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Molybdenum Health Benefits

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Molybdenum health benefitsMolybdenum Health Benefits

Molybdenum health benefits include its ability to help with energy production, nervous system functioning, and possibly anticancer properties. There is some evidence it may help prevent erectile dysfunction as well.

Molybdenum’s interactions with other chemicals in the body are not completely understood by experts. It appears molybdenum has a role in the development of the nervous system and waste processing in the kidneys. Proponents of molybdenum say the mineral is an antioxidant that can prevent cancer by protecting cells from free radical damage, and there are even those who claim it prevents anemia and impotence. So far more research is needed to verify any of these molybdenum health benefits.

Tetrathiomolybdate, a form of molybdenum that is different from the forms used in dietary supplements, has been tested as a cancer treatment. Molybdenum depletes copper in the body, and copper is necessary for the formation of new blood vessels, which in turn nourish cancer cells. Therefore, theoretically, taking molybdenum would mean that new tissues, including cancerous tumors, would not be able to grow.

In 2003, a small study explored the use of tetrathiomolybdate in 15 patients with advanced kidney cancer to reduce the copper levels in their bodies. In 4 patients, the tumors stopped growing for six months. However, some patients developed anemia (low red blood cell counts) or low white blood cell counts because of a copper deficiency and had to have their molybdenum doses reduced. This approach might be beneficial in people with other types of cancer. However, a small study conducted in 2006 in men with advanced prostate cancer did not result in a reduction in tumor growth.

How To Get Molybdenum

Food rather than supplements is the main source of molybdenum for most people. The mineral is found in legumes, grains, leafy vegetables, and nuts. Molybdenum deficiency is very rare, but it may appear in people who have a genetic dysfunction that causes the body to not use any molybdenum. The RDA for molybdenum is 45 micrograms daily.


Linus Pauling Institute:


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Created: September 18, 2010

Site last updated 21 October, 2016



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