Nutritional Guide

Molybdenum

Beneficial For :

  • metabolism of iron and sulphur

Why you need it?

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral. It is needed for the proper function of certain enzyme-dependent processes, including the metabolism of iron and sulphur.

  • Molybdenum functions as a cofactor for oxidation-reduction reactions. The enzymes involved are xanthine oxidase, aldehyde dehydrogenase and sulphite oxidase.
  • Sulphite oxidase is an important enzyme for the degradation of amino acids cysteine methionine. A genetic disorder involving a deficiency of sulphite oxidase is a fatal disorder of cysteine metabolism which results in severe brain damage, mental retardation, dislocation of ocular lenses and increased urinary output of sulphate. It is also responsible for the inactivation of sulphite ions which may be involved with asthma.
  • Xanthene oxidase is an enzyme found in several tissues including the liver, intestine, spleen, kidney and others. It is also found in milk. It is responsible for the terminal oxidation of purines so that they may be excreted as uric acid.
  • Aldehyde oxidase is found in the liver. It can substitute for many of the same substrates as xanthine oxidase. This enzyme is responsible for the detoxification of alcohol.
  • Aids in oxidation of fats and aldehydes
  • Aids in mobilization of iron from liver reserves

Deficiency Symptoms:

Although molybdenum is an essential mineral, no deficiencies have been reported in humans. Signs and symptoms of toxicity include: diarrhoea, anaemia, depressed growth rate.

Good Food Sources:

The amount of molybdenum in plant foods varies significantly and is dependent on the mineral content of the soil. The best sources of this mineral are beans, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables and grains. Hard tap water can also supply molybdenum to the diet.

Precautions

GRAS - Generally recognised as safe. No adverse reactions, side effects or overdose symptoms expected when taken within the recommended amounts.

Molybdenum is considered safe through a wide range of intakes (up to 15 mg per day), but it can interfere with the absorption of copper.

500µg per day may result in impaired copper status because molybdenum increases excretion of copper. Thus it may be important to give copper supplements. 

High levels: 10-15 mg per day, may precipitate gout by raising uric acid levels. Molybdenum is needed to convert purine to uric acid and excessive intake could, in rare cases, cause gout-like symptoms, such as joint pain and swelling.

There is preliminary evidence that molybdenum, through its involvement in detoxifying sulphites, might reduce the risk of sulphite-reactive asthma attacks. However, a nutritionally oriented physician should be involved in the evaluation and treatment of sulphite sensitivity.

The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. Neither the information provided nor products supplied or offered should be construed to be in any way substitutes for medical attention or prescribed medication. Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or herbal remedies if you are suffering from an undiagnosed illness or if you are on prescribed medication.