What it does:

  • Serves as part of many enzymes.
  • Helps in bone formation.
  • Helps in the metabolism of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

If you don't get enough: The chances of not getting enough are very low since manganese is so widely distributed in the food supply.

If you consume excess amounts: Consuming harmful levels from food is very rare, too. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is set at 9 milligrams daily for teens ages fourteen to eighteen, and at 11 milligrams daily during adulthood.

How much you need: There is no RDA for manganese. However, the AI is set at 2.2 milligrams and 1.6 milligrams daily for males and females ages fourteen to eighteen, respectively. For adults the AI is 2.3 milligrams daily for males and 1.8 milligrams daily for females. During pregnancy (teens and adults), the AI is 2.0 milligrams daily; during breast-feeding, 2.6 milligrams daily.

Where it's mostly found: Whole-grain products are the best sources of manganese, along with some fruits and vegetables. Tea also is a good source.

Food Manganese (mg)

Pineapple, raw (V2 cup)


Whole-wheat spaghetti,

cooked (V2 cup)


Tea, instant powder (1 tsp.)


Whole-wheat bread (1 slice)


Lentils, boiled (V2 cup)


Kale, boiled (V2 cup)


Strawberries (V2 cup)


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