Molybdenum - Information and Sources

Molybdenum is a trace element mineral required in minute amounts in our diet. It is essential for enzymes involved in metabolism of nucleic acids and sulphites and is abundant in our diets. However, there is one tiny region in northern China called Linxian which has very low quality soil that is lacking in a number of essential minerals, including molybdenum. This poor quality soil is reflected in the diets of the inhabitants and mineral deficiencies are prevalent. Symptoms of molybdenum deficiency are cancer related, and it has been linked to stomach and oesophageal cancer. Other symptoms can be racing heart rate, irritability, impotence and poor vision.

Although there is no recommended intake of molybdenum, because inadequate levels can lead to a deficiency, it is suggested that adults get 75 - 250 µg/day.

There are many foods that contain high amounts of molybdenum. Plant sources are high, although the amount will depend on the soil that the plant grows from.

  • Legumes - peas, beans, lentils
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Brown (unpolished) rice
  • Nuts
  • Milk
  • Hard tap water