Mn in Formulas

Manganese Exposure form Formulas & Other Neonatal Nutrition


FEB 1985 – Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA

The Effect of Age on Manganese Uptake and Retention from Milk and Infant Formulas in Rats

“While there has been considerable research in the area of zinc and copper in the nutrition of the infant, relatively little work has questioned the nutritional requirements of manganese during this time period.”

“In addition, it is well recognized that in the adult human, manganese toxicosis can have severe effects, particularly with regard to the central nervous system, and Collipp and co-workers have suggested that excess manganese intake during childhood may be linked to learning disability.”

“The biological significance of the high bioavailability of manganese from infant formulas needs to be assessed.”

“As the concentration of manganese in most infant formulas exceeds that found in human milk, it is evident that the amount absorbed and retained from cow milk and the infant formulas can far exceed that from human milk.”

“The amount of manganese retained in the brain was much higher in the soy formula group compared to the human milk group.”

Summary statement: “Coupled with the knowledge that manganese toxicosis can have severe effects on the central nervous system, this becomes a particularly important issue that needs to be resolved.”


APR 2004 – Nutrition Research Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Manganese Content of Soy or Rice Beverages is High in Comparison to Infant Formulas

“Well-meaning but inadequately informed parents may perceive plant-based beverages such as “soy milk” or rice-based beverages as an alternative to infant formula. This can have severe consequences due to the low energy density and imbalanced nutrient profiles of these products relative to breast milk or (proper) infant formula…”

“The calculated mean Mn intakes by infants 0-6 months of age, based on a standardized consumption estimate for this group approached, and for four of the individual soy-based products exceeded, the Upper Intake Level (UL) for 1-3 year olds. While no UL has been derived for infants under one year of age, it may be reasonable to assume that such a value would not be higher than for 1-3 year olds, and might be lower. In particular, 1-3 year olds do not typically rely on a single food for all their nutrition, while infants commonly do so.”

Summary statement: “Soy-based or rice-based beverages like those analyzed in this study should not be used to replace breast-feeding or infant formulas as a sole source of nutrients for infant feeding. In addition to being nutritionally incomplete for such purposes, they contain Mn at a level which may present an increased risk of adverse neurological effects in infants.”


FEB 2007 – University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA & Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Manganese Neurotoxicity: A Focus on the Neonate

“Mn deposition in the brain has potentially important implications for long-term neuro-developmental outcome in exposed infants.”

“Human milk is generally low in Mn content (1.8-27.5 micrograms per liter, however, Mn concentration in infant formulas can vary dramatically (33-300 micrograms per liter).”

“It has been suggested that consumption of soy-based infant formulas is a potential area of concern for human infants as levels of 200-300 micrograms per liter are common.”

Summary statement: “Therefore, longitudinal studies that examine both markers of oxidative stress and neurotransmitter biology in subjects who have a history of Mn exposure during critical neurodevelopmental periods are necessary.”