Molybdenum is among the less known minerals that are actually considered as good for the body. As a trace element, this mineral is considered as a micronutrient. In adults older than 18, it is recommended to have at least 45 mg of molybdenum everyday.
Foods that are Rich in Molybdenum
Foods that are good sources of molybdenum include legumes, green vegetables, liver, grains and milk. As with other trace minerals, the amount of molybdenum present in a plant depends on the richness of the soil for molybdenum.
If someone is unable to obtain molybdenum from food, it can also be taken in through supplements. There is ammonium molybdate or sodium molybdate supplements that are sold commercially. This molybdenum containing compounds usually come together with other nutrients. Normally, a capsule of molybdenum supplement contains 75 micrograms. However, since a deficiency of this trace element is very rare, supplements of molybdenum are also not recommended, unless absolutely necessary. Taking in too much of this element can produce symptoms such as tiredness, rashes, anemia, dizziness, low white blood count and gout.
Molybdenum’s Function in the Body
Molybdenum is important because it serves as a cofactor for a number of enzymes that are created by the body. This element plays a role in a number of biological processes, including the proper function of the kidneys in waste processing. Molybdenum helps produce energy in cells, as well as helps in the healthy development of the body’s nervous system.
In disease treatment, molybdenum is used for treating Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic metabolic condition. In Wilson’s disease, the body is unable to process copper. Studies are still being conducted regarding this element’s effectiveness in treating or preventing other types of diseases such as cancer. However, there have been some positive results on animal studies. These animal studies have shown that molybdenum lowers the harmful side effects of some cancer drugs on the lungs and heart.
Although there has been no solid proof as to its efficacy, supporters of this element claim that molybdenum can be considered an antioxidant. Supporters also say that this element prevents gout, sexual impotence, anemia and dental cavities.
Is Molybdenum Deficiency A Serious Problem?
Because the body requires very little molybdenum, deficiency for this micronutrient is a rarity. There are very rare cases where a person would suffer from having very little molybdenum in the body. One example for a possible molybdenum deficiency is if a person has been fed mostly through his veins. Another example would be if a person has a genetic disorder and therefore cannot absorb the molybdenum that is present in foods.