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Molybdenum: Tiny But Mighty


Is it true that some of the most substantive minerals in our bodies function on the smallest doses? Well…YES! The amount needed does not reflect importance. Trace minerals support wellness. One essential trace mineral—molybdenum—shows their vitality.

What Is Molybdenum?

An essential trace mineral that supports the body, functioning as a structural component in cofactors that catalyze enzyme systems throughout the body. It supports enzyme systems involved in processing proteins, breaking down synthetic substances, and breaking down harmful substances.

Molybdenum & Our Bodies

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral best known for its structural role in molybdopterin class cofactors. Enzyme systems regulate biochemical reactions throughout the body. Cofactors increase the rate of essential chemical reactions in enzyme systems. This mineral functions as a cofactor in four enzyme systems, supporting the body in the following processes:

  • Breaking Down Proteins: supports the transformation of sulfites to sulfates as a cofactor
  • Breaking Down Synthetic Substances: functions as a cofactor in the metabolism of substances
  • Breaking Down Harmful Substances: functions as a cofactor in the metabolism of alcohol
  • Forming Uric Acid: supports the breakdown of nucleotides as a cofactor

Though the terminology may feel confusing, the bullets above simply reinforce the importance of molybdenum due to its involvement as a cofactor in enzyme systems around the body. The body stores molybdenum in several places:

  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Adrenal Gland
  • Bone

Despite not discussing this mineral broadly in the wellness industry, it plays an essential role in our bodies.

Daily Recommended Intake: Molybdenum

You will find the daily recommended intake for average, healthy adults below:

 Daily Recommended Intake
Adult Males45 micrograms/day
Adult Females45 micrograms/day
Pregnant Females50 micrograms/day
Breastfeeding Females50 micrograms/day

Pregnancy and breastfeeding tend to require increased daily intakes for essential vitamins and minerals as you pass nourishment onto your baby. You can consume this mineral through your diet or through supplementation. Do whatever best supports your diet preferences and individual nutrient sufficiency. If you are pregnant or nursing, ensure you talk with your healthcare provider before beginning any supplementation.

Natural Sources of Molybdenum

We can consume this mineral through whole foods. See examples below:

  • Bananas
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Chicken
  • Lima Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Potatoes
  • White Rice

You can source this mineral through legumes e.g., black eyed peas and lima beans, whole grains, and animal products. We only require trace amounts, so many individuals reach nutrient sufficiency through diet alone.

Quick Facts

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral best known for its structural role in molybdopterin class cofactors.

  • What Is It: an essential trace mineral
  • What Does It Do: functions as a cofactor in enzymes systems that break down proteins and substances
  • How Much Do I Need: adult male: 45mcg/day & adult females—45mcg/day
  • Natural Sources: legumes, whole grains, dairy products, and animal products

If you would like to learn more about molybdenum and ongoing field studies, click here!