Molybdenum is a nutrient that people often overlook despite the fact that it plays a critical role in human health. This essential mineral is involved in processing proteins and genetic material. It also helps the body break down toxic substances.
Molybdenum exists in the soil, and a person will usually consume enough through the plants and meat in their diet. The
Deficiencies are rare, as the body needs only trace amounts. Therefore, it is not typically necessary to supplement the diet unless a healthcare professional advises otherwise.
Read on to learn more about the uses of molybdenum, its benefits, and the roles it plays in the body.
Various bodily processes rely on molybdenum. The body
Molybdopterin is a cofactor that the body requires for the function of some enzymes. It is involved in four essential enzyme pathways:
- Sulfite oxidase: This enzyme converts compounds called sulfites to sulfates. Sulfites occur naturally in foods, and manufacturers may also add them as preservatives. A buildup of sulfites can prompt allergic reactions.
- Aldehyde oxidase: This enzyme metabolizes aldehydes, which are organic compounds that are toxic at certain levels. It can also help the liver break down alcohol and some drugs.
- Xanthine oxidase: This enzyme converts xanthine to uric acid, helping break down nucleotides, the components of DNA, when the body no longer needs them.
- Mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component (mARC): It seems that this enzyme helps remove toxic byproducts of metabolism.
Currently, little evidence suggests that people need to supplement this trace mineral. However, some people believe that supplementation has a place in addressing Candida infection symptoms, although the research to support this is lacking.
Normal amounts of molybdenum in foods and drinks
However, miners, metalworkers, and other individuals who encounter high levels of molybdenum in the environment may sometimes develop gout-like symptoms and high uric acid levels in the blood. The uric acid causes tiny crystals to form around the joints, which can lead to pain and swelling in that area.
The tolerable upper intake level (UL) is the maximum daily intake of a nutrient that is unlikely to cause harmful health effects for most individuals. Doctors recommend that people do not exceed this level regularly. The UL for molybdenum in adults is
Occasionally, molybdenum supplements can cause serious side effects, even for doses below the UL. In one
Additionally, some studies show that high intakes of molybdenum may affect bone growth and mineral density.
For example, one
- 1–3 years: 17 mcg per day
- 4–8 years: 22 mcg per day
- 9–13 years: 34 mcg per day
- 14–18 years: 43 mcg per day
- 19 years and over: 45 mcg per day
Anyone who is pregnant or nursing should aim for 50 mcg per day.
Legumes contain the
- whole grains
- beef liver
- leafy vegetables
- dairy products
The amount of molybdenum in a particular plant food may depend on the amount of molybdenum in the soil in which it grew and the water that the farmers used to irrigate the soil.
People should note that there are limited data regarding the amount of molybdenum in food and water. Drinking water seems to contain only trace amounts of molybdenum.
Molybdenum deficiency is rare in humans, but it is possible. In
In some people, a rare genetic disorder called molybdenum cofactor deficiency can cause deficiencies. This condition prevents the body from synthesizing molybdopterin and sulfite oxidase. It can lead to severe seizures and neurological damage, which can be fatal in early childhood.
Most people do not need to use molybdenum supplements unless a healthcare professional recommends them for a specific medical reason.
Anyone who thinks that they do not receive enough molybdenum through their diet should discuss this with a healthcare professional.
As deficiencies are
Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral that helps the body rid itself of harmful sulfites and prevents toxins from building up in the tissues.
Deficiencies are rare, and the overwhelming majority of people get enough molybdenum in their diet from legumes, grains, dairy, and organ meats. Therefore, most people do not require molybdenum supplements unless a healthcare professional advises taking them.