Molybdenum is a trace mineral found in practically all plant and animal tissues. It is an essential part of two enzymes: xanthine oxidase, which aids in the mobilization of iron from the liver reserves, and aldehyde oxidase, which is necessary for the oxidation of fats. Molybdenum is a factor in copper metabolism. Food sources of molybdenum include meats, legumes, cereal grains, and some of the dark-green leafy vegetables. The food's mineral content is completely dependent upon the soil content.
Molybdenum is found in minute amounts in the body, being readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and excreted in the urine. Molybdenum is stored in the liver, kidneys, and bones.
The National Research Council recommends 150 to 500 micrograms of molybdenum daily. Toxicity symptoms include diarrhea, anemia, and depressed growth rate. High intake may also result in a copper deficiency.
Deficiency Effects and Symptoms
Because of food refining and processing, molybdenum deficiency can possibly occur. A deficiency may result in male impotence.
Beneficial Effect on Ailments
Molybdenum may play a part in the prevention of anemia. Tooth enamel contains molybdenum, and the mineral has been found to be important in the prevention of dental caries. Studies have also linked adequate molybdenum intake to decreased rates of cancer of the esophagus.