Depression - Sick and Tired of being sick and tired - MOLYBDENUM, LITHIUM and MANGANESE

Mining for Excellent Mental Health - eating your MOLYBDENUM, LITHIUM, 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 and lithium are three often neglected trace minerals. They are essential.

(some good recipes at

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 dosages 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. online, is just one.
The famous Dr. John Gray discusses it wisely at 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 (best from organic meals), 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. Therefore you'll want organic food choives, because hothouses won't be adding to their costs, need to keep their eye on the bottom line and won't be putting it into the chemical slurries that our non-organic produce is grown in.
Your choices would include: asparagus, avocados, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, seaweed, pineapple, broccoli, whole grains, blueberries, egg yolks, bananas, liver, beets, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, coconuts, honey, oats, olives, oysters, pineapple, green leafy vegetables including parsley and spinach, brown rice, eggs, 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).

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 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 -

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 -

Bon appetite!

Merrie Bakker

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Obligatory medical disclaimer:
It should go without saying... but we know and you know that you take full legal responsibility for whatever decisions you make regarding your health care.
What we offer on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The whole point here is that you think clearly for yourself and make your own decisions.



Merrie explains why she makes each recommendation and why certain foods or supplements are recommended or not. No blind faith required. She is an uncommonly honest writer, too.
This is empowering for me. You are not “talked at”, either.
She also has a sense of humor and the time flies by.

Jill L.

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