Mn from Supplements

Manganese Concerns with Multi-Vitamins & Other Supplements


JAN 2007 – Toxicology Unit, Food Standards Agency, London, UK

What is known about the Safety of Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplements for the Generally Healthy Population? Theoretical Basis for Harm

“Assessment of the safety of nutrients presents a challenge different from that posed by the assessment of other chemicals in foods such as additives or contaminants. The size of the safe intake range for each nutrient will vary and in a few cases may be very small.”

“Certain nutrients such as Vitamin A and manganese have known and potentially serious adverse effects at high intakes, whereas others such as iron or Vitamin C may have more minor adverse effects that are readily reversible and may only be associated with supplement intake.”

“The risk of harm occurring from taking dietary supplements will depend on the safe intake range of the nutrient concerned, the susceptibility of the individual, and the likely intake of the same nutrient from other supplements or the rest of the diet.”

Summary statement: “In many cases, the available database for the safety of nutrients is very limited because the studies, where available, were not designed to assess adverse effects, but may have detected problems when they occurred. Further information on the safety of nutrients could be obtained through careful experimental design.”


APR 1997 – Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Dietary Standards for Manganese: Overlap between Nutritional and Toxicological Studies

“The Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake (ESADDI) for adults for manganese is 2-5 mg Mn/day. The LOAEL (lowest-observable-adverse-effect level) for manganese in water is 0.06 mg Mn/kg/day or 4.2 mg Mn/day for a 70 kg individual. The inconsistency in these standards reflects limitations in the available data as well as differences in the way in which the standards are calculated.”

Summary statement: “Conflicting standards of this sort lead to either alarm and/or cynicism among the public and scientists. Obviously, policy decisions such as toxic clean-up efforts and food fortification should be based on stronger scientific evidence.”