Manganese is an often forgotten mineral because deficiency is so rare due to its abundance in the food supply. Do not confuse it with magnesium, as they are two separate minerals. Despite its forgotten nature, manganese plays several roles in major bodily processes. The RDA is currently set at 2.3 mg for males and 1.8 mg for females. These amounts are easy to obtain from food and even exceed with normal dietary intake.

Functions

  • Proper brain functioning
  • Required for collagen synthesis
  • Needed for bone development
  • Proper glucose and lipid metabolism
  • Essential for nervous system functioning

Primary deficiency symptoms and diseases

  • Impaired growth in children
  • Skeletal abnormalities
  • Lowered nervous system functioning

Food sources

Manganese is almost ubiquitous in the food supply and there should be little to no issue with obtaining it on almost any type of diet.

  • Nuts
  • Beans and legumes
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Berries, bananas, and various fruits
  • Various vegetables

Supplementation

A supplement is almost never necessary, but nonetheless, some "gurus" will still push manganese supplements on unsuspecting people. These are the common forms you'll find (if you find more than one at any local health food store).

  • Manganese sulfate
  • Manganese gluconate
  • Manganese ascorbate

Who needs it most?

Unless you're literally starving to death, a supplement or worrying about food intake is largely unnecessary.