Posted by Blog Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral for virtually all life forms on Earth. The chemical symbol for molybdenum is Mo. The name molybdenum comes from the Greek word molybdos, which means lead-like. Molybdenum is used in the body as a cofactor in three enzymes.

The most important enzyme that uses molybdenum is sulfite oxidase. Sulfite oxidase is needed to add oxygen to transform sulfite (SO3 2−) to sulfate (SO4 2−). This transformation is necessary for the metabolism of the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine. Molybdenum is used in another important enzyme called xanthine oxidase. Xanthine oxidase contains two molybdenum atoms in addition to eight iron atoms and riboflavin. Xanthine oxidase breaks down parts of DNA into uric acid in the bloodstream. The third enzyme to use molybdenum is aldehyde oxidase. Aldehyde oxidase works with xanthine oxidase to assist in the metabolism of drugs and toxins.

Molybdenum is needed in the soil used for food crops. If plants do not get enough molybdenum they may contain more cancer-causing nitrosamines. With sufficient molybdenum, plants can convert nitrates to amino acids, lowering the nitrosamine levels.

Summary for Molybdenum
Main function: metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids.
RDA: adults, 45 mcg.
Toxicity: low toxicity.
Tolerable upper intake level has been set at 2 mg.
Deficiency is rare.
Sources: beans, lentils, whole grains, and nuts.
Forms in the body: found in the enzymes sulfite oxidase, xanthine oxidase, and aldehyde oxidase.

More about Molybdenum:



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