Your ‘nutritional gap’ may include manganese deficiency

Nutritional gaps are rampant in the modern diet, which usually includes far too much processed food. The current phenomenon of populations that are overfed and undernourished has been the subject of numerous articles.

Just one of the many deficiencies that affect most of us may be manganese, a trace mineral present in the body in tiny amounts, mostly the bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas, even though sufficient manganese is present in numerous whole foods.

Despite manganese being readily available in traditional healthy diets, today, according to studies reported by the University of Maryland Medical Center, about 37 percent of Americans suffer a manganese ‘nutritional gap.’

It’s important to realize that ALL vitamins, minerals, micro-minerals and other nutrients necessary for optimal health work synergistically. In other words, the effectiveness of one requires the help of others.

Manganese, for example, works in conjunction with calcium and phosphorus.

The key role of the manganese partner is its activation of enzymes vital for nutrient absorption. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, sex hormones and is necessary for normal brain and nerve function.

A manganese nutritional gap can result in infertility, bone weakness and malformation, weakness, seizures, rapid heartbeats, poor eyesight, severe cramps and even pancreatic damage, heart ailments and osteoporosis.

Many women after menopause have a manganese deficiency, so adequate trace minerals such as manganese play an important role in preventing fractures and spinal deterioration.

Foods that are good sources of manganese include nuts (particularly hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans), dark, leafy vegetables, beans, brown rice, avocados, pineapple, asparagus, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, garlic, leeks, oats, bananas, coconut/coconut oil and turmeric.

Nutritional gaps are all but unavoidable in today’s world of processed foods, pesticides and other pollutants, and poor soil. That is why so many people rely on good whole food supplements. But reliable supplements should complement and fill in the dietary gaps, not be used to replace an unhealthy diet.

Even today there is no substitute for the best possible whole food diet, even when organic is physically or financially out of reach.

Sources include and University of Maryland Medical Center website.