Vitamin Expert


Mineral name
What’s it used for? Primarily essential for many enzyme reactions, including for blood sugar balance, energy, and thyroid function. Also needed for antioxidant activity.
Best food sources Nuts, rye, buckwheat, oats and whole wheat
How much do I need? Nutrient Reference Value is 2 mg per day*
Need to know Manganese is important during pregnancy for growth and development of the foetus

*A Nutrient Reference Value or NRV is the recommended level set by the UK Department of Health for daily nutrient intake


As with most micronutrients, manganese is essential for many biochemical reactions to take place effectively. Because it’s so key for energy production, it can affect fat and carbohydrate metabolism. This will also have an impact on blood sugar balance.

Manganese is also part of a key enzyme, being superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is one of the body’s main antioxidant enzyme reactions. This helps protect cells from free radical damage and also manage inflammation.

Activity of SOD also influences all parts of the skeletal frame, so is a popular nutritional recommendation for strains and sprains and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Best food sources

Pecan nuts are the best food source. Essentially, plant-based foods contain more manganese than animal produce with meat, dairy and seafood being poor sources.

Five foods high in manganese

Pecan nuts
Pecan nuts – 3.5 mg per 100g
Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts – 2.8mg per 100g
Rye – 1.3mg per 100g
Whole wheat
Whole wheat – 1.1mg per 100g
Oats – 0.6mg per 100g

Are you getting enough?

An actual deficiency of manganese is not well defined. However, it’s important during pregnancy for growth and development and a strong skeletal frame.

It has been noted that people on a low manganese diet may suffer from skin rashes, reduced growth of hair and nails, lower HDL cholesterol and metabolic imbalances. Therefore manganese can often be helpful in cases of diabetes, especially as it supports the control of enzymes involved with glucose metabolism.

Manganese also plays a key role in brain function because it’s a critical mineral for glucose control in the neurons. It has therefore been found to be helpful in cases of epilepsy.

Did you know?

Manganese has a low level of toxicity therefore is safe in the diet and taken in supplement form
It is safe to take during pregnancy and breast feeding at recommended dosages – consult your healthcare professional for advice
It is safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding at recommended dosages – consult your healthcare professional for advice
Manganese was first considered to be an essential nutrient in 1931
Its essential role in the production of SOD makes it a powerful antioxidant mineral

Try this

Manganese is found in the Alive! range of multi vitamins and minerals.

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