Skelly likes to say “a little bit of magic goes a long way.” It’s especially true for your bones when it comes to one little mineral whose name happens to mean “magic.”
I’m talking about manganese. It’s one of the 14 essential trace minerals we all need.
They’re called essential because your body can’t make them – you have to get them from your food. And they’re called trace because you don’t need much at all. But you couldn’t get by without some.
It helps your body clot blood, make sex hormones, break down fat and carbohydrates, and regulate sugar. It’s also needed for normal brain and nerve function.
But when it comes to bones, manganese keeps really busy. It helps your body absorb calcium, and form bones, collagen, and connective tissue.
Animal studies show that very low manganese is associated with poor bone formation. In fact, a manganese deficiency may explain increasing rates of bone fractures in both children and the elderly.
Adding manganese to your bone food plan can boost the effectiveness of your calcium. In one study a group of postmenopausal women took a calcium supplement. Another group took the calcium supplement combined with manganese and two other essential minerals (copper and zinc). Taking the extra minerals was found to be more effective than calcium alone in preventing spinal bone loss.[ii]
Of course, I always get my calcium, manganese, and other minerals needed for bone strength through food. For most of human history we had no problem getting sufficient manganese for our bones. But that may be changing.
According to a new study by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, pesticides in our food may be draining the manganese out of our bodies.[iii]
Dr. Seneff suggests that glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide may chelate manganese in the body. In other words, it binds to manganese and takes it out of circulation. That disrupts your bone-building process.
It happens when you eat foods sprayed with Roundup or eat genetically modified organisms (GMO) that contain glyphosate.
Our food supply is now full of glyphosate because Roundup is the most widely used herbicide on the planet. High levels are in GMO corn, soy, canola, cotton, alfalfa, and sugar beets.
Manganese is found in whole grains like brown rice, oats, buckwheat, and bulgur. Other good sources include pumpkin seeds, nuts, pineapple, spinach, and legumes like lentils and chickpeas.
The daily Recommended Dietary Allowance for manganese is just 2.3 mg for men, and 1.8 mg for women. A quarter cup of dried oats will give you what you need for the day.
Just make sure your food is non-GMOs and pesticide-free. Right now GMOs don’t have to be labeled. The only way to know your food hasn’t been genetically modified is to buy organics. By law, a food labeled “organic” cannot contain any GMOs.
When shopping for fruits and vegetables, check the little PLU sticker. If the PLU number starts with a “9” it’s organic and not GMO.
For packaged foods, look for “organic” on the label.
Or check for the Non-GMO Project seal. This tells you an independent third party verified that the ingredients meet the standards of the Non-GMO Project. It’s not a guarantee that the product is completely GMO-free but it does tell you that it has less than 1% GMO ingredients.