Molybdenum–a trace element essential for health

MolybdenumFoodsMolybdenum is just one of many trace elements essential for optimal health.

Its presence is needed for several enzymes vital for plant and animal metabolism, as it functions as an electron carrier in the particular enzymes that catalyse the reduction of nitrogen and nitrate.

In humans it is needed for at least three enzymes:

(1) sulfite oxidase catalyses oxidation of sulfite to sulfate necessary for metabolizing of sulfur amino acids. Sulfite oxidase deficiency or absence can lead to neurological symptoms and even early death.

(2) Xanthine oxidase catalyzes oxidative hydroxylation of purines and pyridines, including conversion of hypoxanthine to xanthine—and xanthine to uric acid.

(3) Aldehyde oxidase oxidizes purines, pyrimidines, pteridines and is involved in nicotinic acid metabolism.

Understandably that sounds like so much gobbledygook, as does the tongue-twisting word molybdenum. But what it all means is that the trace mineral molybdenum is essential for waste processing and kidney health, as well as energy production in all the cells of the body.

And it’s a reminder that nature’s plant and animal bodies are the most complex machines on earth and like any machine they require maintenance.

Molybdenum is just one of the many trace minerals that each serve essential functions in our complex bodies. And they have been overlooked.

As we entered the Big Chemical, Big Agriculture and Big (processed) Food age, the role trace elements played in plant and animal health was neglected. That neglect has certainly contributed to the onslaught of chronic diseases and disorders we see today.

The 1972 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica states: Molybdenum is one of the most important of the alloying elements used in steels and irons. At that time the U.S. was the source of 90 percent of the world’s production, mostly in Colorado.

At the end of the encyclopedia entry was the statement, Molybdenum has been proved an essential trace element in plant nutrition; in legumes it assists bacteria in fixing nitrogen.

That’s it. Nothing about animal and human health. We have been eating food from pesticide-treated and mineral- depleted mega-farm soil for years now.

The American Cancer Society points out that legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, as well as leafy vegetables, whole grains, liver and nuts are the best sources of natural molybdenum (which cannot be manufactured in the body without outside sources).

But it also adds a big BUT. The trace minerals in the foods are dependant on the amount in the soil.

The good news is that serious research on trace mineral functions and necessity in plant and animal/human health is belatedly taking place.

Meanwhile, trusted local and organic farms, health food stores and supplements are the best bet for ensuring that you are intaking the trace minerals your body needs.




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