Last update Nov. 19, 2022


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Manganese is an essential trace element. The daily requirements for manganese are 2.6 mg for lactating women. Many foods contain manganese: seafood, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables (spinach), fruits (pineapple, blueberries), tea... (NIH 2022). Manganese sulfate and chloride are used in parenteral nutrition for the prophylaxis and treatment of deficiency states.

At the date of the last update, we found no published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Manganese is found in breast milk, in higher concentration in colostrum, 218 nmol/L, and in the milk of the first days, 67 nmol/L, than later, 36 nmol/L. (Arnaud 1995, Casey 1989 & 1985)

Manganese in drinking water correlates with concentrations in urine, but not with concentrations in blood or breast milk. Elevated maternal exposure to manganese does not necessarily lead to exposure of breastfed infants, highlighting the importance of breastfeeding in areas with high manganese content. (Ljung2009). One author found a significant positive correlation between maternal manganese intake and breast milk manganese content. (Vuori 1980)

Manganese deficiency is very rare. An excess of manganese by ingestion in the diet or by professional inhalation (mining, welding) can give symptoms of neurotoxicity. (NIH 2022, Martins 2021, Erikson 2019 & 2007, Chen 2018, O'Neal 2015)

A moderate consumption of manganese without exceeding the daily requirements is compatible with lactation.


We do not have alternatives for Manganese since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Manganese belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Manganese in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 3 - 50 %
Molecular weight Mn 55. Cl 198. Gl 445. Su 169 daltons


  1. NIH. National Institutes of Health. Manganese. Fact Sheet for Consumers. 2022 Consulted on Nov. 18, 2022 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. NIH. National Institutes of Health. Manganeso. Hoja informativa para consumidores 2022 Consulted on Nov. 18, 2022 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Martins AC Jr, Ruella Oliveira S, Barbosa F Jr, Tinkov AA, V Skalny A, Santamaría A, Lee E, Bowman AB, Aschner M. Evaluating the risk of manganese-induced neurotoxicity of parenteral nutrition: review of the current literature. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2021 May;17(5):581-593. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  4. Erikson KM, Aschner M. Manganese: Its Role in Disease and Health. Met Ions Life Sci. 2019 Jan 14;19. pii: /books/9783110527872/9783110527872-016/9783110527872-016.xml. Abstract
  5. Chen P, Bornhorst J, Aschner M. Manganese metabolism in humans. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2018 Mar 1;23:1655-1679. Review. Abstract
  6. O'Neal SL, Zheng W. Manganese Toxicity Upon Overexposure: a Decade in Review. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2015 Sep;2(3):315-28. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  7. Ljung KS, Kippler MJ, Goessler W, Grandér GM, Nermell BM, Vahter ME. Maternal and early life exposure to manganese in rural Bangladesh. Environ Sci Technol. 2009 Apr 1;43(7):2595-601. Abstract
  8. Erikson KM, Thompson K, Aschner J, Aschner M. Manganese neurotoxicity: a focus on the neonate. Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Feb;113(2):369-77. Epub 2006 Sep 22. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  10. Arnaud J, Favier A. Copper, iron, manganese and zinc contents in human colostrum and transitory milk of French women. Sci Total Environ. 1995 Jan 6;159(1):9-15. Abstract
  11. Casey CE, Neville MC, Hambidge KM. Studies in human lactation: secretion of zinc, copper, and manganese in human milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 May;49(5):773-85. Abstract
  12. Casey CE, Hambidge KM, Neville MC. Studies in human lactation: zinc, copper, manganese and chromium in human milk in the first month of lactation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Abstract
  13. Vuori E, Mäkinen SM, Kara R, Kuitunen P. The effects of the dietary intakes of copper, iron, manganese, and zinc on the trace element content of human milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 Feb;33(2):227-31. Abstract

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