If you, like many thousands of others don't have the slightest idea what molybdenum is, or don't know how to pronounce it (It's actually pronounced two different ways, so even the experts are not sure.), don't feel bad. You're definitely not the only one.
Molybdenum is classified as a trace mineral. This means that, while the body needs only a very small amount of it, it DOES need it.
In fact, the body stores this dietary mineral in most body tissues including the brain, liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, bones and skin. Even with this wide a distributions, however, the overall level of molybdenum inside the body are not that significant.
Enzymes are proteins which help accelerate chemical reactions in the body. Molybdenum is a component of the enzymes xanthine oxidarse, aldehyde oxidase and sulfite oxidase.
In the body, the dietary mineral molybdenum helps to break up sulfite toxins that build up inside the body. That is one reason why it is considered to be an
antioxidant. Sulfites in the body are common today because they are regularly included in many chemical preservatives. Certain foods and drugs and even protein-rich foods also may contain sulfites. When the body is not able to break apart the sulfites that build up, it may react by triggering an allergic reaction.
Like many other dietary minerals, and even some vitamins, such as Vitamin B12 and other members of the B complex, molybdenum is necessary to the body's ability to carry out the metabolization of fats, carbohydrates, copper and nitrogen. It also makes up part of the enzymes responsible for metabolizing purines and sulfur.
In fact, molybdenum is needed to produce many different enzymes, which then cause things to happen in the body.
In order for proper cellular function, the cells of the body must have an adequate supply of molybdenum.
This mineral also helps the body fight off nitrosamines, chemical compounds used in the manufacture of some cosmetics, pesticides, most rubber products, which have been linked to the development of cancer. Molybdenum helps keep a person alert and it can help keep impotence from becoming an issue for some. It also plays a crucial role in the body's ability to keep blood sugar levels in balance. Finally, it is believed that this mineral helps protect against dental cavities and tooth decay.
Once this mineral enters the gastrointestinal tract it is easily absorbed and easily eliminated via the kidneys. For this reason, there is little danger of a molybdenum overdose.
Sources of the Dietary Mineral Molybdenum
Good sources of this trace mineral are beans, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, peas, beans, cereals, rice, yeast, whole grains, liver, kidney, low-fat milk and 'hard' tap water (hard means the water contains a lot of minerals). Since the instances of this type of a mineral deficiency of molybdenum are rare, it does not have a recommended daily allowance. However, because inadequate levels can still lead to a deficiency, and thus to some health problems, it is suggested that adults get 75 to 250 mcg/day.
Symptoms of molybdenum deficiency
Because so little molybdenum is required for health, and since it is so easily obtained from foods and supplements, molybdenum deficiencies are extremely rare and the only real chance that one will develop is if a person mainly consumes foods that have been grown in soils that lack this important mineral.
However, it is still a fact that this type of deficiency does happen and when it does, there are serious symptoms including irritability, an inconvenience, and an irregular heartbeat, a potentially life-threatening condition. A deficiency can cause a decrease in the amount of urine the body creates, thus slowing the removal of toxic wastes from the body, and it can decrease the oxidation rate of fatty acids.
Fatigue is another symptom of a deficiency, as are problems associated with the mouth, gums and vision. For some men, a major symptom of a molybdenum deficiency is impotence. In extremes, this type of deficiency can also cause cancer. Because molybdenum is needed to break down the sulfite levels inside the body, a lack of it can cause unwanted substances to build up which can then produce harmful effects within the body.
You are not likely to uncover such items in most health food stores. It is too easy to get from the food you eat. While some daily multivitamin preparations do include molybdenum as an ingredient, even the best daily multivitamin may not.