A vital mineral, molybdenum is necessary for several important chemical developments within our body. This mineral can be obtained from several foods, comprising beans, dark leafy vegetables, cereal grains, peas, legumes, milk and even beef liver. In fact, people seldom suffer from a deficiency of molybdenum. Molybdenum can also reach the body through the use of hard tap water used for cooking. Though it is rare in supplemental form, many of the multi-mineral tablets do contain small amounts of the mineral. It may be mentioned here that molybdenum was discovered for the first time during the medieval times, and eventually scientists have been successful in isolating this mineral in 1893. In fact, researchers have examined the function of molybdenum in our body processes during the last few decades.
The mineral molybdenum appears to be necessary to life processes in trace amounts and is vital for plants - it is always detected at least in very minute concentrations in all tissues of plants and animals. The element molybdenum is relatively rare as minerals go; however, it is a cofactor in several enzyme systems that take part in bio-chemical energy production, in the formation of urine and in the oxidation of fatty acids. Growth and development of plants is dependent on the availability of trace amounts of this mineral in the soil. The mineral is added to soils to boost the growth of crops and increase livestock production in areas where the soil is deficient in the mineral.
The necessity of molybdenum in humans is based on a single report that suggests the possible stimulation of hemoglobin synthesis in the body - when combined with the mineral iron, as part of therapy in individuals affected by anemia. Molybdenum deficiency is not known to occur in humans and animals, while such a scenario is theoretically possible because most of the molybdenum is removed after grains and sugars - common foods - are refined.
There are also reports based on preliminary evidence that point to the importance of molybdenum, possibly because of its involvement in the detoxification of sulfites, this biochemical reaction mediated by molybdenum may actually lower the risk of asthma attacks induced by sulfite reactions. This sensitivity to sulfite must first be evaluated by a nutritionally oriented physician before supervised supplementation of molybdenum can be started.
The mineral content of the soil directly influences the amount of molybdenum found in plant foods and this level varies significantly in different plant tissues and differs in different plants. Molybdenum deficiencies have not been reported in humans even though the element molybdenum is considered to be an essential trace mineral.
Molybdenum offers numerous health benefits. For instance, together with copper, this element regulates the movement as well as discharge of iron in our body. It may be noted that the function of utilizing iron by the body is vital since iron supplies oxygen to the different organs of the body and this is indispensible for survival. In the absence of molybdenum in our body, all bodily functions would be harmed as they would not be receiving oxygen which is essential for metabolism.
Molybdenum works in the form of a partner for three enzymes in our body. These enzymes include xanthine oxidase, which generates uric acid that sustains the antioxidant quality of plasma in the blood; sulfite oxidase, which assists in metabolizing amino acids enclosing sulfur, and aldehyde oxidase, which assists in metabolizing toxins and drugs.
In north-central China the soil is low in molybdenum content and, incidentally, the levels of stomach and oesophageal cancers are exceptionally high. It is believed that this aspect may possibly have resulted in the development of specific carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals in plants that are grown on the soil in this region. In fact, supplementing the soil with molybdenum is likely to diminish the instances of cancer among the population in this region. While molybdenum supplements were made available to the residents of this region, they had no impact in improving the levels of cancer. Nevertheless, the experimentation took place comparatively for a brief period of just five years.
Often asthma is an allergic reaction to specific chemical amalgams. In effect, chemical additives present in wine and specific foods known as sulfites may possibly result in asthma. Including foods or supplements that contain molybdenum is likely to facilitate in improving asthma, as the mineral works in the form of a detoxifier for sulfite. In case you suspect that you are enduring asthma induced by sulfite, talk to your physician regarding the use of molybdenum supplements.
It may be noted that the liver regulates the different chemicals present in our body. However, in the absence of molybdenum, it will not be possible for the liver to carry out this function normally. In fact, several scientific phrases as well as chemicals are concerned in this process, but it is imperative to be familiar with the fact that molybdenum facilitates the liver to maintain the right level of these chemicals. In addition, this mineral is also a normal detoxifier for the liver, assisting it in disposing of the waste substances as well as avoiding any ailments of the liver.
The mineral molybdenum offers immense service to our body by means of assisting to save the bones and blood from any harm. In addition, molybdenum assists in the formation as well as the protection of the bones and cartilages in our body. It also helps to maintain the blood sanitized or purified. In the case of children, molybdenum may assist in building, while it facilitates in keeping the adults safe.
Molybdenum does not have a recommended dietary allowance or RDA, unlike the other important minerals necessary in the diet. Adults are recommended intakes of 75mcg - 250 mcg daily by the Food and Nutrition Board, this amount is considered both safe and adequate for an average man or woman.
Side effects and cautions
Intakes of molybdenum are considered safe across a wide range and can be taken even up to 15 mg per person daily, however, high amounts of the mineral can interfere with the absorption of copper in the diet and such high doses must be avoided. The element molybdenum is also essential in the conversion of purines to uric acid in the body. The intake of high amounts of molybdenum can in rare cases, induce symptoms resembling gout, including problems like swelling and joint pain.
While taking molybdenum supplements seldom results in any type of toxicity, but when there is toxicity, its symptoms may include stunted growth of the bones, firmness as well as distension of the joints, anemia and diarrhea. Although deficiency of molybdenum is a rare issue and the symptoms rarer, insufficient intake of this mineral may result in impotence in mature men and also untimely aging.