What Is Molybdenum In Food?

What Is Molybdenum In Food?

Molybdenum is an essential mineral needed by the body in very small quantities. While often overlooked, this mineral is present in trace amounts in many common foods. In fact, molybdenum found in a wide variety of food that people do not need to make some dietary changes to achieve the recommended dosage
Importance
Molybdenum is an essential component of several essential enzymes in the human body. It is involved in the formation of uric acid and helps the body to utilize iron. It aids in the breakdown of sulfur containing amino acids. It also helps regulate the metabolism of copper, magnesium and calcium. Molybdenum is stored mainly in the liver, adrenal glands and kidneys, but found in varying concentrations in tissues throughout the body. The total amount of molybdenum is stored in the body is about 9 mg.
food Sources
Most plants that grow above the ground are good sources of molybdenum. The richest sources are legumes, including beans, peas, lentils and soybeans. Nuts, leafy vegetables and grains such as oats, wheat and rice, and also contains ample amounts of the mineral. The amount of molybdenum in plants will vary depending on the mineral content of the soil in which it grows. Animal sources of molybdenum are liver, eggs and milk.
deficiency
The US recommended daily allowance of molybdenum for adults is 45 mcg per day. Molybdenum deficiency is rare in people who eat a balanced diet. Deficiency is usually only seen in patients with intravenous feeding or in connection with several genetic diseases that prevent absorption of the mineral. Symptoms of deficiency include anemia, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, dizziness and sulfite sensitivity.
Theories / Speculation
Some scientists believe that molybdenum in foods may protect against certain forms of cancer. In September 1995 issue of the Archives of Environmental Health, a study by Dr. Hiroto Nakadaira found that the mortality of esophageal and rectal cancer were highest in regions where soil concentrations of molybdenum is low. It is believed that molybdenum in the soil keeps the plants from producing compounds called nitrosamines, a known carcinogen. Further research is required to determine whether a diet high in molybdenum plays a role in cancer prevention.
Warning
Toxicity of molybdenum is relatively low. Doses greater than 10 mg per day can cause gout-like symptoms, such as swelling in the joints, due to increased uric acid production. It can also prevent the body’s ability to absorb copper. It is difficult to reach harmful levels of molybdenum through diet alone. Most cases of toxicity resulting from excessive intake of molybdenum supplements. People who eat lots of legumes and cereals may wish to avoid supplements and multivitamins containing molybdenum.

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