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Molybdenum is a trace mineral found in all tissues of the body, particularly in the bones, teeth, kidney, and liver. It is important because it helps the body make the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which helps the body use its iron reserves, and burning of fat. Without molybdenum, your body cannot grow and develop properly.

A molybdenum deficiency can also lead to anemia (oxygen starvation in the tissues), tooth decay, and even impotence. A molybdenum supplement is available by prescription, and this nutrient is also often included in many multivitamin and mineral supplements.

Molybdenum is found in dark green leafy vegetables, milk, liver, beans, peas, and cereal grains. The actual amount of molybdenum in grains and vegetables depends on the amount in the soil when the produce was growing, but most people get enough of this nutrient in their diet.

There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for molybdenum, but a safe and adequate daily intake is 150 to 500 micrograms for all those over age 11. Too much molybdenum is not a good thing, and can cause painfully swollen joints and deplete the body of copper. Other symptoms of molybdenum toxicity include diarrhea and depressed growth rate in children.

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