What is molybdenum deficiency?

A molybdenum deficiency is extremely rare. It happens primarily in people with a very rare genetic disorder called molybdenum cofactor deficiency. This disorder prevents the body from using molybdenum. Rare cases have been reported in infants with the genetic disorder in which the mineral cannot break down sulfites causing seizures and severe brain damage that usually leads to death within days after birth.

Deficiency has also been seen in people receiving intravenous nutrition in which supplemental molybdenum was not added.

Molybdenum Deficiency Symptoms

  • Seizures
  • Seizures and subsequent death in infants
  • Irregular heart rate

What causes a molybdenum deficiency?

No known groups of people are likely to have inadequate molybdenum intakes except in rare cases with a genetic mutation preventing the synthesis of molybdopterin during infancy.

Further reading: Harvard School of Public Health, National Institutes of Health(1),(2)