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Manganese is a mineral that is required in small amounts to manufacture enzymes necessary for the metabolism of proteins and fats. It also supports the immune system, regulates blood sugar levels, and is involved in the production of cellular energy, reproduction, and bone growth. Manganese works with vitamin K to support blood clotting, aids in digestion, and as antioxidant, is a vital component of Sodium Oxide Dismutase, a large molecule that is the body's main front-line defense against damaging free-radicals. Working with the B-complex vitamins, manganese help control the effects of stress while contributing to ones sense of well being.

A deficiency in intake of manganese can retard growth, cause seizures, lead to poor bone formation, impair fertility, and cause birth defects. Researchers are also looking at new links between manganese deficiency and skin cancers.

While there is no RDA for manganese, the average intake of manganese is between 2 to 9 milligrams per day. Foods high in manganese include avocados, blueberries, nuts and seeds, seaweed, egg yolks, whole grains, legumes, dried peas, and green leafy vegetables.