Molybdenum is an essential part of an enzyme needed to convert fat to energy. It is also involved in Iron metabolism and tooth enamel. Supermarket diets can easily be low in Molybdenum even to the point of contributing to impotence. While soil Molybdenum has continued to decline, functional impotence of college age men in America has risen 400% from 1 in 20 in 1955, to around 1 in 5 today. Cats fed Molybdenum deficient school lunch diets, lost their sexual differentiation within a few generations and became unable to reproduce. Green Leafy Veggies, Special Nutritional Yeasts and Whole Grains are dietary sources.
Role of Molybdenum in your body
Molybdenum is a scarce mineral that is present in very small quantities in the human body. The mineral is involved in many important biological processes, possibly including development of the nervous system, waste processing in the kidneys, and energy production in cells.
Molybdenum is an essential element in human nutrition, but its precise function and interactions with other chemicals are not well understood. Some evidence suggests that too little molybdenum in the diet may be responsible for some health problems. However, more research is needed to determine its role, if any, in preventing cancer and other diseases.
How is it promoted for use?
Proponents claim molybdenum is an antioxidant that prevents cancer by protecting cells from free radicals, the destructive molecules that may damage cells. Some supporters also claim that molybdenum prevents anemia, gout, dental cavities, and sexual impotence; however, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
What does it involve?
Diet is the major source of molybdenum for most people. Common sources of molybdenum include legumes, cereals, leafy vegetables, liver, and milk. Humans require very small amounts of molybdenum, which a well-balanced diet usually provides.
Molybdenum is also sold as a supplement in some health food stores and over the Internet. It is usually found in capsule form in combination with other nutrients. A typical dosage is 75 g daily.
What is the history behind it?
Knowledge of molybdenum dates back to the Middle Ages. Pure molybdenum was first produced in 1893. Serious research into molybdenum's importance in the human body began only within the past decade.
What is the evidence?
Although researchers believe that molybdenum plays an important role in human health, its precise function and interactions with other chemicals are not well known. Some animal research suggests molybdenum supplements reduce the incidence of tumors in the esophagus and stomach of animals, and breast cancer in rats. Animal studies may show that a certain substance holds promise as a beneficial treatment, but further studies are necessary to determine if the results apply to humans.
A large, randomized study was conducted in Linxian, an area of north central China whose residents suffer very high rates of esophageal and stomach cancers. Researchers gave more than 30,000 people one of several different combinations of essential minerals and nutrients. One group received a combination of vitamin C and molybdenum. The scientists did not find any reductions in cancer mortality rates among those that received molybdenum. Some evidence indicated that soil containing low levels of molybdenum may lead to the formation of chemicals in plants that increase the risk of cancers of the esophagus and stomach, but much more research is needed to determine a connection.
Some evidence suggests that too little molybdenum in the diet may be responsible for some health problems. Deficiencies may occur in areas where the soil contains little or no molybdenum. A study conducted in Japan suggested that low levels of molybdenum in the body were associated with decreased levels of cancer of the esophagus in women, but were also linked to higher levels of cancer of the pancreas. No relationship between molybdenum and cancer was found in men. The investigators cautioned that more research is needed.
Are there any possible problems or complications?
Little is known about the effects of too much or too little molybdenum in the body. Overdoses are extremely rare. Some research indicates that high levels of the mineral can irritate the upper respiratory tract, and cause swelling and deformities of the knees, hands, and feet. High levels may also cause gout.
Molybdenum deficiencies are very rare among humans, therefore most practitioners do not recommend supplements. People who eat diets that are very low in molybdenum may be at higher risk for vision problems, rapid heart rate, and rapid breathing. However, the impact on health may be minimal and cause no symptoms at all.