Other name(s):

ammonium molybdate

General description

Molybdenum is an essential trace element. It helps several enzymes do their job. It is stored mainly in the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, and bone.

Molybdenum is a part of several enzyme systems. These enzymes are in charge of the breakdown of xanthine, hypoxanthine, and sulfite. They also break down and help make harmless many harmful compounds in the body.

The ability of your body to store molybdenum varies with intake levels. It’s affected by the amount of copper and sulfate in your diet.

Unproven claims

There may be benefits that haven't yet been proven through research.

Molybdenum may help treat arthritis. Studies are also looking to see if it can treat some types of cancers and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Recommended intake

Molybdenum is measured in micrograms (mcg). The daily RDA is the Recommended Dietary Allowance.



Infants (0 to 6 months)

2 mcg*

Infants (7 months to 1 year)

3 mcg*

Children (1 to 3 years)

17 mcg

Children (4 to 8 years)

22 mcg

Children (9 to 13 years)

34 mcg

Children (14 to 18 years)

43 mcg

Adults (19 years and older)

45 mcg

Pregnant and lactating people

50 mcg

*Adequate Intake (AI). This is based on the average intake of healthy breastfed infants.

Foods that have molybdenum include legumes, cereals, milk, and leafy vegetables.

Molybdenum levels in plants vary. They depend on what amount is in the soil in which they were grown.

Molybdenum deficiency is very rare. It only occurs due to a serious, underlying issue.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Too much molybdenum can cause a gout-like syndrome. Symptoms can include high levels of molybdenum in your blood, uric acid, and xanthine oxidase.

You shouldn’t take molybdenum supplements if you have gallstones or kidney problems.

People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare providers before taking any supplements.

Molybdenum supplements can cause a copper deficiency. This is because molybdenum pushes copper away from body tissues.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023