Molybdenum: An Important Micronutrient for Detoxification

by Katie Stone, ND July 18, 2018 2 min read

Molybdenum: An Important Micronutrient for Detoxification

Molybdenum is an essential nutrient that acts as a catalyst for enzymes and facilitates the breakdown of certain amino acids in the body.

There are at least 50 known enzymes that contain molybdenum, including sulfite oxidase, aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidase.

Molybdenum glycinate is the best way to supplement molybdenum in a biologically available form.

Liver Health

Molybdenum has been shown in animal studies to dramatically inhibit pulmonary and liver fibrosis. Liver fibrosis is the thickening and scarring of tissue.

Molybdenum also helps prevent liver damage from acetaminophen and reduces heart damage from doxorubicin, a type of antibiotic (1).

This important micronutrient is a vital part of the process by which acetaldehyde is broken down by the liver. Acetaldehyde is a neurotoxin that is produced when you consume alcohol or suffer from intestinal fungal overgrowth.


Molybdenum is a necessary soil component for preventing the growth of nitrosamines (cancer-producing agents) in plant foods.

A report published in Cancer Research noted that research into cancer-causing agents linked to numerous cases of esophageal cancer determined that deficiencies of trace elements, such as molybdenum, in the soil play a possible role in the high incidence of cancer.

It's also believed that a deficiency of molybdenum uptake in plants can lead to the production of nitrosamines due to the fact that the enzyme nitrate reductase can't perform properly without its molybdenum co-factor.

Treats Sulfite Sensitivity

Sulfites are sulfur-containing molecules that are often used in the food industry as preservatives, anti-browning agents and antioxidants.

Many people now suffer from sulfite sensitivity, which is s triggered by foods or drinks high in sulfites, including soft drinks and juices, beer, wine, dried apricots and deli meats.

Molybdenum deficiency can reduce the amount of sulfite oxidase that converts sulfite to sulfate. When sulfites accumulate in the body, a sulfite sensitivity can result.

Research shows that patients with sulfite intolerance can have increased amino acid but mainly l-methionine levels in the blood. When treated with molybdenum, the patients’ bodies were able to break down sulfur normally again.  

Improves Circulation

Molybdenum is an important component of nitrate reductase, an enzyme that breaks down nitrate. Nitrate is then broken down to nitrogen dioxide, a direct precursor to nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide has numerous health benefits for the body, particularly in terms of supporting circulation. It is involved in the dilation of blood vessels and protection of blood vessels from injury. It also helps to regulate the growth of cells.

Molybdenum helps to maintain a healthy level of nitric oxide in the body.

Katie Stone, ND
Katie Stone, ND

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