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J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Oct;18(5):475-80.

Magnesium-manganese interactions caused by magnesium deficiency in rats.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Pharmacy and Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Granada, Spain.



We investigated the effect of dietary magnesium (Mg) deficiency on the nutritive utilization and tissue distribution of manganese (Mn).


Wistar rats were fed a Mg-deficient diet (56 mg/kg) for 70 day. Absorbed Mn, Mn balance and Mn content in plasma, whole blood, skeletal muscle, heart, kidney, liver, femoral bone and sternum were determined after 21, 35 and 70 days.


The Mg-deficient diet significantly increased Mn apparent absorption and Mn balance from week five until the end of the experimental period. This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in the concentration of Mn in heart at all three time points. Whole blood, skeletal muscle and kidney Mn were significantly increased from day 35, and femur Mn content was increased only at the end of the study (day 70). However, Mn concentration in the sternum decreased significantly from day 35. No changes were found in liver Mn content.


Mg deficiency increased Mn absorbed, and this favored the deposition of Mn in all tissues studied except the liver and trabecular bone. The lack of response by the liver to increased Mn absorption may have led to the redistribution of this ion to other tissues.

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