Manganese is a very important, alkaline-forming, regulatory mineral.  Healthful forms of manganese are found in many natural foods.  It is a very essential mineral, needed for dozens of enzyme reactions in the body.

Deficiencies.  Most people are deficient in vital manganese compounds because:

1) They are born low in manganese due to deficiencies in their mothers

2) They eat refined or chemicalized foods that contain little manganese

3) They eat too much raw food such as salads.  Human beings cannot extract enough manganese from these foods because we cannot break down the tough vegetable fibers.

Valence.  Manganese has a valence of  +2 or +3 (similar to iron and copper, to which it is related).

A female mineral.  Dr. Eck classified manganese as an older ‘female’ element in the body.  He called it the maternal mineral because animals fed diets low in manganese exhibit less maternal behavior toward their young, and may abandon them completely.

Toxic manganese.  A highly toxic form of manganese is found in gasoline.  This means that anyone living in a city, or living near a highway, is exposed every day to a toxic form of manganese that can replace the good forms of manganese in the body, to some degree.

Welders are often exposed to another toxic form of manganese, as well.  Toxic forms may have a valence of +4 or +6.  This may explain why welders sometimes exhibit bizarre and violent behavior.  A number of the school shooting rampages in the United States and other nations have been committed by welders.  This is explained later in this article.


  • Essential for energy production
  • Involved in glucose tolerance
  • Helps maintain the integrity of tendons and ligaments
  • Essential for bone development and arterial integrity


Nervous system – synthesis of neurotransmitters

Reproductive system – fertility

Endocrine system – required for normal adrenal and thyroid gland activity

Skeletal – tendons, ligaments, connective tissue

Metabolic – energy production, glucose tolerance, utilization of fats and carbohydrates

Detoxification – involved in superoxide dismutase


  • Pyruvate carboxylase – carbohydrate metabolism
  • Superoxide dismutase – destruction of free radicals
  • Glycosyl transferase – glucose utilization
  • Various hydrolases, kinases, transferases, peptidases, arginase, phosphatases, and DNA polymerase – degradative and biosynthetic enzymes





myasthenia gravis


ringing in the ears


weakness, muscular

fractures or osteoporosis

weak ligaments and tendons




neurological symptoms


schizophrenia (often unemotional behavior, however, unlike a copper-based schizophrenia)

Extreme criminal behavior (psychopathology)

Iron deficiency

Parkinson’s disease, or symptoms similar to it.  Manganese often accumulates in the pons and cerebellar region of the brain

Manganese madness (seen in manganese miners)

Hearing loss.  Manganese can accumulate in the area of the ears.


Mental dullness

(Toxic manganese has an affinity for the head and for the ears)


zinc, choline, vitamin K


Absorption – calcium, phosphorus, iron, soy protein, iron, many other minerals

Metabolic – copper, magnesium, iron, vanadium


  • Normal or low hair manganese is not a reliable indicator of manganese status.
  • Most slow oxidizers have excessive and usually biounavailable manganese.  Toxic accumulation of a biounavailable form of manganese to some degree is very common.  To assess this, look for elevated aluminum or iron.  Manganese, aluminum and iron are called on this website “the amigos” because they are often found together inside the body.  If any one of these three are elevated on a hair mineral analysis, usually all are excessive inside the body.
  • Manganese-deficient animals show reduced maternal caring for their young.
  • A hair manganese level less than about 0.02 mg% or 0.2 ppm is a poor eliminator patternfor manganese.   A hair manganese level less than about 0.008 is a very poor eliminator pattern for manganese.  These mean that the body cannot eliminate toxic forms of manganese, such as MnO6.  The excess manganese is hidden, but it is building up inside the body.  This is a very important indicator for detecting hidden manganese and other toxic metals.

Reasons for high hair tissue manganese:

  • Drinking water.  This is common in Massachusetts, USA and in a few other areas of the USA and other nations.  It may be due to natural rock formations through which ground water flows.  It may also be due to contaminated soil and wells due to older factories.  NOTE: The US and state Environmental Protection Agencies are not required to report manganese levels in drinking water.
  • Gasoline.  When lead was removed from gasoline in the 1970s, it was replaced with a toxic form of manganese.  Those who live in cities with heavy traffic may absorb more of it.  Also, a cruel practice is forcing women, in most cases, to remove their clothes and pouring gasoline over them.  This results in manganese toxicity.
  • Welders and other metal workers.  Manganese is used in many steel alloys, for example, so welders are often exposed.
  • Adrenal support.  When the adrenal glands are weak, most people accumulate some toxic oxide form of manganese, which has a stimulatory effect upon the adrenals and the sympathetic nervous system.

Low hair tissue manganese:

  • Not a reliable indicator of manganese status.  It is often hidden and biounavailable.
  • A hair manganese level less than 0.02 is an indicator of poor elimination of manganese.


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