All you need to know about Manganese
Which foods are good sources of manganese?
You mainly get manganese through a plant-rich diet that includes lots of leafy greens and vegetables, as well as nuts and pulses, meat, sweet potato and pineapple. Tea also contains manganese, but not in high levels, so a mixture of all of these foods is best.
What does manganese do within the body?
Manganese helps enzyme production within the body, helping it to make fuel from the food we eat, form bone cartilage and collagen, and to protect us from free radicals. Our metabolism needs manganese so that enzymes break down proteins, cholesterol and carbohydrates, converting them into energy that we use for brain and body function.
Can I take too much manganese?
If you get too much manganese in your diet, your body will just remove it via urination or bowel movements. It is however possible to have too much manganese from supplements. You should consult your GP before taking a manganese supplement. Excess manganese in the body can cause muscular pain, tiredness, skin problems, difficulties with brain function and memory and high cholesterol levels. Taking 4mg as an absolute maximum in a supplement should not do any harm (according to the NHS).
Should I take a manganese supplement?
Overall, if you have a balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and proteins, you should be getting all the manganese you need. If however your diet is lacking, speak to your doctor about when a supplement is needed. If you have an underlying health condition such as anaemia with an iron deficiency or liver disease, definitely speak to your GP before taking manganese.