What is manganese?

Read our guide to manganese, a mineral that's important in the formation of healthy teeth and bones. Discover which foods are a rich source of manganese, plus recipe suggestions.

Selection of green vegetables

Manganese is a trace element that is present in the body in very small amounts. Despite these small quantities, it plays an important role in the formation of teeth and bones.  

Always speak to your GP or healthcare provider before taking a new supplement or if you are concerned about nutritional deficiencies.

Why do we need manganese?

Manganese plays an important role in bone formation and the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and cholesterol.  

How much manganese do we need and what are the effects of consuming too much?

The Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) and the World Health Organisation were unable to set specific recommendations for manganese intake. The EU Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) considered a daily ‘safe and adequate intake’ of 1-10mg.

Which foods are good sources of manganese?

Rich sources of manganese include green vegetables, nuts, tea, bread and other cereals.

Summer veg minestrone in pan

Recipes that are high in manganese

Fruit & nut yogurt
Summer vegetable minestrone
Seeded wholemeal soda bread
Green bean minestrone

More on vitamins and minerals

What is zinc? 
What is folic acid?
What is phosphorous?
What is potassium?
Vital vitamins
Healthy pregnancy diet
What is vitamin B12?
The best sources of vitamin C
Am I getting enough vitamin D?

This article was published on 16th July 2019.

Emer Delaney BSc (Hons), RD has an honours degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Ulster. She has worked as a dietitian in some of London's top teaching hospitals and is currently based in Chelsea.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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