If we are at all aware of our health, we are aware that our body requires a certain amount of vitamins and minerals every day in order to maintain optimal health. We all know about vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, and minerals such as iron and zinc, but there are plenty of other vitamins and minerals out there that are just as vital for our health, yet unknown and underrated. One of those minerals is molybdenum.
Molybdenum is found in the body’s liver, kidneys, adrenal gland and bones and is integral to the health of those organs. Yet molybdenum does not have a late night infomercial devoted to it, nor do you often hear doctors telling you to make sure you get your fully daily dosage of molybdenum. Perhaps this is because molybdenum has a funny name or because it’s a little difficult to pronounce (that’s mo-leeb-den-um, a word derived from the ancient Greek word for “lead”), or perhaps it’s simply because molybdenum is still an up and comer on the medical scene and is a mineral that may one day make headlines.
Molybdenum is one of our basic elements and can be found at atomic number 42 on the periodic table of elements, a chart that most high school chemistry students have to become intimately familiar with but, unless they go on to medical school, generally soon forget. While it is found in the body, like iron, molybdenum has multiple uses, including use as a element to give extra strength to steel alloys. This element, while it has always been present on the earth and in our bodies, was isolated and named back in 1781 by Peter Jacob Hielm. Before him, in the year 1778, another scientist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, had discovered the mineral molybdenum.
As for molybdenum’s relationship to your health, this element is an integral part of the body and helps to create some of the body’s most important enzymes. These enzymes support metabolism and help in the production of uric acid, which cleans the kidneys. If you wish to have more molybdenum in your diet, you can get it by taking supplements or, if you prefer a more natural method of procuring your vitamins, ingesting it. Foods that contain high amounts of molybdenum include leafy vegetables, legumes and cereal products. Be sure to get a high concentration of these types of foods into your diet daily for maximum results.
As for the importance of molybdenum, that all came to the forefront after a March 2008 scientific study showed that the world’s oceans lacked molybdenum. This occurrence is said to have limited the evolutionary potential of all eukaryotic life, which includes plants and animals. Human beings are, of course, animals, so this lack of molybdenum is devastating news for us. The reason molybdenum is so important to evolution is that eukaryotic life (like us) needs nitrogen and must acquire it from prokaryotic bacteria. Without enough molybdenum (the result of a lack of oxygen in the ocean) limits eukaryotic life’s ability to evolve.
Though it is rare, people can suffer from a molybdenum deficiency. People with molybdenum deficiency are generally those individuals struck by a rare metabolic disorder affecting the three main enzymes that molybdenum is an integral part of. A molybdenum deficiency is a serious occurrence, because it can lead to metabolic disorders, toxicity, auto-immune disorders and even death.
If your doctor has told you that you suffer from a molybdenum deficiency, be sure you remain under your doctor’s care until the situation is taken care of. If you do not, your health could only worsen down the road.