Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 Minerals: Cobalt 
Cobalt is another essential mineral needed in very small amounts in the diet. It is an integral part of part of vitamin B12, cobalamin, which supports red blood cell production and the formation of myelin nerve coverings. Some authorities do not consider cobalt to be essential as a separate nutrient, since it is needed primarily as part of B12, which is itself essential.

Cobalt, as part of vitamin B12, is not easily absorbed from the digestive tract. The body level of cobalt normally measures 80-300 mcg. It is stored in the red blood cells and the plasma, as well as in the liver, kidney, spleen, and pancreas.

Sources: Cobalt is available mainly as part of B12. There is some question as to whether inorganic cobalt is actually usable in the human body. Meat, liver, kidney, clams, oysters, and milk all contain some cobalt. Ocean fish and sea vegetables have cobalt, but land vegetables have very little; some cobalt is available in legumes, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, beet greens, and figs.

Functions: As part of vitamin B12, cobalt is essential to red blood cell formation and is also helpful to other cells.

Uses: Cobalt, as part of B12, is used to prevent anemia, particularly pernicious anemia; vitamin B12 is also beneficial in some cases of fatigue, digestive disorders, and neuro-muscular problems. There are no other known uses except for the radioactive cobalt-60 used to treat certain cancers.

Deficiency and toxicity: Toxicity can occur from excess inorganic cobalt found as a food contaminant. Beer drinker's cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and congestive heart failure have been traced to cobalt introduced into beer during manufacturing. Increased intake may affect the thyroid or cause overproduction of red blood cells, thickened blood, and increased activity in the bone marrow.

Deficiency of cobalt is not really a concern if we get enough vitamin B12. Vegetarians need to be more concerned than others about getting enough cobalt and B12. The soil is becoming deficient in cobalt, further reducing the already low levels found in plant foods. As cobalt sdeficiency leads to decreased availability of B12, there is an increase of many symptoms and problems related to B12 deficiency, particularly pernicious anemia and nerve damage.

Requirements: No specific RDA is suggested for cobalt. Our needs are low, and vitamin B12 usually fulfills them. The average daily intake of cobalt is about 5-8 mcg. It is not usually given in supplements.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Error Reading Event Calendar
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar