Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Wisdom Wednesday: Molybdenum
Molybdenum is a trace mineral in the body. Scientists have long known it is essential for health but little was known about what functions it serves. Over the course of the last few years we have begun to work out the mystery surrounding molybdenum.
Researchers studying the benefits of cruciferous vegetables on liver function stumbled across molybdenum. Cruciferous vegetables are very high in sulfur bearing amino acids. Sulfur, another mineral used in the body, enters the body attached to certain amino acids in protein, rather than as a free mineral like calcium or magnesium. In order to use the sulfur, it must be stripped from amino acids like methionine and cysteine. This requires vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, and molybdenum.
Molybdenum actually catalyses the last step in this process that releases sulfur as an electrolyte. Sulfur is required for five of the ten pathways in phase II liver detoxification. Please review my first Wisdom Wednesday Blog: Vitamin B6, posted on March 14, 2014.
As noted in that blog, the sulfur is used to make ground substance to repair all connective tissues of the body: muscle, ligament, tendon, bone, disc, and cartilage. Sulfur also controls Candida growth in the bowel.
Medically, molybdenum deficiency is thought to be quite rare as we need very little in the diet. However, I frequently find nutritional deficiencies in patients that exhibit poor healing of musculoskeletal injuries, suffer from Candida overgrowth or have impaired phase II liver detoxification. One of the clues indicating the possible need for molybdenum supplementation is poor tolerance for cruciferous vegetables in the diet. If you develop a lot of intestinal gas when eating broccoli, kale, cauliflower, or any other cruciferous vegetable, you may be deficient in molybdenum. Of course, a deficiency of folic acid, vitamin B6 or B12 can cause the same symptoms.
Clinically, we test for these supplements at several steps in the QA (Quintessential Applications) protocol. Most B vitamin deficiencies are discovered and treated early in the process, when evaluating inflammation. It is only after inflammation has been adequately addressed that we take our first look at liver function.
Liver detoxification, both phase I and II, are not addressed directly until most of the endocrine system has been evaluated. As noted in previous blogs, attempting liver detoxification prior to addressing inflammation, the immune system and endocrine system usually creates a lot of side effects without truly improving patient health.
Bottom Line – Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral in the body. It is probably the most commonly overlooked deficiency in human nutrition. If you suffer from chronic liver issues, poor healing of musculoskeletal injuries, or chronic Candida overgrowth, take a look at molybdenum.