Molybdenum- a mineral we see on Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) but no one ever really talks about it... is it important? What does it do? Where can we get it? Does it influence other minerals? Today we'll be answering of these questions.
Molybdenum is a trace mineral we typically find accumulated in the liver, kidneys, bones and our dental enamel. Just with knowing that, we can understand that this mineral is important for the function of detoxification, skeletal structure, and metabolic processes due to it being connected to the liver and kidneys.
So just what exactly are molybdenum's functions?
1. Purine Metabolism
For those who don't know what purines are, they are compounds that form uric acid, and if not properly eliminated or metabolized can form things like gout. Purines aren't all bad per say. They are essential for the synthesis of nucleic acids, proteins, other metabolites but too much of them can be an issue. Uric acid is also necessary for it helps initiates the inflammatory process that is necessary for tissue repair, scavenging oxygen free radicals and can help balance fluids (especially in a low salt environment). That being said, too much uric acid can lead to issues, hence why xanthine oxidase, an enzyme for purine metabolism, is molybdenum dependent.
Molybdenum is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, as well as the utilization of iron and sulfur based amino acids which are imperative for liver function. This mean this mineral is essential for the production of energy, synthetization of nutrients, oxygenation of tissue and detoxification.
3.. Detoxification, particularly copper
We could write an entire other blog about this, but essentially, molybdenum is a copper antagonist for many metalloenzymes (enzymes that help remove metals out of the body) are molybdenum dependent. Other enzymes like aldehyde oxidase - oxidation of aldehydes and sulfite oxidase rely on this mineral which are required for helping remove aldehydes and sulfites from the body.
4. Strong skeletal structure
Due to the fact that molybdenum is found predominantly in our bones and dental enamel, it is acknowledged it plays a role in the strength of our skeletal structure. That being said, high doses of molybdenum have also been connected to decreased bone mineral density, so the dose is the poison- or rather the cure.
It's not common that people are molybdenum deficient, however, it can be antagonized by some other minerals, like copper, which is a common mineral that can push it down.
Sources of molybdenum are things like organ meats, nuts and seeds, a few pulses and some grains.
Nutrients that synergize molybdenum are minerals like iron and sulfur, as well as vitamins like B1, B3 and B6. That being said, it does also have some antagonists like copper, manganese, zinc, and sometimes sodium.
Have you done an HTMA with us to see your molybdenum status? Do you have signs of copper dysregulation or toxicity? It might be molybdenum related! Order your test here today so you can find out!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach