Molybdenum in Spectrum Needs
Molybdenum is added in order to provide a wide basis of nutrition. Diets in children with autism are often deficient in essential nutrients. Side effects are unexpected.
What Is It? Molybdenum is a mineral that must be obtained in the diet and is required in trace amounts.
What Does It Do? Molybdenum is a cofactor in a few enzymes, including one in sulfite/sulfur amino acid metabolism and one in detoxification.
What Does Deficiency Appear as? Only trace amounts of molybdenum are required, and deficiency does not occur outside of artificial settings, such as prolonged total parenteral nutrition (TPN).
What About Its Use in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? The role of molybdenum in autism treatment is not well studied. In two studies, deficient concentrations of molybdenum were revealed in hair of children with ASD (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23118818; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26656556). Another study in ASD found downregulation of the molybdenum cofactor sulfurase gene, which encodes a protein required for molybdenum activity.
What About Its Use in Other Conditions? Molybdenum is rarely used as a solo dietary supplement, but is generally combined with other minerals.
What Are the Common and/or Important Side Effects? Side effects are rare at usual doses used in supplementation.
Is There Any Laboratory Testing? Laboratory testing can reveal the presence of a deficiency of this nutrient.