In this article, we are going to have a look at another rather uncommon but essential micro element. And the talk is of molybdenum to which we want to find an answer for the question “How does Molybdenum work in Your Body – The Enzyme – Catalyst!”. Moreover, we will discover why molybdenum is so important for us, how much you need of it and what else might be interesting about this micro element.
Why can we call Molybdenum the Enzyme – Catalyst?
With molybdenum, we have another essential micro nutrient on our side, which plays an indispensable role in our metabolism, predominantly in
the enzyme metabolism.
It works in several processes, which allow the degradation of potentially harmful or toxic substances. Without molybdenum sulphurous compounds can enrich in the body, what eventually can lead to death at high concentrations.
We will have a closer look at other degradation processes in which molybdenum plays an important role later.
So as we know that molydenum is essential for several metabolic processes in our body let´s have a deeper look at it now.
What is Molybdenum?
Molybdenum is a transition metal. A typical compound containing molybdenum is molybdate, which is water-soluble. As a free element it is potentially toxic for us in higher dose.
It is an essential micro or trace element, which we have to get through our nutrition.
What is the demand of Molybdenum?
Depending on the age, health and lifestyle the daily demand for an average and healthy adult for molybdenum is about
45 – 50 micrograms (μg) per day.
Where can you get Molybdenum from (Top foods)?
Here are the Top foods, which are rich in Molybdenum:
1. Buckwheat (up to 450 μg/100g),
2. Cale (up to 200 μg/100g)
3. Garlic, peas and oat (up to 70 μg/100g)
4. Fish (up to 50 μg/100g)
5. Spinach, peanuts and brown rice (up to 40 μg/100ml)
What are the functions and benefits of Molybdenum?
The most important function of molybdenum can be seen in the enzyme metabolism.
Function as a cofactor
Molybdenum works within the enzyme metabolism of several degradation and detoxification processes.
It helps with the degradation and therefore the detoxification of purine, which is a nitrogen compound in urea acid, sulphurous compounds (like hydrogen sulfide and sulphuric acid), which can be taken in through (contaminated) food and of course alcohol, which is a liver toxin.
Effect in the immune system and other functions
Molybdenum supports the immune system as it works as an antioxidant and as it prevents the formation of allergic reactions. Moreover, molybdenum assists with the absorption of fluorine into the teeth and therefore protects them from caries.
What deficiency symptoms of Molybdenum exist?
A deficiency of molybdenum is very seldom, as there is plenty of food containing it. There are among others two risk factors. A one-sided diet and a very rare disease called molybdenum-cofactor-deficiency. This disease results in a disorder of the energy and sulfur metabolism so that sulphurous-compounds can enrich in the brain and lead to a creeping intoxication. If untreated, this process leads to death.
A smaller deficiency in molybdenum moreover can lead to the followed symptoms:
- kidney stones
- fatigue and weakness
- night blindness
- a weaker immune system, which leads faster to infects
- disorders within the reproduction system
- limited body development
- gastrointestinal disorders
What overdose symptoms of Molybdenum exist?
An overdose of molybdenum isn´t normal through a weighted diet. And furthermore, it is not well researched on humans. But there are experiences of mineworkers, who absorbed significant amounts of molybdenum through the skin and the lungs, which may have lead to the below symptoms.
Beginning at quite more than 600 μg/day may result in the following symptoms:
- joint pain
- gastrointestinal disorders
- probably reproduction and development disorders (confirmed within animal research)
- copper deficiency
What else may you have to consider about Molybdenum?
Value in our body
The amount of molybdenum in our body is about 5 – 10 mg. It is stored mostly in the bones (60 %), in the liver and in the kidneys.
Antagonists and Advice
Discovery and Use
Molybdenum was first isolated by the chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1778.
The word molybdenum comes from the Greek word “molubdos”, which means lead, because of its appearance it was once thought to be lead.
In summary, molybdenum is an essential micro element for us as it plays an overly important role in our protein and enzyme metabolism. There it functions as a detoxifier and a degradation agent considering nitrogenous and sulphurous compounds as well as alcohol, free radicals and allergens. Buckwheat, cale and pulses are excellent sources of molybdenum in food.
Now to you. What was important or new here for you? Do you want to know something else? Let us know in the comments.