Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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molybdenum, ceruloplasmin, copper

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by luke2, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. luke2


    I post this for my wife Vanitta. She is a 38 years old thai woman suffering from headaches, sometimes fibromyalgia-like pains, low energy and allergies (hives and sneezing). She is mostly allergic to dust mites but even a mosquito bite can become annoying. Also she has insomnia, a kind of insomnia where she can get a deep sleep for 3 or mostly 4 hours then she gets what she defines as "lucid dreams", a very light sleep or even no sleep at all. Sometimes she experiences numbness in the fingers.

    A hair analysis showed
    - low molybdenum: .001 with reference range .003-.008
    - copper on the low normal: 1.0 with reference .9-3.9
    - normal zinc: 17 with reference 10-21
    - high zinc/copper ratio: 17 with reference 4-12

    Then she tested for ceruloplasmin and it's quite low at 12.40 (reference 20-60).

    Some of her symptoms are compatible with low molybdenum or even a form of Wilson desease. But urinary copper 24 hours (NOT challenged with penicillamine) is very low at <5.0 µg and as I understand, should theoretically exclude Wilson desease.

    Hemoglobin is slighty low at 10.5 as well as slightly low hematocrit at 34, also compatible with low copper.
    AST and ALT are in the range: 22 and 15 U/L.

    She has CBS mutations C699T and A360A +/- which can lead to increased ammonia and sulfites and which should benefit from molybdenum.

    All in all, looks like she might improve her symptoms through molybdenum supplementation, but we are concerned about her low copper. Molybdenum is supposed to antagonize copper, which is already low in her. But then I read from the Linus Pauling Institute web site at that

    "An early study reported that molybdenum intakes of 500 mcg/day and 1,500 mcg/day from sorghum increased urinary copper excretion (2). However, the results of a more recent, well-controlled study indicated that very high dietary molybdenum intakes (up to 1,500 mcg/day) did not adversely affect copper nutritional status in eight, healthy young men (9)."

    So we are quite confused whether supplementing with molybdenum. Any experience?
  2. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

    Midwest, USA
    When I began hair analysis my molybdenum was very low (.001), my copper was low normal (1.5), and my zinc was normal (16). My ceruloplasmin was not tested.

    I supplemented Mo. It came up to normal and the Cu and Zn both dropped.

    I cut the Mo dose in half, so it would not keep rising. The Mo dropped back to .001 and the Cu and Zn dropped again.

    I don’t think the Mo had anything to do with the Cu and Zn and my dietitian did not say anything about it.
  3. luke2


    Thanks for sharing. Mo is supposed to antagonize copper, but most of the studies have been done on animals and the Linus Pauling site say that this doesn't apply on humans (though, on "healthy young men", which is not her case).
    Might be that Mo instead of antagonizing copper it actually displace it from places where it shouldn't be (liver, nervous system, brain). The way to go is perhaps to start low with Mo supplementing, see if there's any improvement, and check the level of minerals often.
  4. luke2


    The mystery deepens. Seems that gender has a role in Mo/ceruloplasmin metabolism.


    Experiments were carried out on 61 male and female Wistar rats. Following 21-day intraperitoneal administration of molybdenum (Na2MoO4 · 2H2O), significant differences in the level of blood serum ceruplasmin were noted in female rats depending upon the applied dose of molybdenum. In analogous groups of male rats no statistically significant differences were observed, which might indicate that the effect of molybdenum upon enzymatic ceruplasmin activity is sex-related.

    The rats on an increased dietary level of 14 ppm molybdenum, of 10.8 ppm copper content and 507 ppm inorganic sulphur, showed decreased blood serum ceruloplasmin activity irrespective of their sex.

    If this applies to humans, a woman would get lower ceruloplasmin by supplementing Mo, which wouldn't be fine in her case, having already low levels.

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