Function of Molybdenum:
A cofactor is a compound that is essential for the activity of an enzyme. In humans,
molybdenum functions as a cofactor for three enzymes: sulfite oxidase -
responsible for the transformation of sulfite to sulfate, xanthine oxidase - helps to
form uric acid which contributes to the antioxidant capacity of the blood, and
aldehyde oxidase - plays a role in the metabolism of drugs and toxins.
Enzymes are important to the regulation of the chemistry of cells and organisms. An
enzyme is a substance that increases the speed of a chemical reaction without being
changed in the overall process. The only enzyme known to be crucial for human
health is sulfite oxidase. It is a biologically important enzyme found in all living
organisms and resides in the mitochondria of the cell.
Deficiency of Molybdenum:
Sulfite oxidase deficiency is rare, but fatal. It causes neurological disorders, mental
retardation, physical deformities, the degradation of the brain, and death. One of the
causes of sulfite oxidase deficiency is a genetic defect that leads to the absence of a
molybdopterin cofactor and point mutations in the enzyme.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Toxicity (Molybdenum Overdose):
Taking high doses of molybdenum causes increased blood uric acid levels and
gout-like symptoms. Occupationally exposed workers in copper-molybdenum plants
are at high risk for excessive molybdenum consumption.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in molybdenum is the safest and
healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity,
individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before
starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is
recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements
may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that
you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements
should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children's reach.
Molybdenum Food Chart (List of Foods High in Molybdenum):
*Per 100 g (3.5 oz) of Food*
Lentils - (155 mcg)
Beef Liver - (135 mcg)
Split Peas - (130 mcg)
Cauliflower - (120 mcg)
Green Peas - (110 mcg)
Brewer's yeast - (109 mcg)
Wheat Germ - (100 mcg)
Spinach - (100 mcg)
Brown Rice - (75 mcg)
Garlic - (70 mcg)
Oats - (60 mcg)
Eggs - (53 mcg)
Corn - (45 mcg)
Barley - (42 mcg)
Fish - (40 mcg)
Whole Wheat - (36 mcg)
American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH
University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu
Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
molybdenum can help to prevent
conditions such as
(cancers of the stomach and
esophagus). Foods high in
molybdenum include: Legumes,
whole grains, and nuts.
What is Molybdenum?
Molybdenum is an essential trace
enzymes are required for the
health of the earth's ecosystems.
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