Molybdenum Sources and Functions

Molybdenum Sources and Functions

All of the nutrient minerals work together to keep you healthy and feeling good. Here is a summary of the role of molybdenum, a trace mineral, in your good health.

What it does Cofactor of enzymes involved in metabolism of proteins
Daily needs [Infants: 2-3 µg] [Children: 17-43 µg] [Men: 45 µg] [Women: 45 µg] [Pregnant: 50 µg] [Lactating: 50 µg]
Not enough Not likely
Too Much No known toxic effects
Foods Beans, peas, lentils, nuts, grains

*The lower value is for infants up to 6 mos., higher value is for infants up to a year old.
† The first value is for children 1-3 with the amount increasing until age 18.

Molybdenum Sources and Functions - Just a trace

Note that the adequate daily intake of molybdenum is given in micrograms (µg). A microgram is .0001 milligrams (mg), so it is a very small amount.

Deficiency not likely

Since you need only a very tiny amount of molybdenum to be healthy, deficiency is very rare and generally only associated with disorders, such as Crohn’s Disease, or a genetic predisposition. Since the molybdenum content of soil may vary, it is difficult to say definitively which plant foods will have significant amounts of this mineral.


Interesting Fact about Molybdenum Sources and Functions: Plants need molybdenum to produce an enzyme that is part of nitrogen conversion. If the soil is low in molybdenum, the plants may convert the nitrates to nitrosomines. Since this would expose those who eat the plants to nitrosomines, which are implicated in cancer,this may be a good argument for organic gardening and for good soil management.


Upper Level

The upper intake level for adults for molybdenum has been established at 2 mg.


Digestive tips for eating legumes

In spite of the nutritional advantages, if there is a drawback to the legume family of foods, it is that they can produce digestive disturbance in the form of gas. There are several things you can do to alleviate this problem:

-If you are not used to eating legumes, introduce them slowly. It is normal for everyone to produce some gas during digestion, but it should not be painful, putrid or pervasive.

-When using canned beans, discard the juice and rinse the beans before use.

-If you are using dry beans, throw out the soaking water (or use the water for your plants or garden), rinse before cooking and cook thoroughly.

-Eat slowly, chew your food well, and don’t overeat.

-Try taking enzyme products, like “Beano,” right before you eat. This may help to alleviate gas problems by helping digestion.

-Add some fennel to your beans (or chew some fennel seeds later, should you feel any adverse effects from eating legumes or any other foods). I have also heard that adding summer savory, dill or anise to your beans will help, but I have never tried these myself. Use about one teaspoon per cup of dry beans.

Warning: Fennel seeds should not be taken in large doses by pregnant women, since they are a uterine stimulant.


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