Manganese is an essential nutrient that regulates your blood sugar levels and boosts your immune system.

What are its health benefits?

Manganese triggers enzymes in your body, including one that breaks down free radicals linked to heart disease. It helps with the processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates and proteins, and aids normal growth.

Its other benefits may include:

  • Assisting in the production of sex and thyroid hormones
  • Helping maintain healthy joints and bones
  • Treating the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Aiding the formation of collagen, which helps heal wounds
  • Boosting low manganese levels may help control epileptic seizures, lower the risk of osteoporosis and guard against some cancers.

Do you have a deficiency?

A manganese deficiency is rare. However, it’s believed that too little could lead to fertility problems for men and women, and to skeletal abnormalities in children.

Find it in these foods

Manganese can be found in the following food sources:

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Spinach
  • Pineapples
  • Ginger
  • Legumes
  • Leafy green vegetables

Recommended daily allowance (RDA)

There’s no official recommendation due to a manganese deficiency being rare, but experts suggest between 3 to 5mg for adults but less for children. Be sure to check with your Clicks pharmacist first about using it as a supplement.

Know the overdose risks

Miners exposed to too much manganese suffer from harmful side effects such as impaired motor skills and cognitive disorders.

However, when it comes to the light doses of manganese supplements, no side effects or toxic effects have been reported.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in February 2015