Depression - Sick and Tired of being sick and tired - MOLYBDENUM, (good) LITHIUM, Vanadium and MANGANESE

Mining for Excellent Mental Health - eating your MOLYBDENUM, (good) LITHIUM, VANADIUM AND MANGANESE - and a grocery shopping list at the end of this article. Without minerals - all the major ones AND all the minor ones - we do not have good health - we do not have the ability to create the reactions, co-factors, precursors to hormones and catalysts for the thousands upon thousands of intricate, wondrous and complicated chemical transactions that comprise our body's functioning.
Molybdenum, manganese, vanadium and lithium are three often neglected trace minerals. They are essential.


(some good recipes at http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com)

Moly is a trace mineral found in some of our tissues - in our liver, kidney, spleen, bone, teeth and skin. We have an average of 9 milligrams on board in our body in each of us. Not a lot, yet highly crucial! Molybdenum is an essential factor in protein synthesis and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and the transformations of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur - all very basic functions and highly critical. Moly plays an important part in the use of iron in our body by mobilizing iron from our liver’s storage reserves (thus helps prevent anemia). It helps detoxify some of those nasty preservatives and sulphites from our body that can sneak in with food. It helps with hormonal balancing and pre-menstrual symptoms. Molybdenum helps keep us alert and it helps keep impotence from becoming an issue. It plays a crucial role (along with a lot of other factors) in our body's ability to keep blood sugar levels in balance. It is absorbed from food through our gastrointestinal tract and is excreted back out through our urine (therefore it’s important to have an optimally functioning small and large intestine - those important 28 feet).

But above all molybdenum enhances that general feeling of well-being that we all require.
We are not deficient in this mineral if the food we eat is organic and comes from nutrient-rich soil rather than whatever the hot house owners threw into the slurry that the plants feed on. And if you have a tendency towards depression then you definitely don’t want to be caught short.
The reason it needs to be from organic sources, other than the obvious, is that the minerals we eat are sucked up into the foods we purchase and into the foods that animals are fed and that we, in turn, eat out of the earth. If those fruits and vegetables were grown in hothouses, then they will suck up what they are given - the basics. These hothouse items usually look beautiful and shiny and large. But the minerals in mass produced growing dirt or hydroponic fluids are limited to those that are required to deliver perfect looking produce - full stop. The dirt of olden days - the well tended soil that has been fed with various composts, allowed a few fallow years, exposed to rotating crops and natural waters, have the all important trace minerals - many, many and varied. Those are the ones we’re talking about here - and these need to be stocked in our pantries and our bodies... 

The RDA for molybdenum is 75 micrograms (which in reality is a definition that means it is the bare ultimate minimum for a very healthy person looking for barely a maintenance dose and 150 mcg. is a more honest minimal daily amount. The recommended amount for getting topped up again after a deficit is any amount higher than 150 up to 1500 mcg. per day.
Toxicity, a lot more than 1500 mcg. per day, is rare. Too much at once means that an imbalance with other minerals occurs as all the minerals dance together (if they can) and are synergistic as well as antagonistic with each other. Too much moly for a long period of time would, for example, push copper out of the way and that would result in the possibility of sore and/or swelling joints.

Eating for molybdenum means meals with lots of whole grains, whole rice, rye, oats, buckwheat, barley, wheat germ, legumes, beans, peas, lentils, sunflower seeds, eggs and dark green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach and lots of parsley.

Not your average battery fluid...
We’ve all heard about lithium or known someone who was taking it - usually some time ago. Things have changed! Some folks were put on insanely high dosages of lithium sulphates for mental health reasons (bi-polar, schizophrenia, depression, undue rage and anger, etc.) and experienced severe side effects while they were often somewhat improved mentally. Then the pharmaceutical companies came up with other, more expensive psycho-drugs and the incidence of high-dose lithium prescribing receded somewhat and fell out of favour. 

Lithium IS important as an essential trace mineral for everyone, for our good mental states. Lithium DOES offer us help - but ONLY in very small, small amounts and in the form of lithium orotate. In most everyday rushed lives, without organically grown foods that have all the nutrients the earth offers us, we are virtually living without lithium or highly deficient - albeit that we need so very little for balance - we MUST have a teensie amount. It has a number of functions including, helping regulate nerve impulses directly and indirectly (by regulating sodium and potassium). Stabilizes serotonin transmission in the nervous system and more. It possibly protects the brain and nerves against toxins and glutamates (healthy nerve conduction is important for the passage of “messages” to and from the brain). 
Since our bodies normally requires only 2 to 3 mg of lithium to be on board at any time, the excess is secreted through urine and feces.

Foods high in lithium include organic beef, eggs, raw milk, whole grains, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, lemons, potatoes - as long as these are grown and nurtured from soils rich in lithium to start with. These foods provide only a fraction of what you would want if you are severely depleted but are superb for manitenance. As a supplement, lithium orotate might be just right for you - not many companies carry it. iherb.com online, is just one.
The famous Dr. John Gray discusses it wisely at http://www.venusmars.com and also points out the 180* differences between the lithiumcarbonate perscriptions of olden times for bi-polar therapy and the micro trace lithium requirements for normal living that is now missing from our hothouse and mechanically grown, non-organic food supply.

Manganese – the ultimate little helper:
Manganese has antioxidant, free-radical-fighting properties. It is needed to activate a number of enzymes that allows us to digest food (convert protein and fat to energy). It promotes bone health, formation of cartilage and lubricating fluid in the joints. Manganese can help reduce fatigue and even improve memory, can help maintain healthy reproduction, happier nervous systems and is involved in blood sugar regulation (everyone with an unhappy pancreas take note!). 

Manganese helps your body absorb vitamin B1 (thiamin), Biotin and Vitamin C and E and works with all B-complex vitamins to combat depression, anxiety and other nervous type disorders. Manganese can reduce heavy menstrual flows and can improve thyroid functioning (which is dependent on a balance of manganese and iodine).

When you're not getting enough manganese (only from organic sources as there is none in the slurries that non-organic is grown in), there could be a tendency towards your white cells not working as proficiently for you due to free radical damage and a whole host of malfunctioning that can then ensue, such as slower wound healing, increased tendency towards atherosclerosis and convulsions, increased tendency towards eye and hearing problems, heart disorders, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, irritability, confusion and memory loss, muscle contractions, pancreatic unhappiness and profuse perspiration. 

Uplifting your state of mind - not always about supplements only - and definitely not only about psycho drugs with side-effects and toxic residues. You can eat yourself into a better balance and a happier you with some really nice ORGANIC manganese foods!
Good natural sources of manganese have to come from soils that had some in the first place. 
Your choices would include: asparagus, avocados, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, seaweed, pineapple, broccoli, whole grains, blueberries, egg yolks, bananas, organic liver, beets, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, coconuts, honey, oats, olives, oysters, pineapple, organic green leafy vegetables and including organic parsley and spinach, brown rice and sweet potatoes - all excellent sources.

Many herbs also contain manganese, such as alfalfa, burdock root, camomile, dandelion, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, hops, horsetail, lemon grass, parsley, peppermint and raspberry. Some of these herbs have many other beneficial minerals on board, just waiting for you and would be great as teas (add some mint for flavour).

Vanadium! Easy!
Another trace mineral:
Vanadium is incredibly abundant in lobster, parsley and a bit in XXX and not too much in any other food. When you Google vanadium you read that it is in almost every vegetable but that is faulty info. Vanadium is only in organic vegetables as that trace mineral is not supplied to the hot-house nutrients fed to any roots - just in quality organic soil.
Two bunches of parsley per week per person would be a good start for a therapeutic re-boot; and a little less for maintenance. That's way too much to munch on... very off-putting over time. There are elegant solutions, however. Simply boil the parsley bunch(es) (organic) in a liter or so of water for a few minutes. Have a drink of this parsley water when you're done boiling and cooling it (tastes okay like a boring herbal tea while still warm). Then throw out the boiled and tortured parsley and keep the mineral-rich water. (Once the parsley is boiled, the enzymes and vitamins are lost anyway but the minerals remain).
This parsley / vanadium and iron rich water is perfect for cooking brown rice or quinoa in later as the water is absorbed into these top notch healthy carbs. (I cook extra rice or quinoa for stir-fries or to add to salads). I cook all sauces and stews (no one is any the wiser) with parsley water rather than plain water. I also put the raw parsley in any smoothie, for variety. For more variation there is pesto (concentrated amounts of parsley substituted for half the basil) and parsley can be chopped and added to almost any dish or sauce or stew (the latter created with parsley water, first, of course!).
There are a few supplements companies offering vanadium and chromium supplementation - together in one pill or capsule. This may not be a good idea - they are competitive minerals, just like copper and zinc - antagonists. Although you need both, you would want to ingest them separately - not at the same time. (Research to get to the bottom of this is rarely done. At UBC, back in 1985, a small study addressing merely the efficacy of vanadium on the pancreas was all that was done here). Combining these two trace minerals is clever marketing (the supplement companies doing this, know that these trace monerals are antagonists!). When a trace mineral is available as a food, then it's much better absorbed as a food than when you consume it as a supplement (has to do with the direction of the spin of the molecules).

Correct food choices are crucial for imbalanced blood sugar challenges such as diabetes, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. It's not about counting calories - it's about getting the right foods in moderate quantities! It's about knowing how to mix and match so you CAN have the occasional sweet or glass of wine, etc.
Having quality protein with every meal is essential. Having quality fats with every meal is essential, too (and not just for the pancreas, but for the liver as well, and more). Spend some time understanding fats, such that you can work with them happily. Here is an example: You crave a starch... You see a potato... You think of the calories... You see it is white... You’ve been told that is all bad... So the potato is not on the list of 'allowable' foods that you think are good for you....
Well, not really. One 3 inch diameter potato has 200 calories. It also has lots of potassium and some B6, iron and Vit C. A whole naked potato, by itself, has too much starch for maintaining good sugar balance and yet you don’t have to pass it up. Instead, eat half the potato and add a tablespoon of organic, unsalted butter to it (the butter is an excellent source of butyric acid and balm for the membrane of the millions of villa in the small intestinal track) and the calories remain the same. The potato has a high glycemic index number and the butter is 0 and combined they are acceptable. (There is no need for antibiotics and salt in butter, so organic and salt-free butter is by far the superior choice for this marvelous nutrient.)  

In this example you have a serving of wise nutrition. You don't have to feel deprived and the bloodstream’s uptake of the starch in the potatoe is slowed right down by the healthy butter! You need to eat according to the glycemic index. (This potato with butter would qualify as a smart low glycemic choice.) Protein and quality fats put the breaks on any potential blood-sugar spiking by carbs.
The glycemic index is interesting and straightforward. The info that circulates is based on two different systems and can be confusing when you think there is only one - one is derived from sugar and one from white flour. (Use the first and forget the second...) This index and it's usefulness should be on the wall of every doctor's waiting room. The glycemic index should be handed to everyone seeing a dietician for blood sugar advice and in every diabetic’s manual.

If you add selenium via Brazil nuts, you add another co-helping mineral. If you add a inositol and B3 (niacinamide form - not the time release version) supplement to your daily regimen, and St John's wort (from a good source - 300mg, 3 times per day) during tougher times, then you're making smart choices.

SO! if you have a tendency towards depression - then shop for the molybdenum, lithium, vanadium and manganese foods and the teas from the above herbs and have health-smart feasts! ADD B6 supplements – or better still, add B6 and a multi-B (check the Vitamin B12 article at this site to make sure it is a quality brand. The right kind would have the right B12 - and most don't - and check that your doctor gave you the right B12 test - http://www.pacificholistic.com/B12).

And for people who are in great shape and happy and healthy and who want to stay that way, here’s a short prophylactic shopping list that includes the foods that have all three of these minerals - a list where these minerals overlap! Three for one!

Put these into your shopping buggy and cover all your bases: 
beef, eggs, Brazil nuts, whole grains (including rye, oats, buckwheat, barley and wheat germ), whole rice, beans and peas, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, mushrooms, lemons, potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables including spinach, parsley and cucumbers.
And then just swing by the bananas and avocados to round out this mineral extravaganza.

Seriously, print this off and just tuck this list into your wallet and you're good to go!

I'm not fond of munching on sunflower seeds so I grind them up and include them in salad dressings and sauces - thickens them and makes the sauces and dips thicker and tastier. Or I roast them a tiny bit and include them in a tossed salad.

At the Cobs Bread Stores for example - a bakery chain of stores in BC, Alberta and Ontario - there is Cape Seed Bread - it has it all AND doesn’t include soy flour and has a liberal amount of seeds and a few nuts AND is very filling AND improves roughage.

And when you have some moments - get wonderful gentle but spot on insights from Dr John Gray - http://www.marsvenus.com/blog/john-gray/depression-part-1-what-causes-de....

Bon appetite!


KNOW YOUR OPTIONS

Best qi,
Merrie Bakker B.Sc, M.Arch, CN

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Merrie Bakker - Live Blood Analyst / microscopist - Health Educator - Author - Teacher - Speaker - Editor - Hands-on-Healer - Reflexologist - Dowser - Reiki Master - Nutritional Coach - a life-long student of holistic medicine and preventative health who believes with a passion that cellular disorganization can be prevented or reversed by ortho-molecular medicine, emotional healing work, environmental detoxification (many areas of concern) and nutritional and lifestyle re-balancing (many possibilities). Combined with vigilance, monitoring and team work, clients are encouraged to detox, rebuild, re-nourish, resolve and re-educate.

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