Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Ammonium Molybdate, Chélate de Molybdate, Chelated Molybdenum, Citrate de Molybdène, Etrathiomolybdate, Ionic Molybdenum, Mo, Molibdeno, Molybdate d’Ammonium, Molybdate de Sodium, Molybdene, Molybdène, Molybdenum Citrate, Molybdenum Picolinate, Sodium Molybdate.


Molybdenum is a trace mineral found in foods such as milk, cheese, cereal grains, legumes, nuts, leafy vegetables, and organ meats. The amount in plant-derived foods depends on the soil content in the growing area. Molybdenum is also present in water in varying amounts. Molybdenum is stored in the body, particularly in the liver, kidneys, glands, and bones. It is also found in the lungs, spleen, skin, and muscles. About 90% of the molybdenum eaten in foods is eliminated by the body through the urine.

How does it work?

Molybdenum works in the body to break down proteins and other substances. Molybdenum deficiency is very uncommon.

Molybdenum has an important role in normal body functions, but there is not enough information to know how it might work for any medical condition.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Likely Effective for...

  • Molybdenum deficiency. Taking molybdenum can prevent deficiency. However, it is very uncommon to have molybdenum deficiency.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Esophageal cancer. Having low amounts of molybdenum in the body might be linked with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. However, it’s not known if taking molybdenum supplements reduces the risk of esophageal cancer.
  • Liver disease.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Lyme disease.
  • Sulfite sensitivity.
  • Chemical sensitivity.
  • Allergies.
  • Asthma.
  • Acne.
  • Anemia.
  • Gout.
  • Cancer.
  • Insomnia.
  • Eczema.
  • Bell’s palsy.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Lupus.
  • Wilson's disease.
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis).
  • Cavities.
  • Improving libido.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of molybdenum for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Molybdenum is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately by adults. Molybdenum is safe in amounts that do not exceed 2 mg per day, the Tolerable Upper Intake Level.

However, molybdenum is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses. Adults should avoid exceeding 2 mg daily.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Molybdenum is LIKELY SAFE in amounts that do not exceed the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of 1.7 mg per day for women 14 to 18 years, or 2 mg per day for women 19 and older. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in high doses. Avoid exceeding 1.7 mg per day for women 14 to 18 years, or 2 mg per day for women 19 and older.

Children: For children, molybdenum is LIKELY SAFE in amounts that do not exceed the UL of 0.3 mg per day for children 1 to 3 years, 0.6 mg per day for children 4 to 8 years, 1.1 mg per day for children 9 to 13 years, and 1.7 mg per day for adolescents. However, molybdenum is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses. Children should avoid exceeding 0.3 mg per day for children 1 to 3 years, 0.6 mg per day for children 4 to 8 years, 1.1 mg per day for children 9 to 13 years, and 1.7 mg per day for adolescents.

Gout: Very high levels of molybdenum in the diet such as 10 to 15 mg/day, and industrial exposure to molybdenum, might cause gout. Molybdenum supplements might make gout worse. Avoid taking molybdenum in doses above 2 mg per day for adults.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • The National Institute of Medicine has determined Adequate Intake (AI) of molybdenum for infants: 0 to 6 months, 2 mcg/day; 7 to 12 months, 3 mcg/day.
  • For children, a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) has been set: 1 to 3 years, 17 mcg/day; 4 to 8 years, 22 mcg/day; 9 to 13 years, 34 mcg/day; 14 to 18 years, 43 mcg/day. For men and women age 19 years and older, the RDA is 45 mcg/day. For pregnancy and lactation, the RDA is 50 mcg/day for women of all ages. It is estimated that a typical US adult’s diet supplies 120 mcg/day to 210 mcg/day.

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