What foods provide molybdenum in the human diet?
Most of the foods humans eat contain a respectable amount of molybdenum, which ultimately reflects the soil content in which the plants were grown. Organ and other meats, legumes, cereals, and grains are among better sources of molybdenum. Diets high in molybdenum decrease copper absorption and also increase copper loss in the urine. The RDA for adults is 45 µg of molybdenum daily.
What does molybdenum do in the body?
Molybdenum seems to be active in the cells as part of a molecule that interacts with a few specific enzymes and makes them active. These enzymes are involved in the metabolism of the sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine) and the metabolism of pyrimidine and purines which are building blocks for nucleic acids (i.e., DNA and RNA).
What happens if too much or too little molybdenum is consumed?
Because of molybdenum’s widespread availability in the human diet, a deficiency is somewhat unlikely. However, people receiving intravenous (IV) feedings for several months are at risk. In contrast, molybdenum is fairly nontoxic. Molybdenum is involved in the breakdown of purines to a waste product called uric acid. Uric acid is removed from the body in urine, and theoretically there is a greater risk for developing kidney stones formed by excessive uric acid. Excessive uric acid production may also increase the risk of developing gout, which is characterized by recurrent inflammation of joint regions and deposition of uric acid in those areas.