Molybdenum Benefits, Sources, Dosage, and Deficiency

Molybdenum Benefits, Sources, Dosage, and Deficiency

Molybdenum is an essential nutrient. Our body contains 0.07 mg/kg molybdenum. The molybdenum stores are present in liver and kidney. It is also a constituent of tooth enamel. Many supplements contain molybdenum as sodium or ammonium molybdate. The nutrient promotes many biological processes.

What Is Molybdenum?

Molybdenum is a trace mineral. It occurs in oxidation states. Molybdenite ore yields molybdenum. Our body needs a small amount of Molybdenum but it cannot make the mineral. Thus, we need to take the mineral through diet. Molybdenum is a constituent of many enzymes such as nitrogenase enzyme that participates in the bacterial nitrogen fixation.

Food Sources Of Molybdenum

The molybdenum level in food products is dependent on the molybdenum level of the soil. Hard water contains high molybdenum. Soft water and processed foods do not contain any molybdenum. Some foods that contain molybdenum are pork, lamb, eggs, low fat milk, beef liver, tomatoes, nuts, peas, lentils, chestnuts, green leafy vegetables, almonds, seeds, green beans, lima beans, potatoes, yogurt, soybeans, carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, beef liver, wheat flour, brown rice, eggs, sunflower seeds, cucumber, and brewer’s yeast.

Food Sources Of Molybdenum

Some other sources of the mineral are grains like oats, rice, and wheat germ; and legumes like beans and lentils. One cup of cooked beans contains 177% of one day’s requirement of molybdenum.

Functions And Benefits Of Molybdenum

Molybdenum helps in the functioning of kidneys by processing the waste products. and nervous system. It also helps in the energy production. Enzymes that contain molybdenum, also known as molybdoenzymes promote good health in humans. Our body uses these enzymes for the breakdown of amino acids. These enzymes also help in the breakdown of drugs as well as toxins.

Molybdenum containing enzyme Xanthine oxidase helps in producing uric acid, which provides protection from damage by oxidation. This enzyme also helps in utilization of Iron from liver Iron reserves.Molybdenum is a constituent of enzymes, which help in the removal of sulfites. Molybdenum deficiency is common in people who have sulfite sensitivity. Molybdenum helps in the metabolism of many other nutrients including copper and calcium.

Molybdenum is the cofactor of many enzymes like sulfite oxidase. Molybdenum is useful for the treatment of inherited metabolic disorders in which there is a problem of processing copper. It helps in preventing tooth enamel decay.Molybdenum supplements help in detoxification. When the body has excess toxins, it leads to allergy. Attachment of Molybdenum to the toxins helps in washing off the toxins and its excretion.

Molybdenum helps in the metabolism of nitrogen, fats, as well as carbohydrates. It helps in the protein synthesis, normal functioning of the cells and the digestive system.Molybdenum cofactor compound helps in the synthesis and utilization of sulfites. This helps in decreasing allergy to salad bars, which contain sulfites as preservative. The cells in the body need molybdenum to utilize vitamin C.


Research on animals has shown that molybdenum protects the heart and lungs from the negative effect of cancer medicines. As an antioxidant, molybdenum helps in the prevention of cancer. It provides protection to cell from damage by free radicals. The mineral helps in the prevention and treatment of cancer by obstructing the blood supply, which nourishes the cancer cells. The mineral helps in the prevention of gout and impotency. It also helps in the prevention of anemia as it restores Iron.

Daily Requirement Of Molybdenum

The daily dosage of molybdenum for infants who are 1-6 months old is 2 (AI) mcg per day. Infants who are 7-12 months old need 3 (AI) mcg per day. Children who are 1-3 years old need 17 mcg. Children who are 4-8 years old need 22 mcg. Children who are 9-13 years old need 34 mcg.


Adolescents who are 14-18 years old need 43 mcg. Adults who are 19 years old and above this age group need 45 mcg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women of all ages need 50-mcg molybdenum per day.

Deficiency Of Molybdenum

Cause Of Molybdenum Deficiency

We require molybdenum in small amounts. Molybdenum deficiency is rare and occurs due to the low amount of the mineral in the soil. This occurs in countries like China and Iran. In the United States, the soil contains a high amount of molybdenum.

Molybdenum deficiency also occurs due to a prolonged and continual intravenous feeding. Another cause of the deficiency is the high intake of processed and refined food products by the pregnant women. Some people may have the molybdenum deficiency due to a genetic problem, which prevents the absorption of the mineral.

Symptoms And Effects Of Molybdenum Deficiency

Symptoms of molybdenum cofactor deficiency are impotence, neurological problems, mental retardation, premature ageing, and mouth as well as gum diseases. The ocular lenses can become dislocated. Molybdenum deficiency in pregnant women can lead to fast heart rate, sulfite sensitivity, and night blindness.

weight loss

Molybdenum deficiency results in a higher risk of cancer of the stomach and the esophagus. It increases the risk of stomach cancer, sulfite sensitivity, and anorexia. It also leads to weight loss, depression, vision problems, a short life span, and early childhood death. The breathing as well as the heart rate may become faster. It is important to take a balanced diet to prevent a molybdenum deficiency.

Overdosage Of Molybdenum

High molybdenum level leads to copper deficiency and poor absorption of copper. This leads to anemia. There can be tiredness as well as dizziness. Intake of more than 10 mg molybdenum per day can result in gout. The patient can have joint swelling due to high uric acid. Symptoms of over dosage are weight loss, swelling in the legs, hair pigment loss, dizziness, fever, impaired and slow growth.


If there is diarrhea, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Overdose results in skin irritations. the patient can have rashes and itching. The white blood cell level can become low. If there is pain in the joints, take anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen.In some industries involving the use of molybdenum, the workers may inhale molybdenum dust.

This leads to irritation of the nose as well as throat. The workers can have a cough along with wheezing. Molybdenum overdose results in fatigue, weakness, poor appetite, headache and painful muscles. To prevent molybdenum toxicity, people should avoid taking molybdenum supplements if they take a diet containing legumes as well as grains. Molybdenum toxicity has a harmful effect on the lungs, kidneys, as well as the liver.