Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Manganese (chemical symbol Mn) is one of the essential trace elements. It has an important biological role in the synthetic pathway for mucopolysaccharides, and it also is a cofactor for several enzymes.

Manganese has the atomic number 25 with an atomic weight of 54.94. It is a transition metal.


In the normal human diet, manganese is primarily found in legumes, nuts and pulses, with smaller concentrations in leafy vegetables, tea, chocolate and several fruits (e.g. pineapple) 3.

Manganese has many important roles, including:

  • formation and activation of enzymes, e.g. oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, and ligases
  • metabolizing carbohydrates and lipids
  • synthesis of proteins, vitamin B complex and vitamin C
  • hematopoiesis

Manganese deficiency is not seen in humans 1.

Overexposure to manganese is typically due to occupational exposure or with environmental exposure to air and water pollution. Manganese toxicity, whether acute or chronic, is known as manganism and may lead to parkinsonism 3.

Manganese-containing fumes have also been implicated as a precipitant in metal fume fever, although this is contentious 5.

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Article information

rID: 65251
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Manganese (Mn)

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