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The metal molybdenum, with the chemical formula H2MoO4, is used for many applications. It is important for the synthesis of proteins, for preventing the development of diseases in animals and humans, and it is needed for brain function. It is also used in the production of X-ray and heat tubes, vacuum tubes and components for electron tubes.
The element is an essential part of several enzymes (such as nitrogenase and xanthine oxidase) that turn nitrogen into compounds that support the synthesis of proteins in animals, plants and bacteria. It is also important for the processing of waste products by the body, the synthesis of energy in cells and the proper development of the nervous system.
Among the most common sources of molybdenum are cereals and bread, as well as meat. The mean dietary intakes for adults in European countries vary over a wide range, from 58 mg/day to 157 mg/day.
It is an essential cofactor of several human enzymes such as sulfite oxidase, xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase and the mitochondrial amidoxime-reducing component. It is needed for the synthesis of proteins and is also important for the phosphorus metabolism, for the processing of waste products by the body and for the synthesis of energy in cells.
The chemical element is not toxic in small amounts, but excessive exposure can lead to a number of health problems. Some of the effects include weakness, fatigue, headache, anorexia, muscle pain and joint pain. It is especially toxic to infants.