Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral involved in many important biological processes.

What are its health benefits?

Molybdenum is believed to trigger the production of important enzymes, which help your body metabolise fats and carbohydrates and make the most of the iron you ingest. It may also aid in the breakdown of proteins and other substances.

Reportedly, it may have the following benefits too:

  • As a supplement to protect women from candida, a vaginal yeast infection
  • Preventing tooth decay
  • Helping detoxify the body of sulfites, which can trigger asthma attacks
  • It’s used in the treatment of rare inherited metabolic diseases, such as Wilson's disease, where the body cannot process copper.
  • According to research, it’s showing promise in reducing the harmful effects of certain cancer drugs on the heart and lungs.

Do you have a deficiency?

A molybdenum deficiency is very rare but signs of deficiency include:

  • Defects in uric acid production, which may result in gout attacks
  • Decreased metabolism of sulphur-containing amino acids

Find it in these foods

Molybdenum can be found in the following food sources:

  • Dark-green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Milk products
  • Beans, lentils and peas

The amount of molybdenum in these foods varies considerably according to the kind of soil in which it’s grown. Vegetables grown in neutral or alkaline soil tend to be richer in this mineral.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

We only need very small amounts of this mineral, which is easily attained through a healthy diet.

The RDA for adults is 45mcg, with 50mcg recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Infants should have 3mcg, which is easily attained through breast milk. The RDA for children ranges from 17mcg to 43mcg, depending on their age.

Know the overdose risks

Too much might be toxic, although very little is known about excess molybdenum. High uric acid levels and gout-type arthritis are possible cues.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in February 2015