Properties and Benefits of Molybdenum: Although it is less popular than its fellow minerals, molybdenum is essential for human survival. It is found in plants, animals and human tissue and helps synthesize protein and mobilize iron reserves. It is a cofactor for more than 50 different enzymes and it is involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, contributing immensely to improving energy levels.
While a deficit can pose serious health risks, ingesting too much molybdenum can be harmful for human health as well. The human body stores molybdenum mostly in the liver and kidneys. Molybdenum deficit and intoxication will thus cause both liver and kidney damage. Other small amounts of the mineral are stored in tooth enamel and vertebrae.
As far as its biological role is concerned, it helps convert purines into uric acid, a natural by-product of normal metabolic processes. Uric acid has antioxidant properties and is believed to maintain healthy blood vessels. A severe, prolonged deficiency of molybdenum can increase the risk for esophageal cancer. Too much molybdenum from food sources can increase the amount of copper our body eliminates, encouraging a deficiency.
Molybdenum can be found both in animal products and plants and depends immensely on the soil in which the plants are grown, either for human or animal consumption. Chicken and beef liver and kidneys, peas, beans and nuts are all great sources of molybdenum. Nevertheless, the amounts of the mineral may differ greatly from one batch of beans, for instance, to another due to soil specificity.
Like in the case of any other nutrient, molybdenum deficiency can occur, although it is a rare condition. A poor diet, geographical differences in soil concentrations and specific medical conditions may engender a deficit of the mineral.
What are the symptoms of molybdenum deficiency? Tooth decay, premature aging, impotence in older males, anemia, growth retardation, neurological problems, even autism are all believed to be telling signs of a molybdenum deficit.
At the same time, intoxication with the mineral can lead to kidney and liver damage, diarrhea, growth impairment and gout (due to an excess of uric acid caused by a high purine intake). Taking molybdenum food supplements can be dangerous because overdosing may occur easily. Another dangerous intoxication symptom includes copper deficiency.
An adequate intake, which is fairly easy to achieve, will contribute to a healthy body and a healthy mind. Here are the 7 major health benefits of molybdenum:
1) It promotes proper metabolic function. This means your metabolism will successfully burn (or synthesize) fats, carbohydrates and proteins from food and turn them into energy.
2) Molybdenum supports bone growth, thus ensuring a strong bone frame.
3) It strengthens teeth and prevents cavities.
4) Because it mobilizes iron in the body, it is believed to help treat anemia.
5) Preliminary studies suggest the mineral has anticancer properties.
6) It improves general well-being.
7) Last but not least, molybdenum helps the body detoxify after alcohol consumption.
About 50-90% of the ingested amounts of the mineral get absorbed at stomach and intestinal level, thus boasting a high absorption rate compared to several other essential nutrients. Moreover, the molybdenum content of foods is not affected by cooking heat, so foods containing it remain equally nutritious following cooking procedures, with no significant loss of the mineral.