Molybdenum is a component of three different enzymes, which is involved in the metabolism of nucleic acids - DNA and RNA - iron as well as food into energy.
These three enzymes are sulfite oxidase, xanthine oxidase and aldehyde oxidase.
Molybdenum assists in the breaking down of sulfite toxin buildups in the body, and may prevent cavities. With these qualities, there might be evidence of antioxidant properties in this nutrient. It assists the body by fighting the nitrosamines, which are associated with cancer, and may help to prevent anemia. It is needed for normal cell function and nitrogen metabolism.
Molybdenum deficiencies in older males have also been linked to impotence and may be of value in fighting mouth and gum disorders. Molybdenum is part of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down sulfites. Sulfites are found in protein food as well as chemical preservatives in certain foods and drug. Should your body not be able to break down these sulfites, a toxic buildup results, and your body may react with an allergic reaction.
These allergic reactions can respiratory problems such as asthma and others. Molybdenum is also part of xanthine oxidase and aldehyde oxidase - both involved in the body's production of genetic material and proteins. Xanthine oxidase also helps the body to oxidize purines and pyrimidines, and produce uric acid, an important waste product.
Deficiencies of molybdenum are identified by the absence of the three molybdenum enzymes. The deficiency of this element and the metabolic disorders are accompanied by abnormal excretion of sulfur metabolites, low uric acid concentrations, and elevated hypoxanthine and xanthine excretion.
The absences of sulfite oxidase in metabolic disorder can leads to death at an early age. High rates of esophageal cancer has been reported in regions where the soil levels of molybdenum is low as well as vitamin c intake - although this does not clinically prove that molybdenum might be involved with prevention of certain cancers.
The dosage is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
In the case of microelements, such as trace elements, the amounts are very small, yet they are still important.
A dosage of up to 250 microgram is considered safe while 15 milligrams can border on toxic.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
Dosages more than 15 milligrams may be toxic and excess molybdenum in the body can interfere with the metabolism of copper in the body, can give symptoms of gout, and may cause diarrhea, anemia and slow growth.
When more may be required
If your diet consists mainly of refined foods or if you are taking copper supplements, you might be running low on molybdenum.
Enemy of nutrient
An excess of copper, tungsten and sulfates can deplete molybdenum. Heat and moisture change supplemental molybdenum.
Milk, lima beans, spinach, liver, grain, peas and other dark green leafy vegetables contain molybdenum.