Molybdenum mineral is the trace nutrient of our body which plays the role of being the active part of the various metalloenzymes. It is present in the enzyme namely the xanthine oxidase and liver aldehyde oxidase. The both of these enzymes are flavoproteins. It is present in several oxidation states and there, is facilitating the electron transfer in the oxidation-reduction reactions. It is soluble nutrients and its absorption can be inhibited by the copper element in our body. The molybdenum content of the body is usually very low range from 0.1-1.0 mcg. In the body, it is found in high concentration in the adrenal glands, kidney, Liver, and bones. It exists in another form the molybdate form.
It is found in the organic meats, legumes, bread and cereals, milk products and in milk as well. Green leafy vegetables also contain it. The liver is one of the molybdenum-rich foods.
- Molybdenum acts mainly as an enzyme cofactor. The molybdoenzymes which are three in number cause catalyzation hydroxylation of several substrates as follow.
- Being the part of sulfite oxidase, it enables this enzyme’s catalyzation process which then leads to the conversion of sulfite to sulfate. If sulfite oxidase is deficient it may lead to derangement of cysteine metabolism.
- Aldehyde oxidase causes detoxification and oxidization of various purines, pyrimidines, pteridines, and other related nitrogenous bases.
- Xanthine oxidase/dehydrogenase catalyzes the reaction in which conversion of hypoxanthine to xanthine take place which then converted to uric acid.
Molybdenum deficiency is not commonly seen unless the diet is really very poor of molybdenum or contains high levels of the Molybdenum antagonistic elements e.g. tungstate, copper or sulfate. It may also arise in case of prolonged parenteral nutrition and may also be found to be associated with esophageal cancer.
Symptoms: The symptoms of its deficiency include hypouricemia (low uric acid in the blood) buccal mucosa and gum problems, hyperoxypurinemia, nervous system problems, and even coma especially seen in those patients who are on parenteral methionine therapy. Other deficiency symptoms include a significant increase in heart rate, disturbance of mental functions and headache.
Acquired Molybdenum Deficiency: This causes an extremely low level of uric acid in the serum as well as in the urine (X0). There also arise low inorganic sulfate amount in the urine (SO). These may be due to inborn errors of deficiencies of molybdenum cofactor or SO, and XO. XO deficiency is not very serious but benign. The patients who have single deficiencies of molybdenum cofactor or SO show various neurologic problems, mental retardation or even ocular dislocation of lens.
This mineral is relatively safe to be used in the human body. However, extreme of its levels lead to symptoms of gout due to increase production of uric acid as well as hyperuricemia. Mostly seen when the level of molybdenum increase in diets above the 15mg which is taken on a daily basis. There occurs inhibition of enzymes. Gout can lead to pain and deformity of the joints epically of fingers, toes etc.