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26 June 2023

The Essential Trace Mineral with Crucial Biological Functions

Cobalt is a trace mineral that plays a crucial role in human health. It is an essential component of enzymes and helps facilitate important biological functions. Cobalt is essential for the production of red blood cells, and it assists with the absorption of iron, vitamin B12, and other essential vitamins and minerals. A deficiency in cobalt can lead to a variety of symptoms and ailments, while an excess of cobalt can cause side-effects. In this article, we will provide an overview of the nutritional element of cobalt and its associated benefits, signs of deficiency, diseases and ailments, side-effects of excessive cobalt, recommended dosages, and food sources.


The Benefits


Cobalt is an essential trace mineral that is required for proper functioning of the body in a number of ways. It plays an important role in many physiological functions, including immunity, metabolism, cardiovascular health, and nervous system health. Cobalt helps form red blood cells and is also a necessary component of Vitamin B12. It is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and it also helps with the formation of collagen. Cobalt helps regulate cholesterol levels, and it helps with the absorption of iron, which is needed for healthy skin and hair. Additionally, cobalt is beneficial for energy production and helps to protect the body from stress and environmental toxins. It is also known to have antioxidant properties, aiding the body in neutralizing free radicals.


Signs of Deficiency


Cobalt deficiency can cause a range of signs and symptoms, depending on the severity of the deficiency. For instance, a mild deficiency may only cause general weakness and fatigue, whereas a severe deficiency can cause anemia, cardiomyopathy, and other more serious ailments. Some of the more common signs of cobalt deficiency include: fatigue, anemia, anorexia, weight loss, confusion, irritability, muscle spasms or cramps, brittle nails, and depression. Additionally, cobalt deficiency can affect the body's immune system, making it more susceptible to infection.


In some cases, a cobalt deficiency can cause a condition called hypocobalaminemia, which is an abnormally low level of vitamin B12 in the body. This can lead to anemia, neurological problems, and even pernicious anemia in extreme cases. As such, it is important to be aware of the potential signs of cobalt deficiency and to get tested if symptoms appear.


Diseases and Ailments


Cobalt is an essential trace mineral with many benefits. However, a deficiency in cobalt can lead to a wide range of serious diseases and ailments. A lack of cobalt in the body can lead to anemia, muscular atrophy, anorexia, and decreased immune system function. Studies have shown that a cobalt deficiency can also lead to problems with the thyroid, leading to goiter and hypothyroidism. Cobalt has also been linked to some neurological disorders, including peripheral neuropathy, which can cause severe pain and numbness in hands and feet. As cobalt plays an important role in the synthesis of important hormones, a deficiency in cobalt can also lead to infertility and other hormone-related health problems.


Side Effects of Excessive


Excessive cobalt in the body can lead to some serious health issues. The most common side effect of too much cobalt is Cardiomyopathy, which is a weakening of the heart muscle. Other side effects can include arrhythmias, impaired breathing, and even death in extreme cases. Other issues that can arise with excessive cobalt intake are nervous system and brain damage, fatigue, vision problems, and the possibility of developing anemia. If you are taking supplements containing cobalt, it is important to follow the recommended dosage and not exceed it.


Recommended Dosage


When it comes to cobalt, there is no universal dosage. The recommended daily intake of cobalt for adults is 0.1 milligrams, which is the equivalent of 1.2-2.5 milligrams of supplemental cobalt. For children, the recommended daily intake is 0.025 mg/day, and for pregnant and lactating women, it is 0.2 mg/day. It is important to emphasize that the cobalt requirement varies with age, gender, and health status. For instance, athletes may need a higher-than-normal dose of cobalt. Ultimately, it is best to talk to a doctor or healthcare professional to determine your specific cobalt needs.


Food Sources


Cobalt is found in a variety of foods, although the amount can vary between sources. The best sources of cobalt include beef liver, clams, oysters, crab, salmon, and tuna. Other sources of cobalt include dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, dried legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, and peas, nuts, and whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal. A few fruits, including apples, blackberries, and blueberries, also contain trace amounts of cobalt. Unfortunately, the cobalt content of food sources can vary between different batches, making it hard to accurately assess cobalt intake.


In addition to cobalt from food sources, many people take cobalt supplements, which can be purchased over the counter. However, taking cobalt supplements should only be done under the guidance of a doctor because of potential side effects.




Cobalt is an essential trace mineral with a number of important functions in the body. It is necessary for normal metabolism and plays a role in the health of the immune system, bones, and blood vessels. Deficiencies of cobalt can lead to a variety of disorders and diseases, while excessive intake can have various side effects. The recommended dosage of cobalt is 2 milligrams per day for adults. Food sources of cobalt include red meats, fish, poultry, leafy greens, grains, and some fruits. By understanding the nutritional element of cobalt, individuals can make sure that they are getting the necessary amounts for optimal health.

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