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January 15, 2018

Top 11 Molybdenum Health Benefits and Sources

health benefits of molybdenum
Artwork courtesy of PIxabay

Molybdenum is a significant mineral in the body. The system needs it for the functioning of various enzyme-dependent processes, like metabolism of iron. While this trace mineral is available in capsule and liquid form, food is its primary natural source. Molybdenum functions as a vital co-factor of enzymes and is the catalyst of the subdivision and disintegration of fats and carbohydrates.

This essential mineral is present in legumes, grains, nuts, and dark leafy vegetables. Being an important component, its absence may increase one’s risk of numerous health problems. Several studies have been conducted over the past 20 years on the importance of molybdenum. This article outlines some of the most important molybdenum health benefits.

11 Most Important Health Benefits of Molybdenum

1. Powerful Cofactor for Multiple Enzymes

Molybdenum works alongside various enzymes that contribute to sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon cycles in the body. Enzymes like aldehyde oxidase, SUOX, and xanthine oxidase all rely on molybdenum. Enzymatic problems cause genetic metabolic disorders. Molybdenum health benefits involve treatment of these disorders.

2. Fights Autoimmune Inflammatory Diseases

Molybdenum contains tetrathiomolybdate which helps to lower the body content of copper. This makes this trace mineral crucial for eliminating the conditions of autoimmune, inflammatory, and fibrotic diseases. A study carried out in May 2006 found that tetrathiomolybdate prevents liver and pulmonary fibrosis as well as inhibit liver damage.

3. Body Detox

Molybdenum health benefits also involve activation of aldehyde oxidase, which is released as a by-product of alcohol, yeast, and fungi metabolism. Acetaldehyde can cause cancer as it is poisonous. Studies also show that it can stress the kidneys and liver and lead to a Vitamin B deficiency. Acetaldehyde levels are more in people who consume a lot of alcohol and those who suffer from yeast infections. Consuming foods rich in molybdenum reduces toxic and bacterial responses.

4. Cell Protection

Molybdenum has antioxidants which aid in cell protection and prevent cell accumulation for cancer, chronic conditions, and even aging. The body contains free radicals which diminish cell function. In its turn, such a corrosion destroys cells. The presence of too many free radicals can cause cancer. Molybdenum neutralizes the free radicals responsible for destroying the normal body cells.

5. Provides Asthma Relief

Molybdenum acts as a catalyst for sulfite oxidase. This is an enzyme that breaks down sulfite buildup in the body by converting sulfites into harmless sulfates. Certain foods are preserved using sulfites to prevent discoloration.

Individuals with sulfite sensitivity can suffer from an asthma attack or experience asthma symptoms after consuming these foods. Also, sulfites may trigger allergy-related symptoms like respiratory problems, hives, fainting, and itches.

6. Supports the Immune System and Prevents Anemia

Hemoglobin is the red blood cell component. This is an iron-rich protein that renders its red color. Its main responsibility is to transport oxygen in every part of the body. Anemia is the condition brought about by little or no oxygen in the body. Incorrect dosages of hemoglobin in blood are what causes anemia.

Hemoglobin assists the cells in distributing inhaled oxygen in the lungs ensuring it reaches various body parts. Individuals with anemia typically experience headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, and weakness. Molybdenum actively mobilizes iron inside the body by interacting with riboflavin or vitamin B2 combining hemoglobin and iron. This leads to the development of red blood cells.

7. Protects against Cancer

Cells are vital in the growth of the body. The body produces new cells when needed. However, it happens that sometimes the body produces cells when it is not needed. This process triggers cancer. Moreover, the old damaged cells live longer than they are supposed to.

Molybdenum health benefits prevent the growth of nitrosamines which are agents that cause cancer. Low molybdenum levels put women at risk of developing rectal and esophageal cancer.

8. Dental Health

A deficiency of molybdenum has been linked to tooth decay and cavities. Studies conducted show that a high intake of molybdenum leads to a reduced cavity rate. Furthermore, this essential trace element has been shown to increase the effects of fluoride on the teeth as the combination contributes to dental health.

Intake of molybdenum also reduces cavities compared to using fluoride alone. A study conducted on cow teeth showed that enamel treated with molybdenum supplemented fluoride led to healing of cavities as a result of the increased mineral repair.

9. Improves Blood Circulation

Molybdenum works as an important component of nitrate reductase, an enzyme that breaks down nitrate. This is vital for the production of nitric oxide. Nitrate is converted to nitrogen dioxide, a precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is what regulates cell growth, protects blood vessels from injury, and dilates blood vessels. Molybdenum health benefits lead to increased circulation.

10. Balances Uric Acid Levels

A deficiency of molybdenum impairs the production of xanthine oxidase, which leads to low levels of uric acid both in urine and blood. Reduced uric acid levels could lead to disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, and Multiple sclerosis. Uric acid scavenges reactive oxygen species as it acts as a potent antioxidant.

11. Alleviates Metabolic Diseases

Molybdenum is an important component of the process of metabolism as it acts as a channel that promotes chain reactions. This leads to the production of energy. The trace element also contributes to oxygen transfer due to these reactions.

Our bodies contain sulfide oxidase, an enzyme that activates the conversion of sulfite compound to sulfate. The chemical and metallic characteristics of molybdenum perform a significant metabolic role in the body.

Final Word

These are some of the molybdenum health benefits. Molybdenum is an essential trace element found in grains, organic meats, legumes, and dark leafy vegetables. Cases, where people get too little or too much are rare, but both situations have been linked to adverse effects.

Eating a healthy diet with different food groups ensures that you get the right quantity of molybdenum and deficiency is no longer a concern. Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to let us know in the comments section.


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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