (14)

In short: a shortage of manganese can cause a skin rash which can be easily solved with supplements or an increased dietary intake of manganese.


During a 1993 study, ten women with a regular menstrual cycle were asked to fill in a 169-day survey and to do various tests to see whether or not manganese and calcium had an effect on their menstruation. The women were then divided in multiple test groups (15).

The research concluded that women with a manganese deficiency experienced more pain, and that they experienced an increased change in their mood during their premenstrual phase. A higher calcium intake, improved mood, concentration, and pain experiences, but did not reduce the negative effects of a low manganese intake.

In short: a deficiency in manganese can have negative effects on premenstrual symptoms, like mood and pain, even when calcium levels are at a normal or higher rate.


Manganese functions as a vasodilator. This mean that it dilates, or enlarges, the blood vessels that transport blood throughout your whole body. When your body contains enough manganese, your blood flow won’t be obstructed as easy and will decrease chances of seizures or strokes.

A 2016 study found that adults over 35 often experience epilepsy as a result of a stroke caused by obstructed blood flow towards the brain (16). And a research pointed out that people with a seizure disorder often have lower manganese levels (17).

Since part of your manganese content is stored in the brain, low levels of manganese may cause your blood flow to be easily obstructed when traveling towards the brain, increasing the chances of a seizure, or stroke.

In short: a manganese deficiency may increase the chances of developing a seizure.


The antioxidant properties of manganese help the functioning of the SOD (superoxide dismutase). This antioxidant helps to protect the brain from free radicals that damage the brain cells. Besides, manganese also binds neurotransmitters to improve impulse transportations (18).

However, when you don’t get enough manganese in your daily intake, you may suffer from decreased brain function in the long term. Since manganese helps to protect your brain cells from free radicals, a deficiency would mean that those free radicals will harm more cells.

In short: a deficiency in manganese can cause your brain to lose function.


Manganese plays a role in the development of thyroxine, a hormone in the thyroid that helps it to function. With a proper thyroid function, you have a healthy appetite, metabolism, weight, and your organs will function efficiently (19).

When you lack the manganese to create enough thyroxine, you may lose function of your thyroid. This can then lead to a disordered appetite, weight gain, and lesser-functioning organs (19).

In short: a shortage of manganese can cause a decrease in your thyroid health, with additional weight gain, disordered appetite, and lesser-functioning organs.