Benefits of molybdenum | Everything You Need to Know

Molybdenum is a trace mineral that plays a key role in our bodies by supporting many different biological processes. This essential mineral helps to break down macronutrients, leading to energy production and cellular repair. It also helps to regulate the production of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other important chemicals in the body. Additionally, molybdenum deficiencies have been linked to health problems such as anemia and chronic joint pain.

Due to its importance for our bodies and overall health, it is recommended that we get adequate amounts of molybdenum from our diet. This can be achieved through eating foods like nuts, leafy greens, lentils, and beans. Molybdenum is also commonly added to soil where plants are grown for agricultural purposes or to produce processed foods such as cereal or baby formula.

By incorporating more molybdenum-rich foods into your diet or by taking a dietary molybdenum supplement if you have been diagnosed with a deficiency, you can help ensure that you are getting all of the benefits that this important mineral has to offer.

What is molybdenum?

Molybdenum is a chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. It is a silvery-white metal that is hard and ductile. Molybdenum is found in minerals such as molybdenite, wulfenite, and powellite. It is also found in many sulfide ores, such as chalcopyrite, sphalerite, and xanthate ores.

For our body, molybdenum is a trace mineral that is important for supporting a number of key functions in the body. While it is found naturally in a variety of foods, it is typically consumed in very small amounts, with most adults consuming about 34-50 micrograms per day. One of the primary roles of molybdenum in the body is as an integral part of several metabolic processes, including enzymatic reactions.

These reactions are important for breaking down food into energy and helping to regulate many aspects of health and wellness, such as blood sugar levels and cognitive function. Additionally, molybdenum acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells from damage caused by environmental toxins and free radicals.

Foods with molybdenum

Some of the best sources of molybdenum include leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and other plant-based foods. For example, spinach and broccoli are both rich in this essential mineral, while buckwheat and corn contain high levels as well.

Furthermore, meats such as pork and lamb are also good sources of molybdenum. So if you want to ensure that your diet is rich in this important nutrient, it’s important to incorporate foods that are high in molybdenum into your regular meals and snacks. With a little planning and effort, you can easily make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs to function at its best.

(mcg) per
black-eyed peasBlack-eyed peas288 mcg
beef liverBeef, liver104 mcg
Lima beansLima beans104 mcg
yogurtYogurt, plain26 mcg
ButtermilkMilk22 mcg
sweet potatoPotato16 mcg
bananaBanana15 mcg
white riceWhite rice13 mcg
Bread Whole WheatBread, whole wheat12 mcg
PeanutsPeanuts11 mcg
Rotisserie chickenChicken9 mcg
eggEgg9 mcg
Spinach, 8 mcg
Beef, 8 mcg
Pecans, 8 mcg
Corn, 6 mcg
Cheese, 6 mcg
Tuna, 5 mcg
Potato, 4 mcg
Orange, 4 mcg
Green beans, 3 mcg
Carrots, 2 mcg
Asparagus, 2 mcg

The molybdenum RDA for infants is 2 mcg per day, while the RDA is slightly higher for children, at 22 mcg per day. For adults, men and women need the same amount, with a daily RDA of 45 mcg. During pregnancy and lactation, women require slightly more molybdenum to support the growth of their babies, with an RDA of 50 mcg and 50mcg respectively.

Overall, molybdenum plays an important role in many different physiological processes throughout the body. It helps to convert glycogen into energy during exercise and works with various enzymes in order to detoxify certain compounds in the body.

By meeting your daily RDA for this essential mineral, you can help to ensure optimal health and well-being for yourself and your growing baby. Ultimately, anyone concerned about optimizing their health through proper nutrition should consult with their doctor or a qualified nutritionist to determine their optimal molybdenum intake.


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
<19 years50 mcg1,700 mcg
>19 years50 mcg2,000 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
<19 years50 mcg1,700 mcg
>19 years50mcg2,000 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
0–6 months2 mcgNone established
7–12 months3 mcgNone established


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcgRAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
1–3 years17 mcg300 mcg
4–8 years22 mcg600 mcg


Life stage groupRDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
9–13 years34 mcg1,100 mcg
14–18 years43 mcg1,700 mcg
19 + years45 mcg2,000 mcg


Life stage groupUS RDAs or AIs (mcg RAE/day)Upper limits (mcg/day)
9–13 years34 mcg1,100mcg
14–18 years43 mcg1,700 mcg
19 + years45 mcg2,000 mcg

10 Benefits of molybdenum

It is a trace mineral that is found in food and in the human body. Molybdenum is an essential nutrient for our bodies, playing a role in a number of biochemical processes. For example, molybdenum is involved in the metabolism of sulfites, nitrogen-containing compounds, and minerals such as iron and copper. It also helps to detoxify our bodies by binding to and eliminating harmful compounds.

Molybdenum deficiency is rare, but it can lead to serious health problems such as anemia and kidney damage. Fortunately, molybdenum is found in a variety of foods, so most people should be able to get the amount they need through their diet.

1. Prevents cancers

Molybdenum is a mineral that offers many protective benefits against cancer. It helps to detoxify the body by removing harmful toxins and byproducts of cellular metabolism. Additionally, molybdenum helps to repair DNA damage and prevent mutations that can lead to cancer.

Studies have shown that molybdenum can help to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including ovarian and pancreatic.

2. Aids cell protection

It plays an important role in the metabolism of sulfur-containing molecules and is required for the proper functioning of a number of enzymes. Molybdenum is also a potent antioxidant, which means it helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage cell membranes, DNA, and other important cellular components.


Over time, this damage can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer. Molybdenum helps to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing cell damage.

3. Helps to waste removal through enzymes

It plays a key role in many of the body’s chemical processes. Specifically, it is required for the proper activation of enzymes involved in the removal of waste products and toxins from the body. These enzymes help to keep our cells functioning effectively, ensuring that harmful substances are cleared away before they can cause damage. Without it, these enzymes are unable to do their jobs properly, leading to toxic buildups and energy shortages.

Molybdenum does an excellent job at removing nitrogen waste from the body through its ability to form uric acid. It also helps metabolize drugs, which means it’s responsible for getting rid of any unwanted compounds found within us including water and urea – all while encouraging other excretory organs such as pores or skin on your tissues to get rid of their own personal deposits through sweat.

4. Helps patience with metabolic diseases

Molybdenum is a relatively little-known trace mineral that plays an essential role in the functioning of many different enzymes in the body. The most important of these enzymes is sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for converting the toxic sulfite compound into harmless sulfate. This enzymatic activity helps to maintain proper metabolic function, especially when it comes to amino acids that contain sulfur.

Thus, we can see that molybdenum serves a critical role in metabolism by virtue of its chemical and metallic properties. Whether it’s binding to enzymes or other proteins in order to facilitate their activity or interacting with various minerals in the body, molybdenum plays an essential role in maintaining our health at a cellular level.

Unlike most metals, molybdenum has the ability to act both as an organic catalyst and encourage chain reactions. This technique helps to generate energy while also improving oxygen transfer rates by promoting reactions among the many substances present within cellular structures. Ultimately, this makes it one of the most important micronutrients for maintaining a healthy and functioning body.

5. Helps fight inflammatory and autoimmune diseases

It has been shown to be effective in controlling inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, due to its ability to reduce inflammation and support the immune system. One of the primary ways that molybdenum helps to regulate these conditions is by supporting sulfur metabolism.

Molybdenum facilitates the production of certain enzymes that enhance the metabolism of sulfur-containing compounds, and this can help to reduce oxidative stress, which can play a major role in causing and exacerbating inflammatory and autoimmune problems. Overall, with its many beneficial properties, molybdenum is an important mineral for all kinds of health issues related to inflammation and immunity.

6. Prevents Anemia by supporting the immune system

It helps to prevent anemia by supporting the immune system. It does this by helping the body to produce more white blood cells, which help to fight infection. Molybdenum is also involved in the production of red blood cells.

Also, it has been shown to combat severe forms of anemia, a condition characterized by low levels of red blood cells and impaired oxygen circulation throughout the body. By promoting healthy iron mobilization in the bloodstream, molybdenum helps to strengthen the body’s natural defenses and maintain optimal functioning.

7. Helps in detoxification

Molybdenum plays an important role in several biochemical processes, including detoxification. Detoxification is the process by which the body eliminates toxins and other harmful substances. Molybdenum helps detoxification by increasing the activity of enzymes that break down these substances. As a result, molybdenum can help to protect the body from the harmful effects of toxins. It also helps to reduce levels of harmful substances in the blood, urine, and stool.

More specifically, molybdenum plays a role in the structure and function of aldehyde oxidase, a key component of the body’s detoxification pathways. Aldehyde oxidase is responsible for neutralizing acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism produced by yeast and other microorganisms.

By countering the effects of acetaldehyde on the body, molybdenum can help prevent the formation of tumors in vital organs such as the kidneys and liver. Furthermore, it helps to maintain healthy levels of vitamin B in the body, which is critical for various metabolic processes. Thus, it is clear that molybdenum is essential for maintaining optimal health and preventing dangerous toxicity from acetaldehyde exposure.

8. Threats of asthmatic allergies

Sulfite oxidase is an enzyme that is responsible for the metabolism of sulfite ions. In humans, this enzyme is encoded by the SUOX gene. Mutations in this gene can lead to isolated sulfite oxidase deficiency, a condition that is characterized by the accumulation of sulfite ions in the body. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, and developmental delays.


However, recent research has shown that molybdenum can activate sulfite oxidase and help to treat symptoms of sulfite oxidase deficiency. Molybdenum activates sulfite oxidase by binding to the active site of the enzyme and inducing a conformational change. This allows the enzyme to more effectively catalyze the reaction that converts sulfite ions to sulfur dioxide. As a result, molybdenum-activated sulfite oxidase can help to reduce the level of sulfite ions in the body and relieve symptoms of sulfite oxidase deficiency.

Sulfites can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive individuals. Inhaling sulfites can cause the airways to constrict, leading to difficulty breathing. Molybdenum helps to prevent these reactions by catalyzing the conversion of sulfites into safe compounds that can be excreted by the body.

9. It is a critical cofactor for multiple enzymes

Molybdenum functions as a cofactor for multiple enzymes. These enzymes are involved in various important biological processes, including the metabolism of nitrogen, sulfur, and alcohol. The enzymes are proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions, and molybdenum-dependent enzymes are involved in a wide range of biological processes.

For example, molybdenum-containing enzymes are required for the metabolism of sulfur-containing compounds, the synthesis of DNA, and the detoxification of xenobiotics. Molybdenum is required for enzymes such as aldehyde oxidase, sulfite oxidase, and xanthine oxidase.

  • Xanthine Oxidase is an important enzyme that helps in the production of energy for cells. It’s also found throughout our bodies, but mostly within liver tissue where it functions as part of a useful antioxidant system to fight against free radicals and other environmental factors which can cause damage or illness if left unchecked.
  • Sulfite oxidase is an essential enzyme that plays a vital role in our neurological health. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down sulfites and clearing them out of the body, but it cannot do its job properly without the help of molybdenum, a cofactor that acts as the catalyst for the formation of sulfite oxidase.
    Lack of adequate levels of this important enzyme can lead to mental impairments and restricted development of the brain, which makes molybdenum all the more crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy level of sulfite oxidase. With enough molybdenum in our systems, we can ensure that we are able to live healthy, functioning lives free from the negative effects of insufficient sulfite oxidase.
  • Aldehyde oxidase is an important enzyme that plays a key role in many biological processes. Found primarily in the liver and other tissues, this enzyme is responsible for oxidizing aldehydes and nitrogen-containing compounds. Additionally, aldehyde oxidase helps to disrupt potentially harmful compounds in the body and plays a key role in processing medications. Because of its central function in the body, it is critical to maintaining healthy levels of this enzyme through proper diet and exercise.

10. It maintains the ideal concentration of sulfur

It can help to regulate sulfur levels in the body, which impacts both physical and mental health. Studies have shown that people with low sulfur content often experience symptoms such as fatigue and depression while increasing levels can improve mood and increase energy levels. Because of these benefits, maintaining a proper molybdenum/sulfur ratio is crucial for optimizing health and wellbeing.

Molybdenum deficiency

Many people are deficient in this important nutrient due to poor diet or other health conditions. Without enough molybdenum in our bodies, we are at risk of developing conditions like faulty wound healing and anemia.

When a hospital patient is provided with artificial nutrition via a feeding tube, it is essential that they receive all the essential nutrients necessary for proper health and function. However, in that tragic case, this was unfortunately not the case, resulting in severe symptoms including fast heart rate, disorientation, breathing difficulties, vomiting, and then coma.

It has been hypothesized that this severe deficiency of molybdenum may have been an underlying cause of these adverse effects. In fact, long-term molybdenum insufficiency has been observed in some communities and has been connected to a high risk of esophageal cancer. This association is particularly notable in China in which esophageal cancer accounts for 100 times more cases than it does in the United States.

Investigations into this unfortunate phenomenon have uncovered a possible explanation: the soil in that area contains extremely low levels of molybdenum. Over time, this has led to a longstanding nutritional deficit and increased susceptibility to esophageal cancer. Thus, understanding and addressing long-term deficiencies like these are critical to maintaining overall health and preventing serious complications.

Those who suspect that they may have a molybdenum deficiency should talk to their doctor about getting tested for the condition. Treatment typically involves taking supplements or changes to one’s diet. Early detection and intervention can help prevent more serious health problems down the road, so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a molybdenum mineral deficiency. With proper management, people with this condition can live healthy and full lives.

Molybdenum cofactor deficiency in infants

Molybdenum cofactor deficiency (MoCD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder that leads to severe neurological impairments. The symptoms of MoCD appear in infancy and include developmental delays, seizures, and poor feeding.

In addition, affected infants often have low levels of the amino acid cysteine in their blood. MoCD is caused by mutations in genes encoding enzymes involved in the synthesis of the molybdenum cofactor. There is no cure for MoCD, but treatment focuses on managing the symptoms. Affected individuals require lifelong care from a team of medical specialists. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.

What are the symptoms of molybdenum deficiency?

Molybdenum deficiency results in sulfite toxicity that has the following symptoms:

  • tachycardia,
  • hypertension,
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • coma(extreme case)

In molybdenum deficiency, high levels of sulfite and xanthines are usually detected, together with low readings for sulfate and uric acid, after laboratory tests.

Health Risks from Excess molybdenum and Side effects

When it comes to our health, excess molybdenum can be a serious concern. Excessive levels of this nutrient in the body can lead to a number of negative side effects, including neurological problems and kidney damage. In addition to potential toxicity issues, high doses of molybdenum have also been linked to increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The excessive consumption of molybdenum is one particular cause of gout-like symptoms. Excess amounts of this nutrient can lead to an elevation in uric acid levels due to the action of the enzyme xanthine oxidase. In fact, this was seen in a group of people who consume 10,000–15,000 mcg per day, or roughly 5–7 times the recommended upper limit. These individuals reported gout-like symptoms such as joint pain and swelling.

Another study has found that a high intake of molybdenum may be linked to poor bone health. The study, included 1,500 participants. In women over the age of 50, higher molybdenum intake levels were linked to decrease lumbar spine. While the mechanism by which molybdenum may adversely affect bone health is not yet known, the findings of this study suggest that people should be cautious about consuming high levels of this essential trace element.

While more research is needed, observational studies have suggested that molybdenum may have a negative impact on fertility in men. One study, which included 219 men recruited from fertility clinics, found that increased molybdenum in the blood was associated with decreased sperm count and quality.

Another study found that increased molybdenum in the blood was linked to decreased testosterone levels. When combined with low zinc levels, it was linked with a 37% reduction in testosterone levels. While these studies are observational and more research is needed, they suggest that molybdenum may have a negative impact on fertility in men. If you are trying to conceive, you may want to talk to your doctor about limiting your molybdenum intake.

Therefore, it is vital that we take steps to limit our intake of this nutrient in order to protect our overall health. Fortunately, there are several simple strategies that we can follow to minimize molybdenum intake, such as reducing our consumption of certain high-molybdenum foods and avoiding any supplements containing this nutrient. By being mindful of molybdenum content in our diet and taking these simple steps each day, we can help keep ourselves healthy and avoid the many dangers posed by excess molybdenum.

Molybdenum toxicity

It can be toxic if the levels in the body become too high. Ingesting large amounts of molybdenum-containing supplements can lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. In severe cases, molybdenum toxicity can cause kidney damage and even death. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of taking molybdenum supplements and to consult a healthcare professional before starting any dietary molybdenum supplement regimen.

Interactions with molybdenum

Unlike many other minerals, it does not have any known interactions with other drugs or compounds. While mild interactions are still possible, they tend to be rare and cause only minor side effects. One example of these interactions is the interaction between molybdenum and fluoride. While molybdenum alone has not been found to affect how fluoride functions in the body, excessive use of fluoride can inhibit molybdenum absorption. This can result in a lack of essential nutrients needed for healthy metabolism and normal organ function.

Μolybdenum supplements

While it is an essential trace mineral, most people get enough of it through their diet. However, there are some situations where supplements may be recommended. For example, people with certain digestive disorders may have difficulty absorbing it from food, and as a result, dietary supplements may be necessary to prevent deficiency. In addition, people with kidney disease may need to take a molybdenum supplement to help remove excess copper from the body. Although you must be careful because excess molybdenum can have the opposite effect and create copper deficiency.

Types of Supplements    

This trace mineral comes in a variety of forms, but supplements generally provide one of the following varieties:

  • Ammonium molybdate:
  • Molybdenum aspartate
  • Molybdenum citrate
  • Molybdenum glycinate
  • Molybdenum picolinate
  • Sodium molybdate

Each type of molybdenum supplementation has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, molybdenum citrate is typically well-tolerated but may cause diarrhea in some people. Molybdenum picolinate is another well-tolerated option but may be more expensive than other types of supplements. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine which type of molybdenum supplement is right for you.

Final Thoughts

Molybdenum is a trace mineral that is found in soil and water. It is an essential nutrient for both plants and animals, playing a role in many biochemical processes. Molybdenum deficiencies are rare, but they can cause health problems if left untreated.

The recommended daily intake of molybdenum depends on age and sex. There are several good dietary sources of molybdenum, including legumes, grains, and vegetables. Molybdenum has a number of important functions in the body. It helps to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also plays a role in mitochondrial function and energy production. Molybdenum deficiencies can cause health problems such as gout, anemia, and birth defects.

Molybdenum supplements are generally safe, but they can cause side effects if taken in large amounts. Be sure to speak with a healthcare professional before taking any molybdenum supplement. It is also important to be aware of the potential interactions between molybdenum and other drugs or compounds.


Molybdenum is a trace mineral that plays a critical role in many physiological processes within the body. Specifically, molybdenum helps to regulate metabolism and protect cells against oxidative damage. It also facilitates healthy detoxification, interacting with enzymes to facilitate the breakdown of toxins and harmful compounds in the bloodstream.

Additionally, molybdenum plays an important role in the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Given its many benefits to health and well-being, it is clear why molybdenum is considered such an essential nutrient. Whether you are looking to protect your general health or improve specific functions within your body, molybdenum can help you to achieve these goals.

Molybdenum is an essential trace element that is required for the proper function of enzymes in the human body. Deficiency of this nutrient can lead to a number of problems, including anemia, impaired immune function, and birth defects. The most common symptom of molybdenum deficiency is anemia, which is characterized by low levels of red blood cells.

This can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and an increased heart rate. In severe cases, anemia can lead to death. Impaired immune function is another common symptom of molybdenum deficiency. This can make individuals more susceptible to infection and disease.

Birth defects are also associated with molybdenum deficiency, particularly if the deficit occurs during early pregnancy. These defects can include cleft palate, heart abnormalities, and limb deformities. Molybdenum deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries, but it remains a significant problem in many parts of the world.

It is generally recommended that adults get around 45mcg of molybdenum each day. Infants up to 6 months old need around 2 mcg of molybdenum daily, while children between 7 and 12 months need around 22 mcg of molybdenum per day. Meanwhile, teenagers and adult men require around 34-45 mcg of molybdenum every day, while adult women need approximately 34-45 mcg each day.

While molybdenum is essential for good health, it is possible to take too much. The tolerable upper intake level for molybdenum is 2,000 mcg per day for adults. Taking more than this amount can cause serious side effects, including kidney damage and gout.

Molybdenum toxicity is rare, but it can occur if supplements are taken in large doses or if someone has a condition that affects their ability to process the mineral. If you are concerned about your molybdenum intake, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine whether you need to supplement and, if so, how much molybdenum is safe for you to take.

Some of the foods that are highest in molybdenum include legumes like beans and lentils, whole grains like barley and buckwheat, and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. By incorporating these types of foods into your regular meals, you can be sure that your body gets all the molybdenum it needs. Ultimately, maintaining a well-rounded diet with plenty of nutrient-dense foods is the key to staying healthy and thriving!of the mineral.

While molybdenum is essential for good health, it is possible to take too much. The tolerable upper intake level for molybdenum is 2,000 mcg per day for adults. Taking more than this amount can cause serious side effects, including kidney damage and gout. Molybdenum toxicity is rare, but it can occur if supplements are taken in large doses or if someone has a condition that affects their ability to process the mineral.

In large quantities, molybdenum can be toxic to the kidneys and liver, leading to severe problems with those organs. Additionally, large doses of molybdenum can cause damage to the nervous system and reproductive system.

This trace element plays an important role in protein formation and metabolism, while also facilitating the transformation of certain amino acids. Additionally, molybdenum has been shown to have antioxidant properties, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Because of these numerous benefits, many people take a molybdenum supplement in order to boost their overall health and prevent disease.

Whether taken as part of a multivitamin or through special supplements designed specifically for this purpose, molybdenum can help to improve your immunity, regulate blood sugar levels, and maintain heart health. So if you are looking for an easily absorbable way to improve your overall well-being, consider adding some molybdenum into your daily routine.

By NutriWins team

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