Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts within the body. It is found mostly in the bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. Manganese is necessary for normal brain and nerve function. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.

Deficiency & Nutrient Interactions

Symptoms of deficiency in this trace mineral can include bone malformation, high cholesterol, memory loss, tremors, heart and eye issues as well as high blood pressure.

Manganese can become depleted by a number of interactions with other nutrients. Supplemental iron has shown to decrease blood manganese levels [II]. Supplemental magnesium has shown to both increase manganese excretion in urine and decrease its absorption [I]. Calcium levels also affect manganese bioavailability.

Again, I can’t reiterate enough how we are only beginning to understand the complex dance of nutrient interactions in the body. The belief that supplements are harmless and do not need to be monitored can be a dangerous game. Following the recommendation of a qualified healthcare practitioner will be far more effective than blindly taking large quantities of any supplements with the hope to increase health.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Men 2.3 mg/day
Women 1.8 mg/day
Pregnant Women 2.0 mg/day
Breastfeeding Women 2.6 mg/day
Upper Level Dosage(UL) 11 mg/day

Foods Sources of Manganese

Animal sources: mussels, oysters, and clams

3 ounces mussels— 5.8mg

Plant sources: spices, grains, nuts, legumes, dark leafy greens, pineapple, and seeds

1 tablespoon of ground cloves— 2.0 mg
1 tablespoon cinnamon— 1.4 mg
1 ounce hazelnuts— 3.5 mg
1 cup oats— 7.7 mg

Get your daily dose of manganese in the early AM with this tasty Homemade Granola recipe!



[I] Higdon, Jane. “Micronutrient Information Center: Manganese.” Linus Pauling Institute, 2001. Web. May. 2016. <>.

[II] Kuratko, CN. “Increasing dietary lipid and iron content decreases manganese superoxide dismutase activity in colonic mucosa.” Nutr Cancer. 1997;28(1):36-40. Web. May. 2016. <>.