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Most bodybuilders are aware of the interactions between trace minerals and insulin. For example, chromium enables insulin to form a tighter lock
with cellular receptors, which permits more efficient insulin action, leading to more stable blood-glucose levels.
Vanadyl, another trace mineral, seems to directly mimic a few of insulin's actions, particularly as they relate to promoting increased muscle-glycogen deposition. Increased muscle glycogen not only improves training energy but also fosters a greater muscle pump while training and increased muscular recovery after the workout.
Besides these "stars," other nutrients may likewise offer insulin-like actions. For example, a new Belgian study involving diabetic rats (the subjects most often used in vanadyl studies) found that another trace mineral, molybdenum, exerted effects similar to insulin in the rats.
Specifically, molybdenum decreased elevated blood-glucose levels in the rats by 75% while also decreasing elevated blood-fat levels two conditions typical in uncontrolled diabetes. The mineral also appeared to increase muscle glycogen levels, although it didn't do so by raising insulin levels.
In addition to these functions, molybdenum also plays a role in fat burning and utilizing iron in the liver. The human body stores an average of nine to 10 milligrams of molybdenum, primarily in the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and blood cells. The mineral is also required for an enzyme needed to synthesize uric acid in the body, and is also involved in the metabolism of another trace mineral, copper.
Food sources of molybdenum include meats, whole grains, peas and beans. The recommended daily intake for adults over 19 is 0.15 0.50 micrograms.