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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #188356


item Novotny, Janet
item Turnlund, Judith

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2006
Publication Date: 1/2/2007
Citation: Novotny Dura, J., Turnlund, J.R. 2007. Molybdenum intake influences molybdenum kinetics in humans. Journal of Nutrition. 137:37-42.

Interpretive Summary: Molybdenum is an essential mineral for humans. Yet information about minimum intake level to meet human requirements and upper limits of intake to prevent toxicity is scarce. In a human feeding study, we investigated the changes in molybdenum metabolism that occur when volunteers consume 5 different intake levels of molybdenum. We found that the key pathway for regulating the body’s exposure to molybdenum was urinary output. During low molybdenum intake, the body spares molybdenum by decreasing urinary output, and during high molybdenum intake, the body eliminates excess molybdenum by increasing urinary output. The specific metabolic adaptations for handling the different molybdenum levels has been defined in this work, clarifying how the body reduces the risk of molybdenum deficiency and toxicity. These results will be useful to scientists and health professionals.

Technical Abstract: Molybdenum is an essential mineral in the human diet and is toxic when intake is excessive. Data on which to base dietary recommendations, especially for excessive intake for humans, is limited. The objective of this study was to determine physiologic adaptations that occur when humans are exposed to a wide range of molybdenum intake levels. Four males consumed each of five daily molybdenum intakes of 22, 72, 121, 467, and 1490 microg/d for 24 days each. During each treatment period oral and intravenous doses of 100-Mo and 97-Mo were administered. Serial plasma, urine, and fecal samples were analyzed for labeled and unlabeled molydenum. Compartmental modeling was used to determine rates of distribution and elimination at each dietary intake level. Three pathways were sensitive to daily molybdenum intake: the fraction of plasma molybdenum excreted into urine increased with increasing molybdenum intake, the fraction of plasma molybdenum deposited into tissues decreased with increasing intake, and absorption efficiency was greater at higher intakes. Kinetic analysis suggested a daily intake of 115-120 microg/day would be required to maintain initial plasma molybdenum levels. Physiologic adaptations to changing molybdenum intakes identified here reveal how the body reduces the risk of molybdenum deficiency and toxicity.