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Molybdenum

What is Molybdenum?

Molybdenum is a mineral that is required in only trace amounts in the body in order to be extremely effective. As a dietary mineral, molybdenum is part of sulfite oxidase. Sulfite oxidase break down sulfites that are present in many chemically preserved foods as well as specific food proteins. In general, it can be difficult for the human body to break down chemically preserved foods as well as certain food proteins and the result is a build-up of harmful toxins. Molybdenum helps break down sulfites in order to reduce toxic build-up and promote overall healthy body function.

What does Molybdenum do?

In addition to helping with the break- down of toxic build-up due to sulfites, molybdenum plays many other roles within the body. Some of these primary functions include promoting healthy and regulated cell functions as well as aiding in nitrogen metabolism. Molybdenum has been shown to help fight cancer-causing nitrosamines and even assists in preventing cavities. The most commonly associated function of molybdenum is its role in the production of uric acid.

Molybdenum is also known to play an important role in the production of proteins and genetic materials. Molybdenum is made up of three separate enzymes which are called aldehyde oxidase, xanthine oxidase and sulfite oxidase. The result of this combination is the metabolism of DNA and RNA, food and iron into energy the body uses to function properly.

Where is Molybdenum found?

Molybdenum is primarily found in foods that are consumed on a regular basis. A few foods that are extremely molybdenum-rich include legumes, leafy vegetables, meats, cheeses and milk. It’s possible that a significant amount of molybdenum can be derived from plant-based products if the soil in which the plants are grown is known to be infused with molybdenum. Traces of molybdenum are also found in natural water sources.

The majority of the body’s molybdenum is stored in the liver, bones, glands and kidneys. It can also be found in the skin, muscles, spleen and lungs. While the body is usually able to absorb more molybdenum than it needs, the majority of what is absorbed is released as waste in urine.

What happens when someone has a Molybdenum deficiency?

The human body requires very little molybdenum to receive the benefits that it provides. This means that molybdenum deficiencies are extremely rare. That being said, in specific cases where individuals do suffer from lowered levels, molybdenum is available in dietary supplement form. Because it is not often utilized, these supplements are mostly available in specialty nutrition stores or can be ordered from online companies. In the majority of cases, molybdenum as a deficiency supplement is prescribed in combination with other dietary supplements as well. Molybdenum is normally prescribed in dosages of 75 micrograms daily.

Excessive supplements and symptoms

The most commonly documented form of excess molybdenum appearing in the human system occurs with individuals that work in factories where supplements are processed. In these cases, the most frequent complaints associated with excess amounts of molybdenum include nose and throat irritation accompanied by possible coughing.

Molybdenum – AIs (Adequate Intakes)

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Microgram per Day
2
3

 

Molybdenum – RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances)

Children
1-3 years
4-8 years
Microgram per Day
17
22
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

34
43
45
45
45
45
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

34
43
45
45
45
45
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

50
50
50
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

50
50
50

 

Sources:
http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/molybdenum
http://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=Molybdenum&x=19&y=19
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1249-molybdenum.aspx?activeIngredientId=1249&activeIngredientName=molybdenum&source=1
http://www.vitalhealthzone.com/nutrition/minerals/molybdenum.html
http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutrition101/g/molybdenum.htm
USDA Dietary Reference Intakes