Essential Manganese

Essential Manganese, image of mineral

Manganese is an essential mineral, meaning has to be consumed in your diet. This trace element is a cofactor for many enzymes involved in blood sugar and cholesterol management, energy production, antioxidant pathways, bone and connective tissue formation, fertility, and immune function. It’s also involved with blood clotting.

If this mineral is deficient, it can impair bone formation and density. In the case of osteoporosis, research hasn’t evaluated manganese supplementation alone for bone support, but one study found a multimineral supplement (including manganese) improved spinal bone density after 2 years. Animal studies suggest manganese supplementation may improve diabetes symptoms including glucose management and reducing oxidative stress, but no studies have been conducted in humans as far as we know.

This is present in a variety of foods such as whole grains, clams, oysters, mussels, hazelnuts, pecans, soybeans, rice, leafy vegetables, coffee, tea, many spices (including black pepper), etc. It can even be found in drinking water in some parts of the United States. Or, you can take this as a dietary supplement. Multivitamins or multiminerals may also contain manganese.

Manganese is not known to interfere with any medications and is generally safe, but it should be taken in trace amounts of 1-3 mg daily via supplementation depending on your age. Excess supplementation can negatively affect the central nervous system and impair iron absorption. High dietary amounts have not been shown to have any ill effects. As always, consult with your health professional before adding any new supplements.


Avila, Daiana Silva, et al. 2013. “Manganese in Health and Disease.” Metal Ions in Life Sciences; 13: 199-227. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-7500-8_7

National Institute of Health. N.D. “Manganese.” Revised Mar 29, 2021.

Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute. N.D. “Manganese.” Retrieved Dec. 24, 2023.

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