is essential for plants and serves as a cofactor for the enzyme xanthine and aldehyde oxidases. Medical research states that this catalyst is
possibly anticarcinogenic. The states of Colorado and Ohio have soils particularly rich in
molybdenum, and report the lowest incidences of cancer of the esophagus. This
type of cancer is particularly widespread in South Africa (Transkei region), which has very low molybdenum
concentration. The same applies for regions that are poor in molybdenum.
Low molybdenum levels have
been associated with impotency.
poisoning is virtually unknown. Excessive dietary intake of grains, seeds, and
legumes rich in molybdenum can cause deposits in soft tissues and joints, and
trigger arthritic symptoms. Other symptoms include gout, severe diarrhea,
growth depression, and anemia (typical symptoms of copper deficiency).
Molybdenum is important for uric acid metabolism.
Required Daily Amount (in
Infants 0-5 months 0.03-0.06
Children 1-3 years 0.05-0.10
Sources: Liver and kidney are good meat
sources. Good plant sources are legumes, wheat germ, and leafy vegetables.
Molybdenum content of foods
Organ meats 20-100
Wheat germ 67-134
Brewers yeast 85-133
Cheese 3.5 -5
Whole milk 1-4
Rice (whole) 47
Fruit, Berries 0.15-9
Absorption and excretion:
Dietary molybdenum is readily
absorbed by the intestine and is excreted via urine and bile.
Significance of blood
molybdenum levels: relatively low concentrations of molybdenum are found in
serum and whole blood. Therefore, mass spectroscopy is well suited for the
determination of molybdenum since the detection limits are much lower than more
Drinking Water: no EPA
recommendations are available.
Symptoms associated with
elevated molybdenum levels:
Symptoms associated with
Reduced resistance against
Uric acid accumulation (gout)
Defects in the metabolism of
sulfur amino acids
Susceptibility to asthma
Molybdenum may play a role in
the prevention of carcinogenesis of cells. Chung Hua Chung Liu Tsa Chi. Effect of
molybdenum on the alkylation of DNA in the liver of
rats treated with 14C-diethylnitrosamine. 1987.
Molybdenum may reduce sulfite
sensitivity. Papaoiannou R. Pfeiffer CC. Sulfite
sensitivity- unrecognized threat: Is molybdenum the cause? J Orthom Psych 13(2):105-110. 1984
Doisy, EA, Jr:
Effect of deficiency in manganese upon plasma levels of clotting proteins in
man. In Huekstra, WG, Suttie,
HE, Gantber, HE, and Mertz,
W, editors: Trace elements in animals. ed 2,
Baltimore. 1974. University
Paige. DM. editor: Manual of
clinical nutrition, Pleasantville, NJ. 1983, Nutrition