Molybdenum – Benefits, Deficiency, and More

Cauliflower is rich food source of molybdenum

Introduction to Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a trace mineral that is essential to human health. It is present in small amounts in the body and is required for the proper functioning of several important enzymes. These enzymes are involved in a range of physiological processes, including the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates, the detoxification of harmful substances, and the production of energy.

Food Sources

Present in small amounts, foods that contain molybdenum are;

  • Legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, lima beans, kidney beans
  • Whole grains: barley, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, wheat
  • Leafy green vegetables: spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews
  • Other vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peas, mushrooms
  • Animal-based foods: liver, kidney, milk, eggs, cheese, fish
Molybdenum Benefits and Uses

As it is a less-needed mineral, but of great importance, molybdenum health benefits extend to;

  • Enzyme function: Molybdenum is a crucial component of several important enzymes in the body, including those involved in the metabolism of amino acids and the detoxification of harmful substances.
  • Metabolism: It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • Growth and development: It is important for the proper growth and development of the body.
  • Immune function: Molybdenum plays a role in the proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Antioxidant properties: It has antioxidant properties, which means it can help to protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals.
  • Yeast Infections: It may be beneficial for yeast infections.

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Recommended Dietary Intake
AgeDaily Recommended Intake
0-6 months2 (mcg/day)
7-12 months3 mcg/day
1-3 years17 mcg/day
4-8 years22 mcg/day
9-13 years34 mcg/day
14-18 years43 mcg/day
19+ years45 mcg/day

*These values are a reference point for healthy individuals, consult a healthcare professional before any supplementation*

Deficiency Symptoms

Even though molybdenum deficiency is uncommon, it is still a possibility.

Common molybdenum deficiency symptoms are;

  • Impaired growth
  • Anemia
  • Joint pain
  • Dental caries
  • Increased risk of certain cancers


Toxicity Symptoms

Supplementation without knowing what molybdenum is used for or if there is really a deficiency brings about toxicity (consuming more than 2mg per day).

Symptoms of molybdenum toxicity are;

  • Gout-like symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Liver damage
  • Anemia



In conclusion, it is an essential trace mineral that plays a crucial role in various biological processes. Molybdenum usage must be within the recommended dietary intake and not exceed the tolerable upper intake level to prevent toxicity. As always, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to one’s diet or taking molybdenum supplement.


About the Author

Moaz Farhan

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) and Content Author at KeepUpFitness.

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