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By Larry E. Johnson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Geriatrics and Family and Preventive Medicine; Medical Director, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System

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Manganese (Mn), necessary for healthy bone structure, is a component of several enzyme systems, including manganese-specific glycosyltransferases and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. Median intake is between 1.6 and 2.3 mg/day; absorption is 5 to 10%.

Manganese deficiency has not been conclusively documented, although one experimental case in a volunteer resulted in transient dermatitis, hypocholesterolemia, and increased alkaline phosphatase levels.

Manganese toxicity is usually limited to people who mine and refine ore; prolonged exposure causes neurologic symptoms resembling those of parkinsonism or Wilson disease.